2014 Race Director Update #4

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18th Annual Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon, April 25-27

Full Marathon, Half Marathon & Relay, Health & Fitness Expo, 5K, Family Events & Kids Races

Race Director Update #4 – 7 weeks until Race Weekend

Thank you for registering for The 18th Annual Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon Weekend. In an effort to make your participation more enjoyable, here is the fourth in the series of brief weekly messages. Copies of these updates are also available on our Website.

Important Summary – Smooth Sailing on Race Day – See Race Director Update #1 for more details:

  1. Pre-Race: Carpool and be in the parking lots between 75-120 minutes early, or take the Special Race Day Train to the Start. Click here for a train ticket ($10).
  2. Pre-paid parking at Monmouth Park: We strongly suggest this option.  Click here for a $5 pass.
  3. Pre-paid parking near the Finish Area: Guaranteed Parking for spectators at Seven President’s Oceanfront Park in Long Branch for $15.  Click here to purchase a ticket.
  4. Post-Race – Getting to your vehicle: Take a regularly scheduled NJ Transit train, walk to a parking lot near the Finish Area, or take one of our free buses back to Monmouth Park.
  5. Race Day Gear Check: Take advantage of this free service for dry, warm, clothing after your race!
  6. Race Packet Pick-up: Free at the Expo. Paid service on race day morning ($25), Click here to register.
  7. Race Day Security Information for Athletes, Spectators, Press, Volunteers and Race Staff: Click here for special race day security requirements.

The Start Area & Start Process

1)    The Start Area:

This update will deal with the start area layout and start process for the April 27th races.  Please note: The race start area for the ShapingNJ 5K, on April 26th, will be on the Long Branch Oceanfront Promenade (NOT IN MONMOUTH PARK), at the “Great Lawn”, between the Ocean Place Hotel and Rooney’s Restaurant.

Please click on this Start Area Layout Map link for the April 27th races for an overview this important and busy area. There will be signs helping you to find your way around so don’t stress about the layout. Having a general idea of the start area will likely help you navigate easier on race day. BTW – Not much has changed from 2013.

There are three entrances to the Start Area: Train: in the upper right hand edge of the drawing you will see the Special New Jersey Marathon Train Station and the entry point to Monmouth Park;  West Parking Lots – on the left side of the drawing you will see the main entrance for the athletes, spectators and volunteers from the lots on the west side of Monmouth Park; and South Parking Lots –  on the lower portion of the drawing you will see the entrance from VIP parking, the Bus Terminal and the parking lots on the south side of Monmouth Park. If you drive to the race you will enter the start area via one of the two security portals from the west or south.  The police will direct you to whichever lots are currently most available.

Please read over the Race Day Security Information before race day (Spectators also).

On the Start Area layout Map, please note the general position of the following as it applies to you:

  • Security Portals and Security Areas,
  • VIP Area,
  • Info Desk (there will be Ask Me? folks roaming the area – ask them questions such as: Where is the …?, What time does the ….? For more complex questions/issues please go to the Info Desk),
  • Volunteer Sign-in Desk,
  • Gear Drop Area (trucks),
  • Portable Toilets,
  • Charity Rally Area,
  • Race Day Race Packet Pick-up,
  • Shelter Area and Bathrooms,
  • Hydration Station (water),
  • Bus Terminal for: Spectators, VIPs, Staff and Relay athletes,
  • Start Line and Start Corrals,
  • Secure Areas.

Gear Drop-off on Race Day –

We will have trucks parked a short walk from the Start line to store your gear and we will transport it to the Finish Area for you.

Very Important!!!  We will accept ONLY the clear “Race Day Gear Bag” which was provided at race packet pick-up.

This baggage system has been put in place for its simplicity. Tear off the gear drop tag from the bottom portion of your bib, attach it to the bag you received at packet pick-up. On race day morning, look for the truck number that aligns with your bib number and give them your bag.  We do the rest!  You gear bag will be waiting for you just past the finish line athlete food tent.

Please do not leave valuables in the gear bag. We cannot be responsible for lost car keys, cell phones, little black books, money, etc.

Not shown on this layout: Coffee & Food vendors, Shelter Area, and Medical personnel.

2)    The Start Process:

Half Marathon Wheelchairs Corral AA starts at 6:45 am; Half Marathon & Relay Corral A starts shortly after AA and is followed by each of the remaining corrals, with about 60-90 second separation intervals between them.  Each corral will be held at the start line until the starter signals the next corral. There will not be a mass start.

Full Marathon Wheelchairs Corral AA starts at 8:00 am; Full Marathon Corral A starts shortly after AA and is followed by each of the remaining corrals, with about 60-90 second separation intervals between them.  Each corral will be held at the start line until the starter signals the start of that particular corral. There will not be a mass start.

IMPORTANT: If you start in the wrong time slot (race), you will be Disqualified (DQ’d).

Start Corrals –

The corrals are meant to keep athletes of roughly similar paces grouped together.  Remember there is no time penalty for being in any corral (except for competitive athletes in the open divisions as they are timed via gun time/not chip time, and they will start in corral A). Please note: for everyone else your start time will begin only when your bib / timing strip crosses the start line, thereby ensuring a fair start no matter which corral you are assigned.

To gain access to a particular corral you must show your bib number and corral assignment for that particular race to the corral attendant.  Please note: while you may choose to move back to a corral behind the one you’ve been assigned, you may not move forward to an earlier corral.

If everyone follows the intent of the corrals; faster racers will not be impeded, slower racers will not be jostled, tripping accidents will not occur, and everyone’s race day start experience will be better.  We all appreciate your help in keeping this a stress free, safe start process.

Corrals will begin loading at 6:10 am for the half marathon/relay, and at 7:25 am for the full marathon.

IMPORTANT: Start line close times: half marathon & relay, promptly at 7:00 am; full marathon promptly at 8:10 am.  If you arrive after the listed close time for your race you will not be allowed to start!

Finally, NO BIB = NO ENTRY into any corral, or onto the race course!  There will not be a bandit corral!

IMPORTANT: Participants are required to complete the Emergency Information on the reverse-side of their Bibs using a waterproof pen/marker.  Please fill it out before race day and it will be one less thing to think about!  It’s for your safety that we require this information.  If it’s not needed during your race, no one will see the information, however if an EMT is needed, that information could be extremely important in providing the proper assistance, in a timely manner.

Other Start Area Items:

  • There will be a hydration station (water), so make sure that you top of your hydration!
  • There will be food stands around the start area providing: coffee, bananas, bagels, breakfast items, etc. for purchase by athletes and those other important people, their supporters.
  • There will be portable toilets near the start corrals, and bathrooms inside the “Grandstand” building (where the Expo was the previous 2-days).
  • If the weather doesn’t cooperate, shelter for many will be available inside the “Grandstand” building, and under the overhang on the track side of the building.
  • Shuttle buses (located toward the bottom of the start Area Layout Map) will be available to the Relay Transition Area (loading between 6:30 am and 7:05 am ONLY), and for Spectators to the drop-off point beside the course at about mile 9.6 (loading between 7:00 am and noon), and the Finish Area about 4 blocks away.
  • And of course there will be music at the start featuring New Jersey artists!

A Brief Summary of Pre-start Items:

Fill out the back of your bib and pin it to your shirt the night before; be on-time for your race (expect traffic delays half marathoners if planning to arrive after 5 am); drop a gear bag at the truck; top off your hydration and use the portable restrooms or bathrooms as required; load into the assigned corral early; find and join your pace group; smile; enjoy the experience and have a great day!!!  It’s a fairly simple process.  Don’t let the details above worry you!  Read it in sections; ask questions via email, our Social Media pages or Blog as required. If confused on race day, just ask as help will be close.  Directional signs will also be around the area to provide guidance.

I hope that this information will help to take most of the pre-race and post-race stress out of your day. Best wishes during your training and on race day!


Joe Gigas
Executive Race Director
Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon

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