RED BANK: SHEEHAN CLASSIC RACE TURNS 21

sheehan_start_2013_BBRunners leave the starting line at the 2013 Sheehan Classic event in Red Bank. The 21st annual race weekend expo returns to town on Friday and Saturday, June 13 and 14.

More than 2,500 runners are expected to participate in what is known as one of the Jersey Shore’s most renowned road races, when the Sheehan Classic returns to Red Bank on Saturday, June 14, with its popular 5K (3.1 mile) distance as its main event.

Set for 8:30 am, this year’s edition will be the 21st running of the event that began in 1981 as the Asbury Park 10K Classic, and quickly became one of the major road running events on the national calendar. The race moved to Red Bank in 1994, and was renamed to honor the memory of physician, author and philosopher Dr. George Sheehan who was widely regarded as the “father of the running boom” in the United States. Last year, the Sheehan family released a new book on the life’s work of “The Doc,” to commemorate the 20th anniversary of his passing.

Over $2,500 in prize money will be distributed in the 5 kilometer run to the top five overall finishers, top New Jersey finishers and age-category winners, during the event that was named one of the Top 100 Road Races by Runner’s World magazine, and the Best Memorial Race in New Jersey by the New York Times. In addition, donations from the weekend expo will be collected for a number of locally based nonprofits, including Lunch Break and the Parker Family Health Center. Additional groups receiving contributions from the event are local high school track teams, various town EMS services and other organizations.

The race committee has had a great deal of community feedback over the years that running five miles was just a little too long for the everyday runner, and that sometimes the heat in June can be a factor.  In response, as announced in March 2012, it was decided that the 5K distance is the right match for the entire family to participate, either by racing or walking the scenic course. The response has been positive, and has resulted in increased participation.

As part of the Sheehan Classic, the Friday evening Kids’ Classic is a series of children’s races (sponsored by Jersey Shore Running Club) of various distances, from toddler to age 13. Kids will be treated to face painting, characters and treats from area establishments like Smoothie King. Free entertainment accompanies the kids’ races at the Runner’s Expo Village, on the banks of the Navesink. On Saturday morning, event finishers enjoy a famous picnic in the park, sponsored by Jersey Mike’s, Johanna Farms and Sickles Market. Runners, friends and members of the community are invited to the awards ceremony in Marine Park, followed by a Post-Race Party with music and food at nearby Brannigan’s Bar and Grill.

Sponsored by McLoone’s Restaurants, the race is part of the Jersey Shore Golden Grand Prix, sponsored by McLoone’s, a series of races that offers prize money to overall and age category winners. The five events are: Spring Lake 5, George Sheehan Classic, Belmar 5, Asbury Park 5K and Pier House 5K.  For the eleventh anniversary of the series, those who participate in all five 2014 races will get a $50 McLoone’s restaurant gift card, plus entry into a drawing for a Grand Prize ($1000 value). Visit www.jsgrandprix.com for information.

Pre-registration is still available, and 5K is filling up quickly; the race is limited to 3,000 entrants. For Sheehan Classic information and registration, call the event hotline 732.571-2162 or check the website, www.sheehanclassic.org.

Full Schedule of Sheehan Classic Events

Saturday and Sunday, June 7 – 8 2-6 pm GSC Days at Road Runner Sports, Shrewsbury

Register in person. Bib pickup for runners who entered after June 1. Free Giveaway item, shoe raffle entry and discounted shopping to all Sheehan runners.

Friday, June 13 2–8 pm Runner’s Expo Village, Marine Park

An opportunity see the latest in running, health and fitness, and pick up some great bargains.  Free admission.

Friday, June 13 6:30 pm Sheehan Kids’ Classic, Marine Park

A series of races for kids ages 1-13.  Medals and treats to all finishers.  Registration $15.

Saturday, June 14 7 am – 1 pm Runner’s Expo Village, Marine Park

More great items showcased and on sale for runners and athletes of all abilities.

Saturday, June 14 8:30 am start Sheehan Classic 5K, Broad Street

A five-kilometer road race that attracts the sports’ top competitors, with runners and walkers of all levels welcome.

Saturday, June 14 10 am Awards Ceremony and Post Race Party, Marine Park