NEPTUNE, NJ - Three hundred and fifty (350) road racers competed in the 20th annual Neptune City Day 5K presented by the event’s racing committee in cooperation with the Jersey Shore Running Club (JSRC) on the very warm, humid (Weather Channel had 100% humidity), morning of Saturday, August 4.

Start of the Neptune City Day 5K race.  Photos by Bob Both

Jared Hanko, 21, of Montville was the one to break the finish-line tape held by the town’s Mayor Robert Brown and Neptune High School sophomore Erinn Edwards, located on Riverview Avenue at Memorial/Municipal Beach Park that overlooks Shark River Bay, and become the event’s 2012 champion, at a racing time of 17:01 (17 minutes and 1 second). Second and third males, respectively were Josiah Hanko, 16, (brother of the champion), also of Montville, at 17:17 and Chris Blume, 45, of Summit at 17:23.


Jared Hanko crosses the finish line at 17:04

“I was together with my brother (runner-up) for a good part of the first mile, then I took the lead and kept it,” said Hanko (Jared) when asked if he were in front for the whole 3.1 miles. “I like this course because, compared to the last course I ran on, this one is flat,” the champion further offered and thinks that this racing time could be his best for a road race but on a school track it is 15:30. “Hot and humid,” said both brothers when asked about the weather.

Dactilia Booth, 36, of Long Branch was first in for the women at 18:59 (5th place overall) from the loop course that started on West Sylvania Avenue and Hwy. #35, adjacent to the Neptune City First Aid building, which served as the sign-up area, proceeded west to Oxford Way and turned onto Sixth Avenue and meandered its way to the Park. Spotswood’s Nicole Salge, 21, was second at 20:53 (14th overall) and Ashleigh Lesko, 16, of Hellertown, PA, at 21:44 (22nd overall) rounded out the top three women.


Dactilia Booth finishes at 19:01

“The first hundred yards or so another female was ahead of me but then I caught her and was in front and it stayed that way until the finish,” said Booth in describing her championship performance. “I like this course a lot, it’s my third time running it and it has a lot of turns and you get to see the different neighborhoods,” she added and agreed with the men leaders about the weather, “Hot and humid.”

Receiving the top three Neptune City male awards: Pat Ford 17:49, Joe Bughe 20:31, Sidney Wells 21;40; top three females: Julia Cooper 22:53, Laurie Nolan 24:21, Patty Carroll 25:31.

Pat Ford crosses the finish at 17:49

“Except for London (Olympic thoughts) Neptune City has the best course,” said 52-year-old Pat Ford, town leader, when asked to comment and further added, “I want to thank Mary Sapp (race director) and all the volunteers and the public workers for putting on the race – the runners have the easy thing, all we have to do is run – it’s the organizers and the volunteers who have to do all the work.”

“My performance was acceptable – this is a wonderful run – one of the strongest community supports, and we get to see this lovely town of Neptune City,” said Tim Mahoney, 52, of Belmar who finished at 22:21 a highly respectable 7:12 per-mile pace.  Mahoney is a retired NJ State Police officer and past president of the JSRC. He continues to serve the membership and the running/racewalking community by being the director of the club’s annual 9/11 Memorial Run presented on that infamous date at the Belmar/Spring Lake boardwalk. He reminds us, his club-member friends, often of the Memorial Run and emphasizes that it is a highly dignified run/jog and not a race so as to invite non-runners and non-club members to get involved on September 11 at 6 p.m. starting in Belmar across from Dunkin Donuts.

Neptune City’s Joe Renzella, 70, clocked a 31:47 racing time and said the weather was “hot and muggy” but then the highly decorated Vietnam veteran, with four Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart, added that “it was good the race started at 8 a.m.” Renzella’s racing time won him 3rd place award in his new 70-79 age group.

“I ran with my same effort but this is the longest 5K I’ve ever had.” said Joseph La Bruno, 80, of Bayonne who posted a 35:38 racing time. He further explained: “Once you hit 80, the times are like falling off a cliff!”

Other very mature senior citizens who enjoyed the race: Marilyn Ryder, 71 at 28:16 Long Branch;  Albert Swan, 72, at 30:03, Clifton;  Joseph Viala, 70, at 31:31, Asbury Park;  Sandra Risley, 71, at 37:17, Whiting;  Dolores, 75 and Harry Papirman , 81 also of Whiting at 38:12 (husband and wife ran together);  Carolyn Cornell, 73, at 41:27, North Bergen;  Pete Semple, 81, at 42:44, Spring Lake. The readers might conclude that these senior runners/racewalkers might just agree with the famous quote attributed to others but mainly Jackie Robinson of Major League Baseball Hall of Fame: “Life Is Not a Spectator Sport!”

Phil Hinck, past president of the JSRC, and race director of many Shore area races including the nationally recognized Spring Lake Five and George Sheehan Classic was, along with being available to assist in the many activities needed for the event, the race starter/organizer today. Just prior to the 8 a.m. start, at Sylvania Avenue, he introduced Neptune City Mayor Robert Brown who thanked the racers for participating and wished for them to have a good race. The Mayor then introduced Erica Kostyz of Ocean Township who gave a fine rendition of “God Bless America.” Hinck then assembled the racers to the starting line, advised them to take water at the three designated spots and Mayor Brown voiced a loud, “Ready-Go” and the racers were off following the lead police car driven by Lieutenant John Matthews.

Eric Lauenstein of the Neptune City First Aid Squad, drove the race’s follow-up ambulance and reported, “All went well; we had absolutely no emergencies.”

Mary Sapp, race director, along with Mayor Brown and Fred Rummel, Monmouth County Parks Commissioner and director of Wall Township’s Fourth of July Firecracker Five, presented gift certificates and medals to the aforementioned winners and age-group leaders from a platform on the scenic grounds of the park. The event’s sponsors were written on the back of the racers’ T-shirts. Bill Boyajian of Best Racing Systems, along with Ray Durborow, organized the finish-line activities and computer results, using B-Tag chips from Chronotrack, all of which can be found on

 “I want to thank Phil and Penny Hinck of the JSRC and all the volunteers who do the many things necessary to put on a race. A special thanks to all our sponsors especially Retro Fitness of Neptune City. I want to especially recognize the Neptune City Police Department and neighboring police departments for excellent traffic control.  Thanks, also, for the patience of motorists who had to be diverted for the safety of our racers,” said Mary Sapp, race director, in concluding E-mail comments.

Other race finishers:

Herald area:

   Barbara Donelik 26:33 and Patricia Quigley 26:34, Middletown;  Jennifer Smith 26:50, Highlands;  Lisa Marie Oconnell 28:44, Monmouth Beach;  Jennifer Woods 36:24, Red Bank;  Jacki Dempsey 36:58, Oceanport;  Tess Hodder 47:37, Monmouth Beach.

Other Neptune City leaders:

   Ed Allurtos 22:35,  Evan Brown 23:18, Jack Oconnell 24:18,  Thomas Ayers 24:24,  Jeff Raymond 25:16,  Steven Sternik 25:29,  Seoms Montasm 25:52,  Meghan Greene 26:20,  William Wells 26:25,  Jennifer Neice 26:34,  Michael Yus chak 26:46,  Liam Malasy 26:48,  Erin Maciorowski 26:54,  Tom Arnone 27:28 (former mayor, now Freeholder),  Jack Gallsymer 27:38,  Carolyn Coman 27:45,  Christopher Tallman 28:54,  Ryan Gallahe 28:59,  Courtney Dalton 29:03,  Phil Allegro 29:22,  Amy Dancision 29:23,  James Frostick 29:26,  Marisa Albano 29:27,  Joseph Tallman 29:56,  Karlyn McGuigan 30:58,  Alex Frosstick 31:05.

Other Monmouth County leaders:

   Jack Goh 19:30, Ocean;  Scott Linnell 20:07, Colts Neck;  Will Spector 20:36, Manalapan;  Stephen Luz 21:05, Holmdel;  Mike Oconnell 21:09, Belmar;  Marty Fitzpatrick 21:21 and Ben Schwartz 21:35, Loch Arbor;  Patrick McIntyre 21:40, Bradley Beach;  Steven Schwartz 21:54, Loch Arbor;  Tori Gerstenacker 21:56, Howell;  Amanda Karabin 21:57;  Didnosio Diaz 22:02, Farmingdale;  Gabby Barrett 22:20,  Frank Dilello 22:27, Ocean;  Madelline Schwartz 22:28, Loch Arbor;  Karen Gregory 22:30, Bradley Beach;  Robert Galizio 22:31, Spring Lake;  Liz Spector 22:35, Manalapan;  Bill Young 22:36 and Pete Bruno 22:47, Howell;  Jeff Ragle 23:09, Ocean;  Christina Benanti 23:23, Belmar;  Robert Davidson 23:41, Wall;  Kelleigh Fulton 23:47, Spring Lake;  Stephanie Cupo 24:06, Eatontown;  Garth Greer Jr. 24:20, Wall;  Christopher White 24:44, Spring Lake;  Michael Zippo 24:48, Bradley Beach;  Rob Hulzberg 24:55, Asbury Park;  Chet Szymanski 25:05, Belmar;  Michael Radwenski 25:08, Neptune.       

Road racing continues on Saturday, August 11, with the Asbury Park 5K at 8:30 a.m. at Bradley Park, across from Convention Hall.  More info on upcoming races can be found at and