Belmar: With a cloudy/overcast sky and high 70 degrees temperature, 2216 road racers (1150 males, 966 females) competed in the 36th anniversary of the picturesque (ocean and two lakes) Belmar Five Johnny Cobb Memorial Run on the hot and humid-racing-weather morning of July 14. 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).
At 8:30 a.m. Phil Hinck, race director, sounded the starting horn and the racers dashed from their Second and Ocean Avenue starting line south on Ocean Avenue and around Lake Como, returning on Ocean to 6th Avenue, around Silver Lake and finishing at Fifth and Ocean Avenues.
Robert Cavanaugh, 34, of West Long Branch, was first to cross the finish line at a racing time of 25:48 (25 minutes and 48 seconds). Cavanaugh was runner-up in this event last year and four seconds faster. Coming in second place was Mark Leininger, 21, of Colts Neck at 26:05 followed by Ben Hutterer, 23, of Carteret at 26:23 in third.
“About four of us were running together for about two miles and we were going too slow so I started pushing it between two and three (miles) got the lead and kept it,” said Cavanaugh. “Usually this race is known to be hot, but the weather cooperated with us today, there was a good breeze out there.”
Runner-up Leininger didn’t bother to chase the leader. Expecting he would finish in second place, he was satisfied. “The weather was a bit humid, and I was glad it was cloudy and we didn’t have to deal with the sun.”
Amanda Marino, 22, of Jackson was the women’s winner at 28:05, a minute and forty seconds faster than 2011 when she finished third. She won her medal, and a carnation that all women competitors receive. Second-place woman was Briana Jackucewicz, 21, of Farmingdale at 28:39, followed by Noel Whitall, 34, of Toms River at 30:01.
“I was second woman until about two miles,” said Marino, “and then I caught Briana and we ran together for a bit - at the three mile area I took the lead and kept it.” She said after last year the weather “is a lot cooler this year.”
Two wheelchair competitors began their race two minutes prior to the main starting time and followed the same scenic course. Chelsea Crytzer, 21, of Parsippany finished at 24:56 and Daniel Wheeler, 26, of Shamong Township (Burlington County) posted a 35:21.
This race is part of the Jersey Shore Golden Grand Prix, sponsored by McLoone's, 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 Pier House 5K In Long Branch. Further information can be found on the series website: www.jsgrandprix.com.
Other WORD on the Shore area finishers:
Males runners: Andrew Dombroweicki 28:49, Ocean; Pete Forgach 29:09, Long Branch; David Gilbert 30:16, Tinton Falls; Aansh Mehta 31:14, Michael Metitz 33:24, Little Silver; Adolfo Castillo 34:31, Red Bank; Dana Jacoby 35:35, Monmouth Beach; and Jason Pawling 35:33, Middletown.
Women runners: Dactilia Booth 30:50, Long Branch; Lisanne Price 33:14, Wilcox 32:29 and Meghamn Brennan 33:14, Little Silver; Grace Cashman 35:34, Little Silver; Lee Dashti 36:55, Red Bank; Bridget Dowd 36:57, Fair Haven; Natalie Chamberlain 38:23, Red Bank; and Maureen Nocella 38:53, Red Bank.
Organized racing continues on Saturday, August 4th, with the Neptune City Day 5K at 8 a.m., a popular competition for 'WORD' area runners. For information on other area upcoming weekend races as well as summer evening races go to www.jsrc.org.