RED BANK, NJ - Fifteen hundred and 49 road racers ( 892 men and 657 women ) competed in the annual George Sheehan Classic five mile race on a course that starts and finishes on Broad Street in Red Bank, makes 15 turns, includes the towns of Little Silver and Fair Haven and has challenging Tower Hill as part of its journey on the sunny, warm morning of June 19. Each would receive a medal bearing the initials GSC and on the obverse side a quote by the Running Doctor: “The mind’s first step to self-awareness must be through the body.”
James Gothoga wins the George Sheehan Classic. Photos by Bob Both, Jersey Shore Running Club.
Coming in first and breaking the finish-line tape held by two students from Red Bank Regional High School, who are members of the cross-country team, was James Gothoga, 31, of Newark at a racing time of 24:44 (24 minutes and 44 seconds). Gothoga is fresh off another running victory just a week ago when he won the Valerie Fund 5K at Verona Park in Verona at 15:39, a 5:02 per-mile pace. Today he was under that per-mile pace.
Coming in second place was Holmdel’s Craig Segal, 26, at 25:22. Segal also has a recent victory when he won the Spring Lake Five Mile Run at 24:49, on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. “We were together in a pack for the first two miles or so, then he (Gothoga) took off and I decided that I couldn’t catch him,” said Segal in describing his runner-up performance today. In other remarks he said, “There were many observers out on their lawns and porches cheering for us and the weather was a bit warm.”
Rounding out the top five male finishers respectively: Umar Saeed, 23, Allentown at 25:26; John Smith Jr., 23, Cliffwood Beach at 25:30; George Galasso, 19, Holmdel at 25:40.
Noel Brock crosses the finish.
Toms River’s Noel Brock, 32, the 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 Spring Lake Five Mile Run’s women’s champion is also a repeat winner in this George Sheehan Classic beating the other 656 women with a 28:35 racing time, which is 17 seconds faster than last year. “I wanted to break 28 (minutes) so I’m somewhat disappointed but knowing the weather is hot, I’m OK with it,” she said when asked what she thought of her performance today. “It’s hard,” she said of the course and explained: “in Toms River where I practice there aren’t many hills and I work out on flat roads so this race does have them and Tower Hill is near the end of the race and comes at a point when you’re really tired and you just want to be done but you know you’ve got to go up that hill, so that’s really challenging,” the fifth grade teacher at Osborneville Elementary School in Bricktown further offered.
Dactlia Booth, 34, of Long Branch was a distant second at 31:17 and said, “No way she (Brock) was too far out in front to even think of it,” when asked if she tried to catch the leader. She further infomed that she was in third place “until about the first two miles then I pushed and became second.” In commenting on the weather she said, “ It was hot and I was glad to get under the sprinklers some of the homeowners provided.”
Rounding out the top five female finishers respectively: Caitlin Dorgan, 21, Red Bank at 31:52; Marissa Alberti, 32, Monmouth Beach at 31:55; Alison Pilkington, 27, Toms River at 31:57.
“I love it when it’s hot,” said Gabby Barrett of Freehold who won first-place award in her 50-54 age group, in commenting on the weather and thought the course was tough because “it has a lot of turns.” Competitive racers like straightaways.
Ann O’Dowd of Colts Neck posted a 34:50 racing time and said, “It’s not my best, but I’ll take it – it was a great morning, the race is a great tradition.” She thought the course was “tough - it’s not flat like Spring Lake (referring to the Spring Lake Five Mile Race), it’s got hills and turns but I’m not going to blame the weather, I’m not going to blame the course, I just didn’t do that well.” However, Dowd won first place award in her 45-49 age group.
“The weather is perfect, the course is perfect and it’s a great day in Red Bank,” said Walter MacGowan, 62, of Spring Lake who finished at 41:19. MacGowan is the president of the Shore Athletic Club.
Belmar’s Amber Hart, 31, posted a very respectable 32:01, but just a fourth place in her age group. She was talking to friends at the finish-line area and offered some comments: “It’s hot as it always is here – it’s a gorgeous morning but unfotunately the heat picked up as we went along in the race and by the time we hit that hill (Tower Hill) and it hurts anyway, you can really feel that heat.” She further said that she thought the women overall put on a strong finish this year. Hart is always a top finisher in all the Jersey Shore area races. Two years ago she was the women’s winner of the Sgt.Pat’s 5K in Long Branch presented during a severe northeast storm and she was quoted as describing it as “Windy, windy, windy”!
George Sheehan III did not run this year and humorously said, “I wimped out because of a sore knee!” He was talking with friends and took a few minutes to offer a comment about his dad: “My father would often say to his running friends, ‘ Remember the three P’s: Preparation which is the training and getting ready for the race; Perspiration which is the sweating caused by the race itself; Partying which is the resurrection and celebration of the effort.’”
The Kids’ Classics, races for 4 year-olds to 13, consisting of distances of 50 yards to a half mile were presented the night before at Marine Park.
At the starting line near Red Bank Catholic High School and Saint James Church, director Phil Hinck, making use of the loud speaker system provided by Main Street Productions and Synergy Sounds, cautioned the assembled racers, because of the heat, to make use of the several water stations along the course and then introduced Michael Sheehan, one of the many offspring of Doctor George Sheehan who was family spokesman. Some of his remarks: “About fifty years ago, my father who was involved as a trustee with CBA running (Chistian Brothers Academy in Lincroft) decided he wanted to get back into running and he liked to say, ‘I’m 45 years old and I went out for the high school cross country team and I made the J.V. squad.’” Michael informed that “my father liked to run at the Lake Takanassee races in Long Branch that had been organized by Elliott Denman in 1964 – Elliott’s in the crowd today, the former Olympian, he’s still participating.” That got a round of applause. Michael further informed that, “My father was the first man over fifty (years of age) to break five minutes in the mile.” More applause was offered. “My father loved to race and he said, ‘ No matter how you feel it’s all about the effort that you give; you gotta give your best effort,’ – so we’ve got a great day today and let’s all give it our best effort.”
Hinck then introduced Linda Chorney of Sea Bright, formerly of Boston, who gave a fine rendition of our National Anthem. Hinck then gave his usual very loud “Ready, Set, Go” and the racers were off following the lead vehicle provided by Circle Chevrolet and driven by Bill DeFelice.
"The weather was perfect this year, pleasant morning temperatures provided ideal running conditions. We had a very successful race, thanks to our sponsors and tremendous support from the Sheehan family. Thanks also to residents encouraging the runners along the course, the patience of area motorists who had to be detoured for the safety of our racers, the Church of the Nativity in Fair Haven for ringing the church bells as the runners went past and the Fair Haven Fire Department for the cooling water spray near the halfway point. Many thanks to the Red Bank, Little Silver and Fair Haven police, Red Bank public works and area First Aid Squads for their cooperation and for the many volunteers from high school track teams, local service organizations and area running clubs (JSRC, FARC, SAC). Fred and Anna Torres of the Elite Racing Systems organized the Chronotrack (B-Tag) computer scoring system and finish-line logistics. Main Street Productions and Synergy Sounds provided the speaker system as well as motivational music for the racers. A very special thanks to my wife, Penny, who is the very heart of racing at the Jersey Shore,” wrote Phil Hinck, race director, in a summarizing E-mail.
Other leading finishers of the George Sheehan Classic 2010, many of whom, along with the aforementioned finishers, might agree with these quotes attributed to the late beloved Running Doc:
"There are as many reasons for running as there are days in the year, years in my life. But mostly I run because I am an animal and a child, an artist and a saint. So, too, are you. Find your own play, your own self-renewing compulsion, and you will become the person you are meant to be." - "Sweat cleanses from the inside; it comes from places a shower will never reach." - "Happiness is different from pleasure. Happiness has something to do with struggling and enduring and accomplishing." - "When I run, truly run...it is all there. My body does what it does best. The mind like a kaleidoscope constantly rearranges the things it has stored into new and exciting patterns. And my soul utterly loses itself in the present." Also printed on the race’s T-shirt: “Play Is Where Life Lives.”
Herald area, men: Thomas Dichiara 26:40 and Jeffrey Dichiara 26:52, Atl. Highlands; Ronald Torres 28:51 and Bob Horn 30:07, Red Bank; Mark McGuigan 32:19, Ryan Corbett 32:20 and Harley Lefkowitz 32:24, Fair Haven; Artie Buisson 32:33 and Joe Cauvin 32:40, Atl. Highlands; Richard Bayer 32:55, Fair Haven; David Richards 33:12, Little Silver; Charles Harrington 33:28, Red Bank; Jonathan Rumph 33:43, Fair Haven; Sean New 33:51, Eric Jacobsen 34:03 and Adolfo Castillo 34:07, Red Bank; Michael Metlitz 34:09, Little Silver; Bryan Kligman 34:10, Red Bank; Liam Ayres 34:11, Little Silver; Brian Forster 34:23, Rumson; Adam Kershner 34:31, Little Silver; Daniel Busch 34:32, Fair Haven; Geoffrey Nishuiura 34:49, Red Bank; Sean Harvey 35:00, Atl. Highlands; James Keefe 35:09, Red Bank; David Zurheide 35:11, Middletown; Kyle Shenk 35:16, Atl. Highlands; James Ohern 35:16, Little Silver; Paul Juelis 35:17, Middletown; Stephen Ham 35:27, Fair Haven; Patrick O’Boyle 35:42, Atl. Highlands; Ben Albainy 36:07, Wade Davis 36:16 and Timothy Carey 36:25, Fair Haven; Geoffrey Nicholas 36:45, Leonardo; Chris French 36:56, Red Bank; Hector Morales 36:58, Rumson.
Herald area women: Kristine Claussen 33:06, Atl. Highlands; Dawn Wilcox 33:31, Little Silver; Susan Flynn 33:43, Rumson; Nicole Corre 34:35, Little Silver; Maureen Nocella 34:36, Red Bank; Joan Rody 34:48, Little Silver; Kelly Wojciehowski 35:00, Hannah Anderson 35:45 and Bridget Dowd 36:24, Fair Haven; Lisa Zino 36:45, Middletown; Lori Scisco 36:47, Atl. Highlands; Tara Barnett 37:10, Fair Haven; Sara Amitrani 37:59 and Kerrie Wagner 38:00, Red Bank; Sarah Chiles 38:04, Atl. Highlands; Fini Satzke 38:07 and Suzie Drummond 38:08, Fair Haven; Allison Wagner 38:24, Red Bank; Alexandra Cvam Arx 38:43, Little Silver; Duchese Sophie Ehrlich Viii 39:01, Red Bank; Katie Potter 39:03, Rumson; Jessica Caruso 39:05, Red Bank; Michelle Saavarese 39:06, Middletown; Yvone Ciccone 39:08, Red Bank; Wendy Rahner 39:20 and Kristina Pachman 39:23, Middletown; Patricia Watters 39:47, Red Bank; Diana Pittet 39:58, Atl. Highlands; Christen Ambrozio 40:00, Port Monmouth; Susan Drastal 40:07, Rumson; Courtney Ayres 40:09, Little Silver; Carolyn Hill 40:18 and Marnie Doherty 40:20, Rumson; Leigh Scisco 40:41, Atl. Highlands; Claudia Oben 40:44, Sarah Blozen 40:46 and Edith Guarini 40:53, Red Bank; Kerry Chandler 40:57, Rumson; Amanda Cheslock 40:59, Little Silver; Catherine Satzke 40:43, Fair Haven; Grace Cashmen 41:01, Little Silver; Elizabeth Montserrat 41:31, Rumson; Hillary Morse 41:39, Fair Haven; Kelly Quinn 41:45, Rumson; Allison Wrede 41:53, Red Bank; Melissa McGowan 42:00, Fair Haven; Carol DeFazio 42:05, Little Silver; Cathy Capozzi 42:21, Middletown; Danielle Testa 42:26, Monmouth Beach; Regan Toomey 42:31, Leonardo; Mary Ryan 42:43, Sea Bright; Lara Duffy 42:49, Fair Haven.
Monmouth County men: Sean Rath 29:21, Lincroft: Tom Falvey 29:30, Long Branch; Brendan Swan 29:45, Freehold; Luciano DeOliveira 30:03, Long Branch; Eric Kamp 30:09, Shrewsbury; John Reagan 30:26, Eatontown; Marc Altenau 30:54, Belmar; Bob Miller 31:12, Spring Lake; Miles Hersey 31:34, Hazlet; Jeff Cody 31:44, Holmdel; Doug Twyman 32:15, Sea Girt; Matthew Jacobson 32:19, Marlboro; Joseph Hughes 32:26, Long Branch ; Kevin O’Dowd 32:35, Colts Neck; Justin Bennett 32:50, Oceanport; Justin Cabinian 32:53, Holmdel; Jim Redeker 32:55, Lake Como; Edward Alburtus 32:56, Neptune City; Mike O’Dowd 33:11, Colts Neck; Dave Hoch 33:14, Bradley Beach; Frank Cannarozzo 33:21, Holmdel; Aaren Peaty 33:52, Colts Neck; Robert Reilly 34:20, Manasquan; Richard Brugger Jr. 34:22, Neptune City: Kenneth Coles 34:26, Howell; Geoff Schroeder 34:38, Wall; Stephen Harnett 34:50, Hazlet; Neil Martin 34:55, Ocean; Scott Main 35:07, Freehold.
Monmouth County women: Gabby Barrett 33:53, Freehold; Lisa Namath 34:05, Wall; Kerri Walker 34:30, Tinton Falls; Kathy Kropke 34:31, Avon; Ann O’Dowd 34:50, Colts Neck; Kiernan Delaurier 35:01, Long Branch; Robin Campbell 35:11, Aberdeen; Leslie Eaton 35:15, Shrewsbury; Jennifer Crombie 36:21, Freehold; Catherine Lynch 36:30, Shrewsbury; Gina Palumbo 37:02, Ocean; Cara Nelius 37:25, Freehold; Kriten Ingegnere 37:38, Lincroft; Amy Johnson-Levonas 37:41, Holmdel; Heather Langan 37:42, Manalapan; Bettina Shepard 38:25, Aberdeen; Laura Agresta 38:26, Colts Neck; Carol Sleek 38:59, Manalapan; Tara Vitale 39:37, Howell; Jamie Mastroberti 39:38, Lincroft; Jan Farnung-Krause 39:51, Oakhurst; Debra Lagrua 40:18, Manalapan; Concetta Davi 40:25, Lincroft; Denisee Plourde 40:33, Matawan; Kelly McGovern 40:51, Avon.
The following is from the JSRC website:
Here are the Summer Series of races at the Jersey Shore staged by the Local Running Clubs:
Shore Athletic Club
Monday June 28 and every Monday to late August at 6:45 PM,
The 47th Annual Takanassee Lake Races, Long Branch, NJ; youth 1500m run, followed by open 5K run and open 5K race walk. www.shoreac,org
Ocean Running Club
Tuesday June 29 through July 20,1 Mile anat 6:30 PM, 5K at 6:45 PM, Ocean Running Club Summer Series, Winding River Park, Toms River, NJ http://www.oceanrunningclub.org/applications/ORCSummerSeries2010.doc
Freehold Area Running Club
Wednesday, June 23 through July 28, Freehold Area Running Club Summer Series, Battlefield State Park, Manalapan, NJ http://www.farcnj.com/PDFs/SS10.pdf
Jersey Shore Running Club
Thursday, June 17 through July 29 (no race on July1), ½ Mile at 6:30 PM, 1 Mile at 6:45 PM, 5K at 7 PM, 15th Annual Jersey Shore Running Club Summer Series, Wall Municipal Complex, Wall, NJ http://www.jsrc.org/raceapps/summer.pdf
These series are family friendly with kids events and very moderate prices. They attract a loyal following of regulars and some friendly competition. All paces and abilities are represented from beginners to seasoned competitive runners. Many high school and college runners often use the series to maintain, their competitive edge over the summer.
So if you live at the Jersey Shore or are visiting during the week check out one of the local summer series of races during the week – you will be hooked and keep coming back.