The Jersey Shore Running Club held their 15th Annual Navesink Challenge on Sunday, November 29, 2015 at Bodman Park in the Navesink Section of Middletown, New Jersey. The event included 5K and 15K races. It was a near ideal morning for the runners with moderate temperatures just around 50 degrees, little wind and an overcast sky for the 10 a.m. start for the 15K and 10:10 a.m. for the accompanying 5K.
A record field participated with more than 1100 runners pre-registered for the two races. The event has grown over the years and co race directors Geoff Nicholas and Leslie Mckernan led a team of dedicated volunteers from the Jersey Shore Running Club and the Middletown Youth Athletic Association (MYAA) to another successful year. The race is a fund raiser for the MYAA which provides athletic opportunities for youth in the area. Bodman Park where the race was staged is also the meeting place for the club’s Sunday Run which is held there every week at 8 a.m. and is open to all.
The start of both races was in the park between two rows of tall trees which have lost all their leaves. Prior to the start of the 15K the National Anthem was sung and then Phil Hinck of Monmouth Beach gave out the usual directions to the runners before giving them the command to start the race. The runners made their way out of the park and headed onto Cooper Road which is a mostly dirt road. At about the 2 mile mark was one of the first of many hills on the course. The hill is known to local runners as “kick ass hill”. Once they made it over that first hill they run through parts of Huber Woods and then return back in a loop to Cooper Road and a long climb back before they enter the park for the last quarter mile or so. From there it is a spring to the finish. The 5k follows a similar route but turns before that first big hill.
5K Photos – 15K Photos – 5K Results – 15K Results – 15K Start Video
Leading the pack for the men was Jason Gers of Monmouth Beach in a time or 54:24. He was followed by Dennie Waite of Middletown in 55:18 and then Jonathan Erdeyl of Red Bank in 57:46. For the women breaking the tape was Caitlin Dorgan of Red Bank in a time of 1:01:30. Caitlin’s dad, Pat Dorgan, was one of the founders of the race and ran in the 5K. Caitlin was followed by Beth Marzigliano of Lake Como in 1:03:09 and then Jessica Cini of Rumson in 1:05:07. In the 5K race it was Zack Velasquez of New London, Connecticut in a time of 16:48. He was followed by Michael Barrett of Lavalette in 17:22 and then Joey Guerrieri of Belford in 17:28. For the women it was Erin Weber of Avon in 20:52 followed by Barbara Pomeroy of Howell in 21:23 and then Jackie Wang of Holmdel in 22:42.
After the races awards were presented to the overall and age group winners in each event. Runners celebrated their accomplishments afterwards at the nearby Red Bank Elks Lodge. Runners will have lots of events to look forward to in coming weeks. Get all the details on the RunCollege web site and race calendar.