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Start of 2013 George Sheehan Classic 5K.  Photos by Bob Both, JSRC.org

RED BANK, NJ - Thirteen hundred and 95 (1395) road racers competed in the 20th annual George Sheehan Classic 5K (until last year it was a five-mile race) on a course that starts and finishes on Broad Street in Red Bank, continues onto Bergen, Silverton, Prospect Streets then onto Harding Road where the racers are confronted with challenging Tower Hill, on the sunny, windless, warm, great-running-weather morning of June 15. This Classic was named one of the Top 100 Road Races by Runner’s World magazine and the Best Memorial in New Jersey by the New York Times.

Coming in first and breaking the finish-line tape held by Leslie McKernan, Atl. Highlands, member of the Jersey Shore Running Club (JSRC) and Penny Hinck, wife of race director, was Andrew Brodeur, 23, of Brick at a racing time of 15:12 (15 minutes and 12 seconds), a speedy 4:54 per mile pace. Rounding out the top five male finishers who would, along with the females, receive special awards were George Galasso, 22, Holmdel at 15:30;  Craig Segal, 29, of Highlands at 15:36;  Robert Cavanaugh, 35, West Long Branch at 15:44;  Timothy Mulligan, 32, of Whiting at 15:53. 

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PHOTO: Andrew Brodeur crosses 15:12

"There was a group of us running together for about the first mile, then I took the lead and it stayed that way until the finish," said Brodeur in describing his championship performance. "On the course there were hills that I wasn't expecting," the champion further informed and of the weather," I thought it was going to be hotter but it turned out to be OK."

In talking with runner-up Galasso, he complimented the winner with, “I got to take my hat off to him. At the first mile he (champion) made a pretty significant move and none of us could catch him.” And he thought the weather was, “just great!”

Reeders, Pa, Jennifer Malavolta, 42, was the female winner with a 17:48 (17th place overall) racing time. Rounding out the top five female finishers: Briana Feerst, 19, Brick at 17:59 (21 overall);  Jamie Liberti, 27, Middletown at 18:17 (24 overall);  Jennifer Nelson, 23, Barnegat at 18:24 (27 overall);  Tina Morrison, 28, Washington, DC at 18:31 (32 overall).

 “In comparison to the ideal, it was a bit warm so I guess I’d conclude it was near perfect,” offered the female champion when asked about the weather. She further informed that she was the lead female for the entire 3.1 miles.

Ocean Township’s Bob Hayes, 62, finished at 51:05 and repeated his comment from last year: “I’m glad they (race committee) included the defining element of this event: Tower Hill.”

“People should come out and run this, it’s not a hard run, even with the hill (Tower Hill). Prior to last year we had to run four miles and we still had the hill but now it’s only two miles before we have the hill, so it’s much easier,” said Harry Papirman, 82, of Whiting who finished at 31:50, a 10:16 pace.

“As long as I can function physically OK, I will plan to sign up for this Sheehan Classic for as long as it’s presented,” said Olie Nelson, 77, of Farmingdale who finished at 27:57 – thirty seconds faster than last year – good going Olie!

 Members and officers of Freehold Area Running Club were the many workers doing their know-how duties at the finish-line area, along with many members of the girls’ cross country team of Middletown High School South, supervised by coach Bill Clifton.

This event also includes The Kids’ Classics: races for 4-year-olds to 13, consisting of distances of 50 yards to a half mile and are presented the night before at Marine Park. The kids were treated to smoothies and balloons, and each received a medal.

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PHOTO: Jennifer Malavolta crosses at  17:48

At the starting line across from Red Bank Catholic High School and Saint James Church, director Phil Hinck, making use of the loud speaker system provided by Main Street Productions, offered pre-race instructions to the assembled racers, including the importance of a “no headphone policy”  in the race-finish area to allow runners to hear finish line volunteers and emergency  personnel. Our National Anthem was sung by Maya Jacoby, a nine-year-old student going into the 4th grade in the Ranney School.

 Michael Sheehan, one of the many offspring of Doctor George Sheehan who was family spokesman, was introduced and here are some of his remarks: “Welcome everybody to a beautiful Father’s Day weekend here in Red Bank and to the 20th running of the George Sheehan Classic. I want to thank Phil and Penny Hinck, (race director and wife) the race committee, the volunteers and the sponsors and I especially want to thank all of you for coming out to challenge yourselves (applause). This past year we were asked by Runner’s World and Rodale Books to partner with them to relaunch my father’s writing to today’s growing generation of runners. So we are very pleased to have republished a 35-year anniversary of Running & Being to be released in October (applause).       

 “As for today, my father often referred to the three stages of the race: First there is the practice, the training you put in to getting here. Second is the participation, the race itself where you put yourself to the test to endure the pain of trying to give it your all. And when you cross that line, hopefully you will get that warm feeling of peace that comes after the effort. And lastly, the third stage after the race is over, is the party to share and enjoy your experience of food and drink and music with friends and fellow runners.  Enjoy the race, everyone " ! (much applause)

Director Hinck gave his usual loud, very loud, “ Ready, Set, Go,” and the racers were off! 

“A stunning day with moderate temperatures greeted the runners over the popular 5k course;  we had a very successful race, in participation of runners, volunteers, spectators and families thanks to our sponsors and tremendous support from the Sheehan family. In addition to the traditional t-shirt for participants, all finishers this year were presented with a runner’s cap, to commemorate the 20th running of the Classic.  Continuing a tradition, runners and volunteers were treated to a great post-race celebration at Brannigan’s.  Many thanks to the Red Bank and Little Silver police departments, and area First Aid Squads for their cooperation and for the volunteers from school teams (including St. James soccer and cross county teams), local service organizations (including Lunch Break) and area running clubs (JSRC, FARC, SAC).  Thanks also to residents encouraging the runners along the course, and the patience of area motorists who had to be detoured for the safety of our racers. It was great to see so many enjoying  this 10th Anniversary Jersey Shore Grand Prix (sponsored by McLoone’s) series event,  knowing the series supports area beneficiaries.  A very special thanks to my wife, Penny, who is the very heart of racing at the Jersey Shore,” wrote Phil Hinck, race director, in a summarizing E-mail.

Other leading finishers of the memorial George Sheehan Classic, many of whom, along with the aforementioned winners and top finishers, might agree with these quotes attributed to the late beloved Running Doc:

"There are as many reasons for running as there are days in the year, years in my life. But mostly I run because I am an animal and a child, an artist and a saint. So, too, are you. Find your own play, your own self-renewing compulsion, and you will become the person you are meant to be." - "Sweat cleanses from the inside; it comes from places a shower will never reach." - "Happiness is different from pleasure. Happiness has something to do with struggling and enduring and accomplishing." -  “The true runner is a very fortunate person; he has found something in him that is just perfect.” -  "Once you have decided that winning isn't everything, you become a winner."  –  “Out on the roads there is fitness and self-discovery and the persons we were destined to be.”

 Also printed on this year’s race’s T-shirt: “The Race is where we keep the faith in the child, the saint and artist in each of us.”  Last year’s T-shirt had this: “Success rests in having the courage and endurance and above all, the will to become yourself.”

Leading finishers of the Atlantic Highlands Herald area:

   Red Bank:  Antonio Meza Soriano 17:58,  James Rimmele 17:59,  Caitlin Dorgan 18:38,  Matt Flannery 19:20,  Kalyan Ghosh 20:42,  Scott Devona 20:56,  Nicole Corre 21:15,  Jenny Rossano 21:27,  Jennifer Cane-Lefkowitz 22:12,  Scott Tucek 22:21,  Julie Dynak 22:23,  Eric Jacobsen 22:27,  Bryan Andrew 22:32.

    Other Herald area:  Brendan Kirchner 17:04, Patrick Hill 17:17 and James Rivers 18:05, Rumson;  Jamie Liberti 18:17 and Ken Shatzar 18:19, Middletown;  Sean Rath 18:25 and Kyle Shenk 18:26, Atl.Highlands;  Ian White 18:37, Little Silver;  Daniel Campbell 18:48, Christopher Dunkak 18:49,  Brian Hill 19:08 and Raymond Castellano 19:18, Middletown;  Shannon McCarthy 19:19 Fair Haven;  Mario Gagliano 19:22, Locust;  James Tomasuillo 19:34, Middletown;  Henry Mercer 19:42, Locust;  David Rowe 19:57, Middletown;  Dawn Wilcox 20:06, Little Silver;  David Zurheide 20:17, Middletown;  Caren McCormack 20:22, Little Silver;  John Gore 20:25, Leonardo;  Katie Connor 20:26, Rumson;  Paddy Sciortino 20:29 and Drew Maher 20:32, Monmouth Beach;  Lisa Zino 20:35, Atl. Highlands;  Christopher Bellinger 20:44, Little Silver;  Matthew Foulks 20:48, Belford;  Robert Corre 20:51, Little Silver;  Elizabeth Gredett 21:04, Fair Haven;  Michael Metlitz 21:08, Little Silver;  Greg McPolin 21:15, Locust;  Peter Lyden 21:19, Rumson;  Jared Rumage 21:21, Fair Haven;  Dana Jacoby 21:24, Monmouth Beach;  Ted Mellor 21:32, Little Silver;  Jamie Blalock 21:33 and Andrew Lino 21:36, Rumson;  Christine Hill 21:36, Middletown;  Grace Cashman 24:41, Little Silver;  Gabriella Kelly 21:44, Monmouth Beach;  Mike Colman 21:51, Fair Haven;  Ali Bennett 21:55, Little Silver;  Brian Hill 21:58, Middletown.  

 Other Monmouth County area:  Pat D’Alessandro 17:15, Asbury Park;  Anthony Fioto 17:26, Manalapan;  Charles Rogers 17:33, Wall;  Michael O’Connor 18:23, Spring Lake;  Doug Twyman 19:12, Sea Girt;  Jeffrey Cody 19:16, Holmdel;  Seng Goh 19:29, Ocean;  Kristan Andrews 19:31, Manalapan;  Matthew Dauria 19:49, Wayside;  Joshua Orsag 19:51, Freehold;  Scott Linnell 19:54, Colts Neck;  Jerilyn Rembisz 19:55, Lincroft;  Paul Gilly 19:56, Freehold;  Tony Plaster 20:22, Neptune City;  Brendan Swan 20:38, Freehold;  Kathy Kropke 20:42, Avon;  Kenny Baldo 20:54, Manalapan;  Frank Francobandiero 20:57, Shrewsbury.

Complete results can be found at www.sheehanclassic.org.

Many road-racing events continue and their schedules are posted on the websites of www.jsrc.org and www.farcnj.com.    Next up for the Jersey Shore Grand Prix, sponsored by McLoone's, is the 37th Annual Belmar Five Mile Run on July 13, info at www.JSgrandprix.com.