Asbury Park Runapalooza Half Marathon
Asbury Park, NJ
Half Marathon 1592
Take a tour of stunning homes and the beautiful shore
Runners know there is no better way to see a new place then by foot during a race. If not for the 108 half marathons I've run the world would be a much smaller place. The Asbury Park Half Marathon let's us daydream as we look at the gorgeous homes strategically placed along the shore with their large windows and balconies offering ocean views for their occupants. This flat course takes you through the residential areas then leads you onto the boardwalk. The sites of the crashing waves with people strolling along enjoying the day is a welcome get away.
Arriving more then an hour before race time I was able to park very close tot he start. All parking lots are free on race day, paid for by the event. Packet pickup is located at a venue inside with an expo that morning. However they do require a donation for race day pick up. Although it is a small donation this is the one of the two things that keeps this race from scoring 5 gold sneakers. As an avid half marathon runner who travels upwards of three hours on race morning the last thing I want to do is worry about bringing a check to get my BIB. Fortunately a friend was willing to grab my BIB the day before otherwise I wouldn't have registered at all. I ran this race last year and found the forced check donation to really leave me with a negative feeling.
On a very positive note there is something this race does that I think is brilliant. Your race shirt is available for pick up after you finish. This completely avoids the need to grab your BIB and walk back to the car to place that shirt, to later be added to the insane collection you have, safely inside. Very smart idea! At a race like this its nice to leave your car and take a walk on the boardwalk, chat with other runners and yes... snap all those selfies. There is no gear check so having that shirt after the race can be very handy. Besides I'm sure some of us find it very gratifying to combine the shirt with the medal as a post race outfit. Go ahead you earned it.
The Half Marathon starts on the street directly outside the PPU. Porta-potties are close however the line was very long. I'm sure the people behind me either started the race late or dealt with this in some other manner. I do think this event could've used a few more.
Announcements were made regularly with time checks and directions to line up. Spectators eagerly waited to cheer the crowd on as it was sent on it's way.
It is often that one volunteer saying, "water water water" that makes you smile. Maybe it's the runner who starts a conversation with you and says, "you are an inspiration" that unknowingly is the inspiration you need. It could also be the spectator holding a sign or the one beating a drum. I love when sometimes tells me it is their first half marathon.
This race had water and Gatorade often enough. All intersections were marked and controlled with a volunteer. I found myself at the back of the back this time and it was nice to see no one had left their post, nor did they run out of anything.
Back inside after crossing the finish line we were treated to a delicious nice cold pasta salad by the happiest volunteers ever. The expo was still open because why not treat yourself to something after running 13.1.
Asbury Park does an overall great job with this event. Bring the family to make a nice day of it on the boardwalk and beach.
Thank you to the Race Director who offered members of the 100 Half Marathons Club an exclsuive discount.
You can visit our website here: http://www.100halfmarathonsclub.com/