The Jersey Shore Relay Marathon is now in its 15th year. It has evolved into a huge event at the Jersey Shore with several thousand participants competing in various divisions on a marathon distance course from Seaside Heights to Asbury Park, NJ
This year’s event will take place on Saturday, April 16, 2011 and is now part of a fun filled festival of running dubbed “RunAPalooza” which includes the Asbury Park Half Marathon and Jersey Shore Walk..
The event started on a whim as a way to raise some much needed funds for Special Olympics by members of the Jersey Shore Running Club. The Club had been an active supporter of the Annual Area 6 – Monmouth and Ocean County – Special Olympics Track and Field Meet which is held in May every year at locations in Monmouth and Ocean County.
To mark the move of the Track and Field event to Long Branch that first year a Relay was planned which had about 25 runners each running about 1 mile on a course from Toms River East High School to Asbury Park the week before the event. On the day of the track and field event a group continued on from Asbury Park to the opening ceremonies at Long Branch High School.
The following year as interest grew teams were added and the course started from Seaside Hts and finished in Asbury Park. Each year the event has grown with additional interest throughout the state and beyond and last year there were over 400 teams comprised of up to 5 participants participating. Many also run the entire distance solo in a seperate division.
The event has been a long time collaboration between the Jersey Shore Running Club, The Southeast NJ District Elks Special Children’s Committee and Special Olympics.
The Relay itself starts on the boardwalk at the Aztec Resort in Seaside Hts. Teams are assigned starting times based on their projected finish time. The runners carry batons and run along a prescribed route where there are water stops every few miles and designated transition areas.
Information and Registration
The course takes runners from the Start in Seaside Hts through the Ortley Beach and Lavalette Boardwalks to Brick Beach where the first transition area is located. From there the runners proceed north through Mantaloking and Bay Head and onto the Point Pleasant Beach Boardwalk where the second transition area is set up. Then the next runner proceeds over the bridge into Brielle and into Manasquan along the ocean to transition area 3. From there the next runner goes through the Sea Girt National Guard Training Center onto the Sea Girt, Spring Lake and Belmar boardwalks to the final transition area on the Belmar boardwalk. The final runners then proceeds over the bridge into Avon by the Sea, Bradley Beach, Ocean Grove and finally through the old Casino building to a finish in front of Asbury Park Convention Hall.
For many runners it is an exhilarating course along the beautiful Jersey Shore with bands at various locations. It is a fun filled day as the trams have a friendly competition in the various categories to include: Open, Masters, Family, Corporate, Fire, Law Enforcement and Schools. Many teams dress up in costumes for the event and have support teams to encourage them on along the way.
There is a giant Post Race Party inside Asbury Park Convention Hall with bands, music, food, beer, soda and an expo. After all the teams finish there is an award ceremony where the top teams are recognized in the various categories. The party continues on for many participants throughout the day in Convention Hall and many of the local establishments in the City.
This year’s main Sponsor is Wawa.
It’s all for a great cause – Special Olympics New Jersey and many Special Athletes are on hand to offer support. Several teams compete with Special Athletes among their members.