Neptune, NJ - Four Hundred and twenty-seven road racers competed in the 18th annual Neptune City Day 5K presented by the event’s racing committee in cooperation with the Jersey Shore Running Club (JSRC) on the sunny, good-racing-weather morning of Saturday, August 7.

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Travis Mahoney crosses the finish.  Photos by Jack Kearns

Travis Mahoney, 20, of Old Bridge was the one to break the finish-line tape located on Riverview Avenue at Memorial/Municipal/Beach Park, at a racing time of 16:31 (16 minutes and 31 seconds). Jeff Propert, 29, of Wall was second at 17:12 and third place went to Belmar’s Shane Hart at 17:32.

“I was together with two other guys for the first two miles and then I made a move and finished alone,” said Mahoney in describing his championship performance. Alone he was; the runner-up finished 31 seconds later. “It’s beautiful, it’s not too hot like the summer has been,” he said when asked about the weather. Mahoney further informed that his best 5K effort was !4:40 but not in a road race it was done on a school track.

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Dactilia Booth crosses the finish.

Dactilia Booth, 34, of Long Branch was first in for the women at 18:44 (12th 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. Belmar’s Amber Hart, 31 was second at 19:11 (18th overall) and Erin Lunny, 21, of Middletown at 19:16 (19th overall) rounded out the top three women

“In the beginning (of the race) there were two women in front of me but by the second mile I passed them and stayed in front to the finish,” said Dactilia when asked to comment.  “I liked the course, there were turns but not too many and I do like turns in a race,” she offered and of the weather: ”It was near perfect.”

Runner-up Hart is the 2009 Sgt.Pat’s 5K women’s champion and during that oceanfront Long Branch 3.1 mile race presented always on Easter Saturday the runners were confronted with a northeast storm and she described the weather realistically with the words “Windy, windy, windy!” On July 10 at the Belmar Five Mile Race where she finished at 31:59 (8th woman overall) she again described the weather realistically with “Hot,hot,hot!” Today when asked about the weather she said, “I would have said ‘Perfect, perfect, perfect !’ but there is just a bit of humidity out there.”

Pat Ford, 50, at 18:38 (11th overall) was the top Neptune City award winner and Ed Alburtus, 48, was second in that category at 19:49 (30th overall) followed by Scott Parker, 47, at 21:58 (54th overall).

“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,” said Ford when asked to comment.

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The top Neptune City leading females were Alyssa Keleigh, 12, at 25:37 (144th overall); Marissa Albano, 13, at 26:05 (155th overall) and Patty Carroll, 50, at 26:51 (173rd overall).

Although this event does not have a racewalk division, Elliott Denman, 76, of West Long Branch followed all the striding rules and racewalked the distance at a good pace of 12:56 per mile and recorded a 40:08. Area runners and racewalkers know of Denman’s being an Olympian racewalker in 1956 and are proud to know of that fact and to be a friend of his.

Neptune City’s Mayor Thomas Arnone finished at 28:06, a very respectable racing time of a 9:03 per-mile pace but just a bit slower than last year. “I look forward to this day, we’re very fortunate - we have a ton of volunteers to make this happen, and that’s what Neptune City is all about,” offered the enthusiastic mayor, who was on hand at early registration to be helpful at whatever was needed.  Along with the race, Neptune City Day includes a craft show, food fair, contests, Kids’ rides, bocce tournament and fireworks at 9:00 p.m.

Long Branch’s Marilyn Ryder, mother-in-law and mother of Phil and Penny Hinck, well-known race directors/organizers, was in at 29:05, a 9:22 per-mile pace, that earned her the 1st place award in the 60-69 age-group. “I like the course, there are a lot of people out there cheering us on and showing us the way to go (there are many turns during the last mile). There are a lot of police protecting us from traffic and I feel safe the whole way.” When asked about the weather: “Today is a perfect day for running.”

“I thought it was pretty good, I just got back from Vancouver this week and haven’t been running, maybe because the Canadian beer is so good,” said Howell’s James (Jim) Bergum, 61,  who posted a 26:23 racing time, when asked what he thought of his performance today. “It’s probably been the best weather we’ve had all summer,” he said when asked about condtions. Bergum continues to serve the running/racewalking community by being the webmaster for the Freehold Area Running Club ( [email protected] ).

“I’ve had a tough summer, but nonetheless this is the best weather Neptune City has ever given us,” said Tim Mahoney, 50, of Belmar, who finished at 21:36 a respectable 6:58 per-mile pace. “The community support is no doubt the best,” he further offered.

Mahoney, a retired officer from the New Jersey State Police, is the past-president of the JSRC and also serves as director of the club’s annual 9/11 Memorial Run presented on that infamous date at the Belmar/Spring Lake boardwalk. He emphasizes that it is a highly dignified run/jog and not a race so as to invite non-runners to get involved at 6 p.m. starting in Belmar across from Dunkin Donuts.

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 today. Just prior to the 8 a.m. start, at Sylvania Avenue, he introduced Erica Kostyz of Ocean Township who gave a super rendition of “God Bless America.” Hinck then assembled the racers to the starting line, advised them to take water at the designated spots, voiced a loud “Ready-Go!” and the racers were off following the lead police car driven by Lieutenant Louis Trocchio Sr. and accompanied by Edward D. Kirschenbaum Sr., Director of Public Safety.

Eric Lauenstein of the Neptune City First Aid Squad, rode in the race’s follow-up ambulance, driven by Sergeant Vicky Butler and reported, “All went well; we had absolutely no emergencies.”

Mary Sapp, race director, along with Mayor Arnone, Hinck and Fred Rummel, Monmouth County Parks Commisioner 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. Bill Boyajian of Best Racing Systems assisted by his son Eric who is going into his sophomore year at New Jersey Institute of Technology, along with Ray Durborow, organized the finish-line activities and computer results, using D-Tag chips from Chronotrack, all of which can be found on www.bestrace.com or www.jsrc.org

“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, neighboring police departments, along with Ocean Grove Citizens Patrol 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; who was assisted by Susan Hewitson, also a race-committee member, in concluding comments.

Race area leading finishers:

Neptune City:  Pat Ford 18:38,  Ed Alburtus 19:49,  Evan Brown 22:51,  Matt Edwards 23:21,  David Hoecker 23:22,  Alyssa Keleigh 25:37,  Marissa Albano 26:05,  Joseph Renzella 26:10,  Patty Carroll 26:51,  Sue Mitchell 27:44,  Emily Hackett 27:51,  Tommy Arnone 28:06,  Beth Westrich 28:48,  John Warhurst 28:49,  Karlyn McGuigan 28:51, Rachel Weir 28:53, Chuck Mitchell 29:09.

Neptune:  Jeffrey Glashan 18:56,  Brennen Fitzsimmons 19:11,  Tony Plaster, 19:38,  John McLoughlin 20:50,  Neil Carberry 21:12,  Antonio Lopez 22:23,  Hogg Starkey 22:47,  Robert Lane Jr. 23:25,  Kaitlyn Lavender 23:33,  Adam Richards 23:42,  Mike Lubiseher 23:55,  Kelley McCartney 24:22,  Julia Cooper 24:23,  Robert Lane III 24:30,  Jessica Ford 24:31,  Stephen Sternik 25:17,  Rob Amabile 25:29,  Marilyn Cusick 25:34,  Kevin Cusick 26:17,  Barbara Schmalzel 27:06,  Jen Beekman 27:41,  Joseph Tellman 27:54,  Dawn Lane 28:16,  John Sciales 28:17,  Madi Marth 28:20,  Jacqueline Dempsey 28:49.

Others:  Jason Stern 17:47, Asbury Park;  Dave Hoch 18:58, Bradley Beach;  Matthew Shafer 19:44, Tinton Falls (director of annual CASA 5K);  Marty Fitzpatrick 20:31, Bradley Beach;  Danny Lee 22:23, Oakhurst;  Richard Mahoney 22:23, Avon;  Gina Palumbo 22:32, Ocean;  Ainsley Keating 23:22, Avon;  Frank Dilello 23:52 and Bill Meyers 25:13, Ocean;  Miley Lather 25:28, Avon;  Tandy Siegle 25:38, Oakhurst;  Gary Engelstad 25:54, Bradley Beach;  Theresa McKean 26:32, Tinton Falls;  Toni Burke 27:11, Asbury Paark;  Karen Gregory 27:22, Bradley Beach.

Other Monmouth County leading finishers:  Tom Saito 19:03, Brielle (15th place overall);  Scott Linnell 19:24, Colts Neck;  Christopher Haspilaire 19:30, Atl. Highlands;  Louis Malizioso 19:33 and Lisa Namath 19:43,  Belmar;  Chris Adams 19:48, Colts Neck;  Gabby Barrett 20:12, Freehold ( last year’s women’s champion );  Michael Watson 20:55 and Charles Rogers 20:56, Belmar;  Stephen Zecca 21:19, Howell;  Amanda Karabin 21:46, Wall;  Eric Affrunti 21:51, Marlboro;  Ed Ryan 22:10, Rumson;  Michael O’Connell 22:13 and Christina Benanti 22:29, Belmar;  Derek Bingham 22:31, Spring Lake;  Alyssa Amodio 22:55, Keyport;  Cassia Condello 23:10, Middletown;  Jason Turner 23:16, Eatontown;  Steve Affrunti 23:31, Marlboro;  David Gross 23:39, Morganville (former director of Race for Hunger);  Daniel Napoliton 23:45, Wall (100th overall).

Road-racing events continue with the Asbury Park 5K (a Grand Prix) on August 14 at 8:30 a.m. at the Convention Hall area, info call 732-571-2162 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Also on August 14 is the Jack Rafter 5K Race and Health Walk at Monmouth Regional High School in Tinton Falls at 8:30 a.m., info call 732-530-9610. It’s the annual Bradley Beach 5K on the oceanfront at 8:30 a.m. on August 21 and kids’ races are presented the night before, info call 732-775-3789 or www.bradleybeachonline.com. On Sunday, August 22, at 9 a.m. is the Captain George E. McCormack Memorial 5K at Bar Anticipation, 16th Avenue, Lake Como, info call 732-571-2162 or www.bar-a.com. In Hazlet is the inaugural Race for the S.T.A.R.S. 5K on August 28 at 8:30 a.m. at the Hazlet Township Swim & Tennis Club, info call 732-264-0824 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. At Holmdel Park on Sept. 4 is Saturday in the Park Women’s 5K at 9 a.m., info call 732-571-2162 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. On Labor Day Monday, Sept. 6, is the CPC Pier House 5K (Grand Prix) in Long Branch at the Great Lawn, Ocean Boulevard at 8:30 a.m., info call 732-571-2162 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..