LONG BRANCH: Saturday sunshine saved the day for the pre-Marathon Day events featuring kid's races and the Long Branch Schools special Marathon contest. The Long Branch school multi-weeks event finishes the 26.2 mile distance run in segments over the school year, multiple sessions until the big day when the students finish the distance with a 1.2 mile closing lap.
Saturday was fabulous from a weather viewpoint, sunny skies all day that filled the city boardwalk at the Great Lawn with fun rides, hot dogs and corn on the cob and Kids Races galore - all ages and lots of parent cheering.
The Kids events were youngsters by age group. Monmouth Medical Center's Dr. Meg Fischer placing the Medals over the heads of as many runners as she could, with helpful hands from the Novo Nordisk volunteers. At Monmouth Race track the event Expo was an all-day affair, with promoters on display and speakers addressing running subjects for guests.
The official race on Saturday at the Great Lawn was the 5K event was won by New Jerseyan Robert Dennis of Lawrence Township in 2 hours, 33 minutes, 16 seconds. Second place was Christopher Desilets from Littleton, Colorado, and Third was Corey O'Neill of Westwood, New Jersey. .Fourth went to Edward Hartman, of New York City.
The next three slots went to Word on the Shore area runners Zachary Kudlak, 33, of Long Branch, Mark Degenhart, 26, of Shrewsbury and Farnese Dasilva, 46, from West Long Branch.
Other WOTS area runners in the top 500 of the 1,943 total were: #95, David Gilbert, Eatontown; #262 Angelo Gingerelli , Long Branch; #270 Andrew Malta, Monmouth Beach; and #311 Mike McCormack, of Little Silver.
The Half Marathon went to Kyle Price of North Brunswick, NJ. Keyport's Sean Donohue was second. For the next 400 of the total 4,014, WOTS area runners were, by finish position, 37 Sam Kodama; 44 Anthony Scaturro, Monmouth Beach; 58 Andrew Hegner, Shrewsbury who also took 3rd in the 5K; 61 Catherine Wimmer, Little Silver; 73 Leigh Mazzella , Monmouth Beach; 75 Luciano De Oliviera, Long Branch; 87 Michael Villane, Little Silver; 100 Mike Kuhn, Oceanport; 160 Kristina Lopes, Long Branch; 173 Thomas Mugno, Oceanport; 178 Michael Carlo, Shrewsbury; 188 Kimberly Gittines , Shrewsbury; 194 Wayne Malone, Little Silver; 200 Amy Ilveno, Oceanport; 1076 Carl Turner, Wanamassa.
The Wheelchair competitions on Sunday went to Tim Reynolds of Rumson in the Full Marathon event, and to Lois Hamilton, of West Milford for the Half Marathon.
Sunday began at Monmouth Park and traditionally visitors heard Brian Buffaloe lead the National Anthem, a role he has enjoyed for twenty years of NJ Marathon, He has done 112 marathons all together, with one in Greece and the other in Alaska. He then jumped into line to run the Marathon as a competitor. The Starter Trumpeter was Frank Hughes, also a repeat player and trumpeter for the racing horse racing world as well.
Weather was cool at race time in contrast with Saturday sunshine. It did not hamper the running at all. The coolness was a welcome environment for the 26.2 mile course.