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RED BANK: SHEEHAN RACE LEAVING TOWN

sheehan race 061315 136Runners cooling down on Broad Street after last year’s race. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

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Red Bank, it seems, has hosted its final George Sheehan Classic, the road race named for the longtime borough physician credited with fostering the worldwide mania for amateur running.

The five-kilometer event, traditionally held in June, will be merged with the Asbury Park 5k in August, according to a cryptic, two-sentence post on the event’s website.

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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.

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SHEEHAN RACE SHORTENED TO 5K

Runners turn a corner last year in Fair Haven, which will no longer be part of the race course. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

For George Sheehan Classic organizer Phil Hinck, the annual Red Bank running event is really several races in one.

The foremost is the one in which hundreds of runners, walkers and wheelchair users strive to cross the finish line on Broad Street in as little time as possible.

But well before that race, there’s the pressure to prop up the number of runners, which has been in gradual decline since the event moved to the borough from Asbury Park in 1994.

And then there’s the race against the clock to break down the street barriers and timing equipment to get out of the way of downtown merchants opening for Saturday morning business.

Now, in the biggest change to the event in years, Hinck and the race committee have decided to shorten the main race to a five-kilometer event, from five miles, a move that they hope will juice attendance and expedite post-race clean-up.

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A THREE-TOWN TROT

The 18th annual running of the George Sheehan Classic swept through Red Bank, Little Silver and Fair Haven, NJ, under blue skies Saturday. More than 1,400 runners completed the five-mile race in humid conditions. Searchable results are here.

redbankgreen’s Dustin Racioppi and Trish Russoniello were on the ground to freeze the action in pixels.

To enlarge the photo display, start it, then click the embiggen symbol in the lower right corner. To return to redbankgreen, hit your escape key.

DOC SHEEHAN RETURNS FOR ANNUAL CHECKUP

sheehan-finish-2009The finish line at the 2009 George Sheehan Classic, and this year’s course, below. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

geosheehancoursemap1If there’s one thing Red Bank won’t be short on this weekend, it’s foot traffic.

As in, like, 6,000 feet stomping through the downtown Saturday morning.

Among New Jersey’s most anticipated proceedings on pavement, the George Sheehan Classic brings harriers in swishy shorts and squishy sneaks by the hundreds from as far away as Zimbabwe to the streets of Red Bank, Little Silver and Fair Haven.

A literally well-heeled borough tradition, the five-mile main event sparks the sweaty anticipation of crossing the finish line for a sweet cash prize (for the elites) and coveted bragging rights (all others).

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ANOTHER CLASSIC GOES INTO THE BOOKS

To enlarge the photo display, start it, then click the embiggen symbol in the lower right corner. To get back to redbankgreen, hit your escape key.

Under a sparkling blue sky, the 17th annual running of the George Sheehan Classic attracted thousands of runners, walkers and spectators Saturday morning.

Some 1,550 runners completed the five-mile course that ran through Little Silver and Fair Haven before ending where they began, in downtown Red Bank.

James Gathoga of Newark finished first, with a time of 24:44:31, and Noel Brock of Toms River was first among women for the fourth year in a row, at 28:35:59.

Complete results are here.

SHEEHAN: 4,000 FEET POUNDING 26,400 FEET

sheehan-2009Runners charge the finish line during the 2009 edition of the five-miler. (Click to enlarge)

geosheehancoursemap1Event: The Sheehan Classic five-mile race, one of the nation’s top 100 races, according to Runner’s World Magazine, which starts on Broad Street in Red Bank and goes through Little Silver and Fair Haven before ending back where it started.

Participants: Some 2,000 runners, as well as participants in a two-mile health walk, a five-mile wheelchair race and kids running distances of 50 yards to a half-mile.

Conditions: sunny, with temperatures heading toward 80 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

The Other Race: Seeing how fast the organizers can break it down to allow traffic to resume its flow through downtown Red Bank.

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