Over the years, the race has attracted a steadily increasing number of runners, from 600 a decade ago to nearly double that in 2015. In the last three years alone, the race has attracted runners from 17 states and Canada. Since 2010, the Navesink Challenge has raised more than $60,000 for its beneficiaries.
The Navesink Challenge is celebrated for its location along one of the prettiest courses in Monmouth County, through the woods and back roads of Navesink. It includes two races: A challenging 15K run beginning at 10 a.m., and a 5K run/walk at 10:10 a.m. Both distances feature scenic country roads and several hilly sections through some of the beautiful properties in Huber Woods, and along Cooper and Browns Dock Roads; areas which have been preserved by MCF for the public to enjoy.
Continuing a late-autumn tradition, Jersey Shore Running Club hosts the Navesink Challenge, the 15th annual edition of which hits the leaf-laden hills and dales of Middletown on Sunday, November 29. (photo from runjersey.com)
It happens this time each November; a recreational event that occurs long after the last of the extended-summer excursions on the greater Green, and yet too early for the first Polar Bear Plunge of the new year. It’s the annual Navesink Challenge — and even those who aren’t serious competitive runners can appreciate this stand-alone outdoor activity that doesn’t come equipped with funny sweaters, caroling kiddies, and complimentary cups of hot chocolate.
When the Jersey Shore Running Club presents the 15th edition of its late-autumn race day this Sunday, November 29, it will take once more to the wooded and leaf-laden trails of Bodman Park, located off Navesink River Road in Middletown — and it will give once more to a great local cuase: the programs of the Middletown Youth Athletic Association.
And they’re off: the leaf-laden trails of Middletown’s Bodman Park are the scene for the start of the Navesink Challenge, the 14th annual edition of which hits the ground running on Sunday, November 30.
As outdoor activities go here in the greater Red Bank Green, it’s what you might call a late-season arrival. How late? Well, consider that pretty much every other open-air happening from this point comes equipped with funny sweaters, caroling kiddies, and complimentary cups of hot chocolate.
As a serious sporting event for local runners, however, the annual Navesink Challenge is a drop-everything occasion — that pursuit of the perfect gift for Aunt Hortense will have to wait. When the 13th edition of the late-autumn tradition hits the ground this Sunday, November 30, the day promises a great turnout, generous support, and funds raised for a great cause — in this case, the programs of the Middletown Youth Athletic Association.
Above: Juke Joint Jonny brings the real-deal folk blues to a season-ending Steamy Night at the Woman’s Club…while below, the real live author Dave Cicirelli brings his FAKEBOOK saga home to the M’town Library. (click to enlarge)
Friday, November 29:
RED BANK: Black Friday is many things to many folks — but here in the area’s capital of Christmas and holiday hootenannies, it’s all about the Friday Night Lights, as the wondrous Wall of Sound that is Holiday Express flips the switch on a new season of events, activities and jinglebell commerce in downtown Red Bank. The annual free outdoor concert commences at 7 pm at Broad and Canal streets; take it here for our feature story with the details on tonight’s festivities (including the return run of the Santa Express train).
RED BANK: If the Town Lighting crowds aren’t your scene, habitual stay-at-homes can be both housebound and social — during the final installment of 2013 for Reckless Steamy Nights, the monthly series of intimate house party concerts presented by the Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Foundation inside the Woman’s Club of Red Bank (a.k.a. the old Anthony Reckless estate, Broad Street between Reckless and Leroy Place). Tonight between the hours of 8:30 and 11 pm, the JSJBF sends you out into the bracing chill of the holiday season, with warm fuzzy feelings kindled by Juke Joint Jonny, the Newark-native specialist in acoustic folk blues whose whiskey-stinging/ whiskey-smooth style can make an inviting roadhouse out of the most stately old manor. It’s a special “Dennis’ 60th Birthday Party,” and it’s BYOB, with a $10 donation requested at the door (proceeds benefit the JSJBF scholarship programs); call (732)933-1984 for more info.
The most eagerly anticipated touch football event of the season takes place on November 26, when the annual Turkey Bowl raises funds for Jason’s Dream for Kids, at Thompson Middle School in Middletown.
Maintaining the available blood supply here in the most densely populated state of the union is serious business which is not to say that the dedicated staff at Central Jersey Blood Centerdoesn’t get to have a little fun at certain times of the year.
Following a Halloween interval in which they helped Phoenix Productions preview the bloody operetta Sweeney Todd and solicited donations from the thousands who marched and shambled in Asbury Park’s NJ Zombie Walk, the CJBC van returns to Red Bank today, November 11, for a Veterans Day blood drive hosted at the Pearl Street location of Arrow Limousine.
Scheduled for 9am to 2pm, the blood drive offers an additional incentive to registered donors: a chance to win a “Dare to Dream” prize package that includes a chauffered Thanksgiving family excursion for up to six people, with tickets to see Disney On Ice at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford.
Donors can register or obtain additional information at 732-747-4844 and we’re serving up five more full courses of Done Good right around the corner.