nav-111-704x454Continuing 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.

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navesinkstartAnd 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.

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DSC_0128The 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.

donegoodlogoMaintaining 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 Center doesn’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.

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