Will race mayors for rec funds; $3500 prize purse set for Belmar Chase 5K

BELMAR, NJ – Olympians Carrie Tollefson and Steve Holman will chase yet-to be-announced local mayors and other celebrities for $5000 in town rec funds in the “Celebrity Chase” that will immediately precede the inaugural Belmar Chase 5K on July 28.

The event, presented by Circle BMW of Eatontown, will celebrate the kickoff of the 2012 Olympic Games, which begin that day. BMW is a proud partner of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams.

Carrie Tollefson.  Photo credit: PhotoRun

Tollefson, 35, is the 2004 Olympic Trials Champion at 1500 meters and competed for Team USA in Athens. She was a five-time NCAA Champion at Villanova University. Holman, 42, competed at the same distance at the 1992 Olympic Games; is the 1999 U.S Champion at 1500 meters; and was fourth in the 1993 World Indoor Championships. He was the 1992 NCAA Champion while competing for Georgetown University.

Steve Holman.  Photo credit: PhotoRun

With the slowest celebrities getting a pre-determined head start, the faster ones will try to chase them down. The first runner across the finish line wins $5000 for his or her town rec department. If either Tollefson or Holman, who will start last, chases everyone down, the $5000 will be split among the towns represented.

In addition, organizers are announcing a prize purse for the Belmar Chase 5K of $3500. The male and female winner will each be awarded $1000, with second place good for $500 and third place earning $250.

The $5000 “Celebrity Chase” prize will be donated in part by Circle BMW. “It’s been an honor to serve the communities of the Jersey Shore for more than 31 years,” said Thomas J. DeFelice Jr., founder and president of Circle BMW. “We’re proud to give back to those communities and to support their recreation programs. Of course we want people to drive our cars, but at 8:30 a.m. on July 28 we hope to see everyone out there on foot, instead.”

The night before the Belmar Chase, the Belmar Kids Chase will make its debut, with sprint races on the beach for children ages 5 to 14 and a free kids’ dash for children ages 2 to 4. Headlining the action will be a special “Fastest Kid in Belmar” sprint, in cooperation with the Belmar Recreation Department, to crown the fastest 9- to 10-year-old boy and girl who are residents of Belmar.

All events will be directed by 2000 U.S. Olympian Rich Kenah, a New Jersey native who with his family has resided in Monmouth County for the past seven years.

The Belmar Chase 5K (3.1 miles) will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Ocean Avenue in front of the Taylor Pavilion, with prizes awarded to both overall and age-group winners. The Belmar Kids Chase on Friday night, featuring age-group races of 30 meters to 150 meters, will begin at 6 p.m. on the beach in Belmar adjacent to the Taylor Pavilion. Everyone participating in the Kids Chase will receive a T-shirt and medal.

More information and registration for both races is available at www.belmarchase.com.