2015 Race Director Update #5


19th Annual Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon, April 24-26

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

Race Director Update #5
6 weeks until Race Weekend

Thank you for registering for the 19th Annual Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon & Half Marathon weekend, which includes the 2015 RRCA New Jersey State Championship race in the marathon distance. In an effort to help make your participation more enjoyable throughout the entire race weekend, this is the first in a series of weekly messages containing important information. Copies of these messages will also be available on our Website and on our Blog. Links to them will be posted on both Facebook and Twitter.

New for 2015:

  • The Full, Half and Relay races will all start at 7:30 am this year.
  • There are NO Speed Restrictions for athletes in wheelchairs in the full marathon.

On-Course facts:

  1. Course updates:

Our Half Marathon/Relay course will be re-certified by the USATF this year as we have made changes in Oceanport (between miles 4 and approximately 5.5 – we removed three turns in the course).

Our Full Marathon course, which shares approximately the first 11.6 miles with the Half/Relay course, will also be re-certified as we have had to make changes again this year as repairs in Ocean Grove, from Super Storm Sandy, will not likely be completed in time.  Once these repairs have been completed we expect the 2016 course will be able to use the southern portion of this course as it was designed, back in 2011.

We will publish a preliminary full marathon course map as soon at the certifiers have completed a “preliminary certification”, hopefully in March, and we will publish the final course map as soon as the final, “Official Certification” has occurred.

Our 5K course was certified last year and has not changed since then and retains its certification this year (course certification can last up to 10 years, if no changes are made). The 5K course will start, and end, at the finish line of our Sunday races, on the Oceanfront Promenade in Long Branch.  It will head south through Pier Village with a turn-around on the southern portion of Ocean Ave, before returning through Pier Village to the finish line.

  1. Fluid/Aid Stations:

We will be providing Gatorade-Endurance Formula (lemon-lime flavor) and water at each of our Fluid Stations, with Gatorade served at the first tables and water served on the following tables at each station. Most Fluid Stations will be less than 1.5 miles apart and will be staffed by many service organizations and charity volunteers. The first three fluid stations (all in Oceanport) will be configured on both sides of the race course, so there is no need to cross to the opposite side for fluids.  These dual sided fluid stations are staggered so that the middle of the course is not blocked by athletes trying to take in hydration.  There will also be trash bins near each fluid station for your use.  Please use them for Energy Gel tops and packs, banana/orange peels, cups, general garbage, etc.  We appreciate your efforts in keeping our neighborhoods and course as clean as possible during the races.

Energy Gels: GU energy gels (vanilla bean and jet blackberry) will be at multiple locations between miles 13 and 22. These stations will be placed a few hundred yards before a fluid station so that you can ingest the GU and then have water to drink at the fluid station.  Please be prepared to carry your own favorite energy packs (the ones that you have been training with) if GU is not the brand you’ve been training with. You are welcome to the GU but you may be jeopardizing your race if you use anything which you haven’t tested during your training.

Bananas: Will be located on the marathon course, between miles 13 and 22; a good source of potassium.

Soft Pretzels: Will be located on the marathon course, between miles 13 and 22; a source of sodium and carbs.

Orange Slices: Will be located at approximately mile 10.75 and will be available to all three Sunday races.

Toilets: We will again provide portable toilets at the Start & Finish areas, as well as along the race courses. On the courses they will be located at, or very near, each Fluid/Aid Station. If you don’t see them, please ask the volunteers at the fluid stations to point them out.  Please do not relieve yourself on private or public property! Local Police will be called if anyone is observed doing so.  This type of behavior reflects badly on us all and on our sport.

Clocks & Mile Markers: We will have timing clocks throughout the courses, large mile markers at every mile and timing mats at the Start and Finish as well as split timing mats at multiple locations on the courses (10K, 13.1M, 30K and 40K).

Personal Safety: I know that many of you train with music and headphones. The organizing committee strongly recommends that you leave your headphones at home for safety reasons. You need to be aware of your surroundings, your fellow runners (who may be passing or stopping, etc.) and the possibility of emergency and race vehicles, and even errant traffic on the course (we work with the local police forces in each community to ensure that traffic will not get onto the race courses but it only takes one careless, determine motorist to cause a potentially dangerous situation).

Medical: In the event of an on-course illness or injury there will be 15+ EMS locations along the courses with mobile medical transport facilities between them and local area hospitals will be on standby.  In addition, there will be a major medical complex at the finish line as well as local emergency rooms fully staffed and managed near the race courses.  EMTs will always be nearby during your race to assist with any medical question/issue you may have.  It is required that each participant complete the medical information on the back of their race bibs. 

  1. Safety Warning System:

The Safety Warning System will be used to communicate race status to all athletes, volunteers and race staff with respect to weather and safety conditions.

We will use a simple color coded warning system.

  •  NORMAL  – Everything is Normal.
  • CAUTION – Heat index is at a Caution point and athletes should slow down a bit and make sure they are hydrating properly.
  • DANGER – Either a Danger of excessive heat and/or humidity exists and athletes should slow down significantly and monitor their hydration very carefully, or lightning, tornado(s), flooding, etc. are reported in the area and ALL ATHLETES should take cover at the closest shelter until the course is reopened.  Be sure to heed the directions of the race staff carefully in these conditions.  The race may resume when/if appropriate.
  • CANCELED – Race has been Canceled due to extreme weather or an on course emergency has occurred and all participants are advised to leave the course/seek shelter immediately.  The regular shuttle buses will be redirected to help evacuate athletes to shelters or back to their vehicles.

We hope to have   NORMAL   status over the entire length of our races, however, should the need arise we are dedicated to communicating race status and safety warnings to each of you in a timely, effective manner.

The Safety Warning System will be located near each fluid/aid station, so please keep an eye out for it.  Fluid station personnel will be reminding you of the current race condition (warning system colors) whenever a non-NORMAL condition exists, and they may be directing you to the nearest shelter, for your own safety. Dangerous conditions are very unusual during our races, but please remember to look for the current Warning System color and listen to staff instructions as you approach each fluid/aid station.

  1. On Course Entertainment:

As in previous years, there will be bands, DJs, cheer zones, etc. at appropriate places along the courses, as allowed by each municipality, for the enjoyment of the athletes, spectators and volunteers. We are restricted by noise ordinances in several locations as our races are relatively early on a Sunday morning and pass through many residential neighborhoods.

We will publish course maps with fluids/GU/banana, etc. locations, turn-by-turn directions and a list of the entertainers and their locations as soon as we have finalized those details


Below is an important summary from Race Director Update #1:

Smooth Sailing  Smooth Sailing on Race Day:

  1. Pre-Race: Carpool and be in the parking lots about 75-120 minutes before the race start (7:30 am), or take the Special NJ Marathon Race Day Transportation. Click here to register.
  2. Pre-paid parking at Monmouth Park: We strongly suggest the pre-paid option ($5) for these lots. Paying as you leave will cost $10 and will likely slow down your departure. Click here to register.
  3. Pre-paid parking near the Finish Area: Guaranteed Parking for spectators at 7-President’s Park is SOLD OUT.
  4. Post-Race: Getting home: Take a regularly scheduled NJ Transit train, (Please note: these trains do NOT stop at Monmouth Park), walk to your vehicle in one of the parking lots near the Finish Area, or take one of our free shuttle buses back to your vehicle at 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. Click here to register for Will Call Service.
  7. Race Day Security Information for Spectators (click the link and scroll down to the “Security Info”).

I hope that the information above will help you to understand what to expect on the course during your race, and help you to better plan your time with us at the Shore.

Best wishes during your training and on race day!


Joe Gigas
Race Director
Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon and Half Marathon
Presented by: Life Time Fitness

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