By Neil Schulman
On your mark, get set, go! Get ready for lots of runners – and some traffic diversions – this weekend.
The Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon and Half Marathon take place April 29, going through Oceanport, Monmouth Beach and Long Branch, as well as heading north to Asbury Park before returning to Long Branch for the finish line.
The races will be preceded with the Diadora Race Exposition on April 27 and 28 at Monmouth Park, featuring food, drinks, music, and athletic swag. There is also a 5K run and RJW Barnabas Family Health Day on April 28 along the Long Branch promenade starting at 8 a.m.
Organizers say that they are expecting 10,000 athletes to attend the races, along with family members and well wishers.
Because of the runners, numerous roads will be closed off.
Races start at 7:30 a.m. Sunday by Monmouth Park Racetrack.
Oceanport police say that roads along the route will be closed at 7 a.m., and are all expected to reopen by 9:30 a.m., with the exception of the Main Gate of the Racetrack to Port au Peck Ave will remain closed until 5 p.m. Residents are advised to plan ahead since some roads will not be accessible.
In Monmouth Beach, road closings are scheduled from 6:45-10 a.m.
In Long Branch, parts of Patten Avenue and Monmouth Boulevard will close from 6:45-9:45 a.m. Most of the other roads marked for closing will shut at 7 and reopen between 10 and 11, depending on their location. The exception are stretches of Ocean Avenue, closed until 2:45 p.m.
Many roads will also be marked with no parking signs in advance of the race.
If you wish to cheer the runners on, there are numerous locations along the way to do so. The finish line is the Ocean Promenade.
More information can be found at www.thenewjerseymarathon.com.