New Jersey Marathon 2014 Expo and Race Review
The Expo was at the Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport, NJ. You can park in the parking lot adjacent to the racetrack. This is where you can pick up your number, shirt and buy other items. They had a few nice stalls there and a vendor selling slightly used shoes for about $50-$70. This is where you can also pre-pay for parking and you can get your parking ticket here. A long sleeve tech-t is provided.
There was an option to get your number and shirt the day of the race for the cost of $25. In hindsight, this would have been completely worth it as I had to drive about two hours roundtrip out of my way and pay about $25 worth of tolls to get back into Brooklyn. Consider the tolls if you live or planning on staying in NYC and running this marathon.
My Tomtom GPS did not bring me to the right location with the address given so if you also get lost, take a look at the satellite map and the location on Google Maps to get a sense of where to go.
The start line parking lot is across the street from the Monmouth Racetrack. Because of traffic concerns, we were advised to get to the start line parking lot by 6am as the half marathon starts at 7am and that they would be closing roads. I got there a bit after 6am and was able to get into the large parking lot across from the racetrack just fine. I woke up about 4:30am and got out of the door just a bit after 5am from my parents’ place in Brooklyn. I slept for about an hour in my car until 7:30, about 30 minutes before the race.
I managed to stagger my granola bars intake and ate 3 between 5am and 7:30am so I think I was properly fueled before the race. I wasn’t even hungry until about the half way mark and I ate another granola bar while running somewhere around mile 14 and got 1/2 banana and some other food along the course. I think this was the cheapest food I could’ve eaten during the race as my usual shot bloks are a little over a dollar a piece.
Many of the pictures were also posted on Instagram:
- http://instagram.com/p/nSu48bGVUR/ (Call to the Post Instagram Video)
- http://instagram.com/p/nSwNASmVV9/ (Elvii Sighting)
The start area was at the parking lot inside the racetrack. The race started promptly at 8am. The wheelchair and handcycle division started right at 8am and then the first wave started a few minutes behind them. When each wave started, “Call to the Post” was played, which was very fitting of where we were starting from.
It was a gorgeous day for a race. It was raining the day before but it was clear skies and sunny for the entire day Sunday. Much of the road was dry with a few puddles here and there. The race itself is pretty flat with a few small inclines/declines along the way.
The first few miles were out and around the racetrack. You don’t see the shore until about mile 8 or so. From then on its a long out and back near the shore.
I was running near three Elvii, two runners and a person in a wheelchair. They were playing music the entire time. For a long time they were just in front of me but they hit some technical difficulties around mile 18 or so with their front wheel. They eventually finished about 10 minutes behind me, which was pretty cool.
One thing I kept seeing were homes being lifted up and another first floor with cinder blocks being built. I am sure this was the result of Hurricane Sandy and that home owners did not want to have their house flooded again so they are building a solid concrete lower level to protect the rest of the house. Some neighborhoods were further along than others.
The aid stations were pretty frequent and some in the later parts of the race had gel and bananas. They ran out of bananas at mile 18 and 20 but had plenty around mile 21 or so.
For much of the race I was running between the 4:40 and 5:00 pace groups but towards the end, I had to start walking and fell behind the 5:00 pace group. I was just coasting to the finish.
Miles 17-21 are ran by the boardwalk area of Asbury Park, which was nice and scenic. There were some abandoned buildings there but there were still plenty of retail and food shops there just opening up before the summer season.
At the finish line, there wasn’t much food available and the massages had ended by the time I got there. I was in a rush to get back to Brooklyn anyway so I would’ve skipped it. One of the officers gave me some bad directions so I ended up walking along the boardwalk the long way for the shuttle buses back to the start. The buses are lined up along the main road away from the boardwalk. It wasn’t a big deal but at that point I was tired and didn’t want to walk much more than I had to.
Overall, it was a great day for a race, the race was well organized and the race course was pretty scenic. The one thing I would’ve liked is for the shuttle buses to be much closer to the exit of the finish area. I tried looking for signs for shuttle buses but I didn’t see any near the exit.