BELMAR, NJ - With the weatherman's offering of a mainly cloudy sky, with 80-degrees temperature, 2182 road racers competed in the 34rd annual, picturesque Belmar Five Johnny Cobb Memorial Run on this hot and humid-racing-weather morning of July 10. The event is presented by the Goodwill Hose Company of the Belmar Fire Department in cooperation with the borough of Belmar and the Jersey Shore Running Club (JSRC).
Start of Belmar 5 - Photos Bob Both, www.jsrc.org
Prior to the 8:30 a.m. start, Phil Hinck, race director, introduced Angela Huenerfau of Bradley Beach who gave a fine rendition of the National Anthem. Her church choirmaster back in Springfield Pennsylvania would be proud. Then Hinck sounded the starting horn and the racers dashed from their Second and Ocean Avenue starting line, just beyond the Shark River Bridge and followed the lead vehicle driven by Ray Elms of the Belmar Beach Patrol. They proceeded south on Ocean Avenue to and around Lake Como, returned to Ocean Avenue then northward and turned left on 6th Avenue, meandered through streets and residences around Silver Lake and finished at the digital clock, set up by Eliteracingsystems.com, along with the other finish-line equipment, on Fifth and Ocean Avenues.
James Gathoga crosses the finish line.
James Gathoga, 31, Newark, was first to cross the finish line and receive a medal, that all finishers would receive, at a racing time of 24:40 (24 minutes and 40 seconds). Three weeks ago he won the 5-mile George Sheehan Classic in Red Bank at 24:44 so he’s 4 seconds faster for that same distance today. Andrew Brodeur, 20, Brick, was second at 25:33 followed by Tim Mulligan, 35, Whiting, at 25:34; Jimmy Lynch, 45, New York City, at 25:40 and Michael Dixon, 27, Fanwood, at 25:53.
“No, I raced him a couple of weeks ago and I know what he (Gathoga) is capable of,” said runner-up Brodeur when asked if tried to catch the leader. “It’s humid but it’s good that the sun stayed in,” he said of the weather.
Noel Brock crosses the finish line.
Noel Brock, 32, of Toms River was the women’s winner at 28:36 (this is three seconds faster than last year when she also won) and she too got a medal but also a carnation which all women would get. Second-place woman was Emily McGregor, 23, Philadelphia, PA, at 29:32 followed by Isabella Nyamwange, 31, Jersey City at 30:41, Dactilia Booth, 34, Long Branch at 30:51 and Abby Dean, 38, of Philadelphia, PA.at 30:55. The top five males and females receive special awards.
“I always am a little bit nervous when I know it’s going to be hot, but actually it worked out good today because it rained a bit just before the start,” Brock said in initial comments. “I was out in front the whole way, no other woman was ahead of me,” she further offered and although she isn’t sure she does think that her time today might be her fastest here at Belmar. “Absolutely!” the women’s champion said when asked if she would be doing this event next year.
Jim Cuevas crosses the finish line.
Four wheelchair competitors began their race two minutes prior to the main starting time and followed the same scenic course. Jim Cuevas, 19, of Jersey City was first at 22:30 followed by Jerson Calderon, 15, of Hillsdale at 25:46; Raymond Martin, 16, of Jersey City at 26:06 and Chelsea Crytzer, 19, of Parsippany at 26:07.
Teams of four racers each also competed and the racing time of each member was averaged in among all four. The winning team's name was RVRR (Raritan Valley Road Runners) Beer Mile Champs. The team's average time was 27:44 made up of Michael Dixon, Mike Anis, William Hulbert and Michael Loenser.
Belmar’s Tim Mahoney recently retired from the New Jersey State Police, is a past-president of the JSRC and offered his thoughts on the event, after spending a couple of minutes under the cool spray at the finish-line area provided by one of the firetrucks: “Now that’s what I call a ‘first’ aid,” Mahoney said (referring to the welcome cool spray) and then continued: “My time was off today, Jim, (36:25 as compared to last year’s 35:41) due to the heat and humidity and a lot more positive activity in my life - Belmar as a community is wonderful and the support of the cheering residents is unmatched.” Mahoney continues to serve the JSRC membership as the director of the annual 9/11 Memorial Run that is presented on that infamous date at 6 p.m. on the Belmar/Spring Lake boardwalk and he insists on all knowing that it’s not a race but a highly dignified leisurely run or jog so as to invite the general public. So remember the 9/11 Memorial Run. His parting comment: “I will never forget 9/11!”
Richard Henderson, 58, of Philadelphia, PA, was in at 35:04, just a tiny bit slower than a seven-minute mile. “I was pretty pleased, Jim, my times are coming down just a little bit,” when asked his thoughts on his performance today and of the weather: “Well, you had to be training in this hot stuff in order to succeed today, that’s for sure.” He further said, “It’s a great course, a lot of friendly people out there, and a lot of water.” Henderson makes the long trip because as he has indicated in past interviews, “There’s nothing like running at the Jersey Shore – there’s always plenty of parking, there are many running clubs that provide running year round and they are all very well organized.”
“I did what I wanted to do, I did about 42 and a half,” said Dick Hill, 73, of Middletown, when asked to comment on his performance today. “It was hot but it could have been worse,” he further offered. His time was 42:32 and that earned him 2nd place award of the sixteen in his 70-74 age-group and with five competitors in the 75-79 age-group, it made a total of 21 septuagenarians with James Leitz, 70, of Bayonne leading them all at a blistering 36:52. Two octogenarians raced today also: Mark Sandomeno of Belmar at 47:59 and Samuel Giuliano of South Orange at 1:08:42.
Monmouth University Coach Taryn Landers, 27, of Belmar, finished at 33:50 and was 6th of 25 competitors in her 20-29 age group. She was substituting for head coach Joe Compagni and had six Monmouth University cross-country students in the race. “I like the course because it goes right by my apartment” but then added that, “the lakes and ocean make it very picturesque.”
It wasn’t the repetitive “windy, windy, windy” words that women’s champion Amber Hart used in describing the Sgt. Pat’s 5K race in Long Branch on the oceanfront, a year ago on Easter Saturday, during a northeast storm. When being interviewed today during this annual Belmar race that she finished at 31:59, 8th woman overall, still being repetitive, she chose the more meaningful words of “hot, hot, hot” to describe today’s weather.
Four water spots were available at the mile-marker areas organized by Bob Hyer, past-president of the Freehold Area Running Club and they were serviced by volunteers from W.L.Gore Associates, the New Jersey Natural Gas, and local residents.
“We treated about 12 or 14 people, all heat related, one transported to the hospital, all the rest were treated and released,” said Captain Rick Hines of the Belmar First Aid when asked if there were any emergency problems.
This race is part of the Jersey Shore Golden Grand Prix, a series of five races that offers prize money to overall winners and age-group category winners. The other events are: Spring Lake Five, George Sheehan Classic, Asbury Park 5K, and the CPC Pier House 5K. Further information can be found on the series website: www.jsgrandprix.com.
This annual event actually began on Friday evening, July 9, at the Silver Lake park across from Taylor Pavilion. It included a Fitness Walk for adults, twice around Silver Lake, and a series of Kids Races, performed on grass, for nearly 250 youngsters, from ages 1 to 14 years in racing distances of 40 yards to a half-mile, organized by members of the JSRC starting at 6:30. The children’s parents, grandparents, siblings and friends were cheering them on and taking lots of pictures.
“I thought he was terrific,” said Denise Mulvihill of Spring Lake when asked what she thought of her 2-year-old -son Teddy’s racing challenge. “It’s really fun; it’s their second year doing it, his sister ran last year,” Mulvihill added. Hometowner Brooke Bohrman, thought Philip, her 2-year-old son “did a really good job” and when asked her thoughts on the entire event: “I think it’s great, I love it all because it brings the community together.” Gregory Gray of Allenwood said his 3-year-old daughter Kaitlyn “ was wonderful - she did a great job of avoiding the pile-up of the other 3-year-olds that fell in front of her.” He futher added that, “she just loves running with the other kids” and mother Eileen nodded in agreement.
Fireworks on the beach and a movie in the Park were also part of the evening’s festivities as well as the Belmar firemen demonstrating to many of the kids just how some of the equipment on the firetrucks work.
Patty Hancock, former president of the Ocean Running Club and some of the club’s members were on hand to take care of the post registration of racers.
Race Director Phil Hinck, along with Bill Huntley of Colts Neck, awarded money, and Belmar Five beach towels to the aforementioned winners and age-group leaders at the Huisman Gazebo located in the park adjacent to Silver Lake and across from Taylor Pavilion that served as the award-presentation area. Fred (assisted by Nick Morrisey) and Anna (assisted by Kim Pang) Torres of Eliteracingsystems.com, Clifton, were the professional organizers of the computer Chronotrack (B-Tag) results.
"With added challenges of high humidity and pre-race rain showers, the 2010 Belmar Five will probably be one of the most memorable years to many of the runners. I want to thank all our volunteers, especially the race committee, and the members of the Jersey Shore Running Club, and other area running clubs for their know-how efforts. I want to recognize the continued support of the Borough of Belmar and its residents, and acknowledge the patience of motorists who were detoured for the safety of the racers. I would also like to thank Belmar Public Works, Recreation, Fire and First Aid Departments and the Police Departments of Belmar and Lake Como. I want to offer a special appreciation to my wife, Penny. Thanks to the many participants this year and financial support of sponsors - the success of the race will allow it to present donations to the Goodwill Hose Co and other beneficiaries," said Phil Hinck, race director, and past president of the Jersey Shore Running Club in his final comments.
This event is named in memory of long-time Belmar resident, Johnny Cobb. In addition to being an originator of the race, he had a 25-year career in the Belmar Police Department and was also a member of the Belmar Fire Department. He was a graduate and supporter of the St. Rose school system and promoted local sports all of his life.
Other leading finishers:
Belmar Men: Kevin Hart 29:31, Shane Hart 30:51, Donald Griffin 31:20, Marc Altenau 31:43, Jack Morrissey 32:34, Mark Gilmartin 33:44, Don Gatton 35:07, Matthew Doherty 35:08, Michael Weseloski 35:18, Thomas Stoddart 35:43, Tim Mahoney 36:25, Jaack Bleach 38:16, Thomas Rogers 38:40, John Mahoney 39:39, Arthur Veilleux 41:13, Thomas Bozza 41:28, John Walsh 41:38, Andrew Chek 41:44, Gerard Ferrara 42:25, Michael Puleio 42:26, Michael Reissner 43:01, Gregory Fitzgerald 43:03, Michael Oconnell 43:11, Don Ginty 43:21, Jake Sandomeno 43:25, Jim Stevens 43:43. Michael Decristofaro 43:54,
Belmar Women: Amber Hart 31:59, Taryn Landers 33:50, Mary Kate Olsen 33:51, Annie Aaroe 38:47, Christina Benanti 39:48, Ashley Hart 39:53, Fiona Barbazon 40:32, Allie Killian 41:48, Kymm Silversey 42:00, Laurie Bandlow 42:36, Barb Christianson 44:05, Diane Georgeou 44:50, Kristen Circelli 45:03, Taylor Fowler 45:23, Devra Edelman 46:00, Kristin Martin 46:39, Mackenzie Gammons 46:40, Rebecca Herbert 47:08, Suzanne Tiffany 47:30, Erin Carvelli 47:50.
Other Monmouth County leaders:
Men: Jeffrey Di Chiara 26:56, Atl. Highlands; Herardo Avila 26:59, Fort Monmouth; Brendon Pierson 27:38, Wall; Matthew Lauletti 28:34, Manalapan; Mike O’Dowd 29:11, Colts Neck; Vincent Ferrer 29:14, Belford; Jeff Propert 29:17, Wall; Daniel Polanco 30:05, Hazlet; Joe Chen 30:09, Holmdel; Ryan Corbett 30:12, Fair Haven; Brendan Swan 30:32, Freehold; Kevin O’Dowd 31:15, Colts Neck; Brian Hill 31:17, Middletown; Karl Reyes 31:21, Holmdel; Miles Hersey 31:54, Hazlet; Bob Miller 32:18, Spring Lake; Ed Alburtus 32:23, Neptune City; Doug Twyman 32:26, Sea Girt; Mark McGuigar 32:45, Fair Haven; Ken Kropac 32:46, Lake Como Justin Cabinian 33:01, Holmdel; Terrence Maliff 33:01, Wall; Samuel Walter 33:10, Middletown; Louis Maliziesso 33:30, Bradley Beach; Scott Linnell 33:42, Colts Neck; Jason Soares 33:48, Howell; Richard Bayer 33:51 and Harley Lefkowitz 33:57, Fair Haven; Colin Jennings 34:07, Sea Girt; Dave Hoch 34:09 and Marc Jenkins 34:13, Bradley Beach; Christopher Adams 34:14, Colts Neck; Frank Cannarozzo 34:15, Holmdel.
Women: Jenna Jensen 31:41, Marlboro; Marissa Alberti 31:57, Monmouth Beach; Lisa Namath 32:40, Wall; Christine Altland 33:05, Hazlet; Dawn Wilcox 33:50, Little Silver; Chelsea Knight 34:14, Ocean Grove; Gabby Barrett 34:17, Freehold; Kathy Kropke 34:37, Avon; Ann O’Dowd 34:38, Colts Neck; Nicole Corre 34:59, Little Silver; Maureen Nocella 35:14, Red Bank; Kelly Wojciehowski 35:31, FairHaven; Amy Volek 36:28, Oakhurst; Jennifer Crombie 36:47, Freehold; Heather Langan 37:12, Manalapan; Tracy Kochian 37:34, Morganville; Laura Deykerhoff 37:36, Little Silver; Kristen Solmose 37:46, Ocean; Amy Johnson-Levonas 38:05, Holmdel; Marybeth Glaccum 38:09, Brielle; Diane Rothman 38:12, Lincroft; Kristyn Suckow 38:38 and Katie Buchbinder 38:39, Wall; Jane Erbe 38:41, Bradley Beach; Allison Wagner 38:59, Red Bank; Laura Agresta 39:05, Colts Neck; Maggie Freeman 39:13, Manalapan (in training to do an Ironman); Laura Chowansky 39:16, Sea Girt; Denise Plourde 39:17, Matawan; Kerrie Wagner 39:28, Spring Lake Heights; Meghan Molinelli 39:29, Howell; Teresa Shulman 39:34, Wall; Kristen Ingegnere 39:42, Lincroft; Dawn Ciccone 39:49, Highlands; Jan Farnung-Krause39:51, Oakhurst.