Thursday, May 1, 2008

Race Preview : New Jersey Marathon

I have twice paid a visit to the course of this weekend's New Jersey Marathon, the first time being in 2006 when I ran the course as part of Dean Karnazes 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. Returning to the actual marathon event in 2007, I ran a very respectable first half (1:47:51), only to struggle in the second half (2:04:04) to finish in 3:51:55 - good enough for 457th place out of 1,583 finishers.

This year's return to the New Jersey Marathon is in an entirely different role. Instead of "racing" I will be pacing our good friend and fellow Dreamchaser Colleen. It should be a blast, and we will also hook up with a bunch of our friends, including, among others, Meredith, Tom T., Doug V., Mike W., and Kristen.

The 12th annual New Jersey Marathon will take place on Sunday, May 4 in Long Branch, New Jersey and is entirely sold out (all events). The marathon course traverses through the neighborhoods and business districts of Long Branch, as well as neighboring Monmouth Beach. This 2-loop course is fast and flat (see elevation profile below) with an amazing oceanfront start and finish. The race begins at 7:30 AM on the Long Branch Ocean Promenade (adjacent to the Ocean Place Resort and Spa. In addition to the marathon, the Long Branch Half Marathon and the 4 or 3 person Marathon Relay are options. The Marathon has a 7 hour time limit. In addition, all marathon participants must complete the first loop in 3 hours and 15 minutes (or less).

The course.....

View Larger Map

is, well, flat. The Garmin GPS watch I used at last year's event registered about 427 feet of total elevation gain. Click image for larger and clearer view.

Fluid stations (with water and Gatorade) are about 2 miles (or less) apart. There is also a food station at miles 9 and 22. Headphone wearers watch out...the New Jersey Marathon claims to prohibit them on the course. But, no worries, there are 7 bands to be located along the course : Bar Flyz, Turtle Soup, Smokin' Aces, Josh Zuckerman Band, Music Rehab, Thunder Cheese and Your Beautiful Demise. Ok, I admit I have never heard of any of these bands.

Overall, I did enjoy my two experiences at this race, and I'm looking forward to another one this Sunday. I do like the 2-loop course as it gives family and friends an opportunity to see runners 3 times (start, half and finish) without having to hop in a car or take a walk. As mentioned, it is also a flat and fast course...a great place to get a Boston qualifying time.


  1. What Springsteen's not gonna be along the route?! Geez. Actually, he's gonne be here in So Flordia this weekend -- my friends have tickets and I'm totally jealous. Anyway, have a great race this weekend!

  2. This one is DEF on my list of to-dos. Flat and by the beach? What more can you ask for? ;-)

  3. Jerseyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Shoreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee My old stomping grounds :-)

    Have a great time, Hello & Best Wishes to all my friends running this weekend...

    and No Tony Capri's are too long, Long shorts only Bro you can run in -lol

  4. Sounds awesome. That's also really cool that you ran for the 50 in 50
    How did you score that?

  5. Didn't know you ran with Dean during the E50, I did about 8mi of his NJ Marathon as well! Good luck on Sunday, I won't be there since I forgot to register in time.

  6. I was supposed to run the 50in50 with Dean in Philly, but they changed the time by hours and i had appointments in the afternoon at work :( I was sorely disappointed.

    I am, however, looking forward to the marathon this weekend. It looks, um, flat! It will be fun, though the weather looks a little wet.

    Looking forward to seeing you again :)

  7. Anthony, Meredith, Kristen, Denise, tom, et all ---good luck!! You should get nice, cool weather. Sounds like a really nice course!! Never heard of any of those bands but music never hurts --hope you have fun!

  8. have a blast this weekend! looking forward to the slideshow! see how much you've spoiled us :D

  9. Hope it's going well today! From what I hear, Jersey is a fun one!

  10. What an amazing experience to be able to run with Dean! I get to run with cows and goats..........but I'm not sure if that's very cool.