jsrc ap5k 2013 startPHOTO: Start of 2013 Asbury Park 5K

ASBURY PARK, NJ - The eleventh annual Asbury Park 5K road race is August 9, 2014 beginning at 8:30 a.m. and it promises to be a lot of fun for both runners and spectators alike.

This is a local race presented by the local running community of the Shore Athletic Club (SAC), the Freehold Area Running Club (FARC) and the Jersey Shore Running Club (JSRC) to raise funds for local Jersey Shore non-profits, local organizations which can often be overlooked by larger fundraisers.  For 2014, event beneficiaries include the Play it Forward scholarship program of Asbury Park Musical Heritage Foundation and Lakehouse Music Academy,  Mary’s Place by the Sea, Ocean Grove, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County.

Registration for the Asbury Park 5K is open to all and it registration is now $25 through July 31 and $30 on race day, August 9. The Asbury Park 5K course is fast, flat and spectator friendly— those who come to watch will get to see the runners pass twice as the race features a double-loop course that begins and ends at Bradley Park opposite Convention Hall at Sunset and Ocean Avenues. The course proceeds along Ocean Avenue prior to turning left onto Fifth Avenue. Another left will take runners onto Grand Avenue, then a slight left onto Cookman Avenue and back to Ocean Avenue before going around again.

With Kids’ Races immediately following the 5K race in the park, it will be a fun-file day for the entire family. The Kids’ distances vary with the child’s age and all children receive a medal and refreshments. Plus you and the family can stop by the sponsor and merchant tables in Atlantic Square Park for sampling and giveaways. There will be free beach access with your race bib number. Other amenities for the race include a Massage Tent so you can loosen up those tired muscles, courtesy of AMTA massage volunteers, showers and relaxation at the Asbury Park Waterfront Info Center, and the famous traditional, retro design tie-dyed racing shirt that guarantees no two shirts are alike that every runner and volunteer receives for their participation.

The race would not be able to take place without the generous support of many Jersey Shore businesses and organizations including: Friends of the Spring Lake Five, McLoone's Supper Club, iStar FinanciaL, Meridian Health, Living Rich with Coupons, Miles Ahead Sports, Johanna Foods Wakefern, Campbell, Foley, Delano & Adams, LLC., The John C. Conover Agency, Robert A. Galizio, Esq., Pringle-Quinn-Anzano, Dr. T Shirt, Madison Marquette and the Belmar Five Mile Run.

According to race director, Phil Hinck, 1484 runners completed the race in 2013 and he’s hoping for 2000 finishers this year. He stated the Asbury Park race began 11 years ago, and organizers picked the second Saturday in August for the 5K to pay tribute to the former Asbury Park 10K Classic, which moved up the Parkway to Red Bank in the 1990s to become the Sheehan Classic (marathon great Bill Rodgers won the first Asbury Park 10K in 1982). Hinck said 5K was selected as the distance to enable more people to compete. “The casual runner nowadays runs one or two miles and does other activities like cycling,” said Hinck. “To them, five miles seems a long way.” The race is geared toward runners of all abilities and Hinck encourages runners and walkers alike to come out, have fun and spend a day at the beach.

It’s easy to register. simply download a registration from from the Jersey Shore Running Club Web site  or register online at: http://asburypark.jsrc.org. You can also register in person on Friday, August 8 at the Packet Pickup taking place 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. in the arcade at Convention Hall. “Last Minute Lous” can sign up Saturday morning, August 9, before the race at Atlantic Square Park across from Convention Hall on Ocean Avenue starting at 7:00 a.m.

The Asbury Park 5K is the fourth event of the Jersey Shore Golden Grand Prix, a series of races that offers awards to overall winners and age-group category winners sponsored by McLoone’s. The five races are: Spring Lake 5, George Sheehan Classic, Belmar 5, Asbury Park 5K and the Pier House 5K, held o Labor Day in Long Branch. Further information about the series can be found at www.jsgrandprix.com.