PHOTO: Start of 2013 Pier House race.
LONG BRANCH, NJ - The revitalized Long Branch beachfront will be the site of the 11th Annual Pier House 5K road race on Labor Day Monday, September 1st. Racetime is 8:30 am. The goal of the event is to bring community-minded runners to Long Branch to witness first-hand the amazing growth and post-Sandy rebirth in the area.
"The Pier House believes deeply in strong community relationships and this is just one indication of that", said co-race founder Tim McLoone, whose restaurant was one of the first projects opened in Pier Village. In the past 10 years, race proceeds of over $20,000 have been donated to several area charities, including Habitat for Humanity, CPC Behavioral Healthcare, Valerie Fund, Long Branch Recreation and the Long Branch Fire Company. The 2014 event will benefit Holiday Express, whose mission is to deliver music, food, gifts, financial support and friendship to those with the greatest need for the gift of human kindness during the holiday season and throughout the year.
Participating volunteer groups from Monmouth University, local running clubs and area high school cross country teams have also been presented with donations. The Jersey Shore Running Club is the largest running club in New Jersey with over 1,500 members. Dedicated to both running and to the community, JSRC events support local community and charitable organizations.
As the concluding race of the Jersey Shore Golden Grand Prix, sponsored by McLoone's, prize money will be awarded to the top open and age group finishers. A commemorative gift will be presented to every runner who finished all five grand prix races - the Spring Lake 5, the Sheehan Classic, the Belmar 5, the Asbury Park 5K, and, of course, the Pier House 5K. For the eleventh anniversary of the series, those who participate in all five 2014 races will each get a $50 McLoone’s restaurant gift card, plus entry into a drawing for a Grand Prize ($1000 value).
Current Grand Prix leaders after four races are Michael O’Connor of Spring Lake for the men with 317 points, followed by last year’s Grand Prix Champion Andrew Brodeur with 300 points, and Antonio Meza Soriano of Red Bank and Brian Prendergast of Brick tied for third with 296 points each. The women’s race has point leader Kellee Hand of Howell with 336 points, followed by a tie for second: Kathy Kropke, Avon, and Christine Hill, Middletown each have 311 points. After points are awarded for performances at the Pier House 5K, champions will be crowned on Labor Day.
This year the Pier House 5K will again feature the addition of kids’ races following the main event on Monday on the Great Lawn of Long Branch, with various distances for children ranging, from ages 1 up to 12. All kids will receive a commemorative medal.
"The day will be a festive one with music, prizes, and refreshments for all the participants", continued McLoone. "We hope lots of runners will conclude their summer seasons in Long Branch.”
Registration information for the Pier House 5K can be found at http://pierhouse5k.jsrc.org or (732) 571-2162.