On Saturday, July 14, the Boro of Belmar and the Goodwill Hose Fire Co., in collaboration with the Jersey Shore Running Club, will present the 36th Annual Belmar Five Mile Run.
The race has a long history at the Jersey Shore as one of the longest running road races in the area. It has traditionally attracted some of the top runners, last year the men’s champion was James Gathoga of Newark in a time of 25:36 and for the women it was Noel Brock of Toms River in 28:38, both repeat winners from the previous year.
Since 2002 the Belmar Five Mile Run has been held in memory of long-time Belmar resident, Johnny Cobb. In addition to being an originator of the race, Cobb had a 25-year career in the Belmar Police Department, was a member of the Belmar Fire Dept. and was a graduate and supporter of the St Rose School, and promoted local sports all of his life.
The traditional five-miler is for runners of all abilities. The Jersey Shore Running Club is dedicated helping LOCAL charitable organizations in promoting a healthy lifestyle through running and walking, and the Goodwill Hose Fire Company is a volunteer organization dedicated to helping the local community. The Belmar Five is possible due to annual help from the Belmar Public Works, Recreation, Fire and First Aid Departments and the Police Departments of Belmar, Spring Lake and Lake Como, and continued support of the Borough of Belmar and its residents, and thankfully, the patience of area motorists who will be detoured on race day for the safety of the racers.
Along with the main event, a Community Fitness Walk and Kids’ Races is scheduled for Friday evening, July 13th, both of which have continued to become more popular each of the last several years. There will also be a free family movie on Friday night, followed by free Fireworks on the beach. All events will be held in Belmar, which is known, of course, for its’ beautiful beaches and boardwalk.
Participants in Saturday’s event are treated to post-race refreshments and a Health & Vendor Fair in Silver Lake Park, near Taylor Pavilion. In addition, the runner’s random prize drawing, which includes free beach passes and other donated prizes to some lucky participants, will take place during the awards ceremony. Over $2,300 in prize money is awarded annually to overall and many 5-year age group winners. All are then invited to a Free Post-Race Party and music at Bar Anticipation, Lake Como, following the run.
In 2011, nearly 3000 participants in the Belmar Five events and hundreds of volunteers made this race one of the premier racing events at the Jersey Shore. This year the goal, with the help of the Jersey Shore Running Club, is to attract 3500 participants and with continued financial support of local sponsors a successful race will allow it to present donations to the Goodwill Hose Company and other beneficiaries.
The Belmar Five is the third event of the Jersey Shore Golden Grand Prix, sponsored by McLoone’s, a series of races that offers awards and prize money to overall winners and age group category winners. The five 2012 events are: Spring Lake 5, George Sheehan Classic, Belmar 5, Asbury Park 5K & the Pier House 5K in Long Branch. Further information can be found on the series website, www.jsgrandprix.com
Belmar Five event registration is still available. You can register through the mail, online, or in person Wednesday thru Friday of race week – July 11th, 12th & 13th, 6-8 pm. For locations and race information: visit www.belmar5.com, or call 732 571 2162. Be a part of the tradition!