2015 Race Director Update #9


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 #9
2 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 ninth 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.
  • Special Race Day Buses from: NY Port Authority, Newark Penn Station, Rahway, Matawan, Middletown


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.
  1. 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.
  1. Pre-paid parking near the Finish Area: Guaranteed Parking for spectators at 7-President’s Park is SOLD OUT.
  1. 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.
  1. Race Day Gear Check: Take advantage of this free service for dry, warm clothing after your race!
  1. Race Packet Pick-up: Free at the Expo, paid service on race day morning. Click here to register for Will Call Service.
  1. Race Day Security Information for: Athletes, Spectators, Sponsors, Press, Volunteers & Race Staff should be reviewed prior to Race Day.

Smooth Sailing on April 25 th at the ShapingNJ 5K and the Barnabas Health Family Festival

  1. Parking for the ShapingNJ 5K and Barnabas Health Family Festival and Kids Races: Lots will be available in Pier Village for $5, as well as on street parking around the area.
  2. The Start/Finish Location: The 5K, Kids’ Races, Kid’s 1.2 Mile Marathon, Kids Move The New Jersey Marathon Run and Family Festival will all be held at the Oceanfront Promenade in Long Branch: between the Ocean Place Resort and Rooney’s Restaurant. Additional information is available on our website.
  3. Getting to the Start: There are no anticipated road closures on April 25. Good access should exist from the west via Rt. 36, from the north via Rt. 36 and from the south via Ocean Ave. / Blvd., and all local roads.
  4. Security Restrictions: Report any suspicious behavior and unattended bags to Race Staff/Police.

Smooth Sailing on April 24 th & 25th at the Health & Fitness Expo

  1. Getting to the Expo: The address is 175 Oceanport Ave., Oceanport, NJ 07757. Rt. 36 west from GSP Exit 105 and Rt. 18 Exit 13B provide the main access to Oceanport Ave. Many other route options are available using local roads.
  2. Expo Parking: All Expo parking will be inside the Grandstand Area of the park, off Oceanport Ave. VIP Parking: via the first right onto Park Rd. from the traffic circle followed by a quick right into the lot. All other parking: part way around the traffic circle to the left. All Expo parking is free.
  3. Race Packet Pick-up: Be sure to bring your bib # with you to the Expo to speed up the process. Look it up beforehand using the link on our website. Terminals will also be available at the Expo for anyone who doesn’t know their bib number.


  1. The Barnabas Health Family Festival and Kids Races

Held each year on the Saturday morning prior to our Marathon, etc. on the Oceanfront Promenade in Long Branch (the site of the finish area for the Sunday races), Barnabas Health brings families a morning of fun activities and kids races. Please check out the various activities on our website and bring the family!

The Kids’ 1.2 Mile Run is the only event which requires a paid registration (either on-line or on-site on Saturday the 25th).


  1. The Kids Move The New Jersey Marathon Program

Over 2500 Elementary School Children from Long Branch, Oceanport, Monmouth Beach and Perth Amboy have begun a multi-week program to accumulate either 12 or 25 equivalent miles of movement (depending on their age) before Saturday, April 25th.  The children who have successfully met that goal will be invited to move (run, walk, etc.) the last 1.1 or 1.2 miles with us in order to complete the half or full marathon distance, during the Kids’ 1.2 Mile Run. This program is enabled by the enthusiastic support of: the School Districts, Novo Nordisk (sponsoring the multi-week in-school portion), the New Jersey Road Runners Youth Foundation (sponsoring the finishers medals), and the New Jersey Marathon and Half Marathon.  We are all proud of this amazing event, and expect to offer it state-wide in future years.


  1. Security – Be Aware of the Rules to Make Race Day Easier

On Sunday, April 26th special security procedures will be in place at the start, finish and throughout the courses. Here are some Highlights:

  • Registered Athletes: May bring one clear plastic bag, the one which was given to them by the race, with no other bag inside it. That Official Race Day Gear Bag must be dropped off at the Gear Drop Trucks inside Monmouth Park.  Hydration belts and hydration bladders are allowed (as long as they do not contain pockets).  Athletes wearing the hydration belts/packs may be asked to take a drink of the liquid.
  • Spectators: NO BAGS OF ANY KIND will be allowed in the security zones inside the Monmouth Park Grandstand gates or inside the secure Finish Line Festival Area. That means no pocketbooks, backpacks, diaper bags, etc.


  1. Getting Information During Race Weekend

If you have questions over race weekend there will be Information available in many locations and ways. There will be an Info booth just inside the Main Expo Entrance (to the right), a tent as you enter Monmouth Park at the Start Area and a tent at the Finish Line Festival area on race day. In addition, there will be staff roaming around each of those venues wearing shirts which say: “Got A Question?” on the front and “Ask Me!” on the back.  If the Ask Me folks can’t answer your question they will direct you to one of our Info booths/tents.


  1. Volunteers – Final Call

We have a few volunteer positions still open for race weeks shifts (April 23-26).  If you’d like to be part of the action and involved in some of the many activities required to put on this weekend event, we would be glad to find a spot for you. Send an email right away to: Volunteers@NJMarathon.org, as we’re almost full.


  1. Making Race Day Special

Choose one or more of the following ways to enhance your race experience:

  • Sign up for a VIP Experience. VIPs will receive: a special meeting with our Race Director and local dignitaries, special expo and race day parking areas, special start and finish line food and relaxation areas, special bibs and bib numbers, etc.
  • NY York and Northern NJ, take the bus to the race – simplify race day transportation on April 26th
  • Rock to the Finish Line Festival Band (a popular Jersey Shore band will be announced any day now)
  • Listen for your bib # to be announced as one of our many Finish Line Raffle winners. You’re automatically entered in the raffle as soon as you cross the finish line (they are chosen by finisher’s bib numbers). Among other items, we will be raffling off six pairs of Skechers Performance shoes. That’s the brand and line of shoes which America’s top marathoner, Meb Keflezighi, wears!
  • Enjoy a free, light massage, to help with your post-race recovery and rejuvenation
  • Enjoy a snack or meal while cheering for family and friends still on the race course
  • Have your new spinning finisher’s medal engraved with your name and finish time
  • Shop for some great deals on Official New Jersey Marathon and Long Branch Half Marathon gear
  • Take a walk on the beach, which is right beside the finish area, and perhaps a dip in the ocean!


  1. Our Expo Speakers and Exercise Classes

When planning you visit to our Health & Fitness Expo and Race Packet Pick-up service please check out our free Presentation Series and Exercise classes listed in Race Director Update #8.

Weather permitting, we will again have musical entertainment in the area in front of the Expo main entrance.


  1. Let’s All Pitch in Together to Help Others

We’re attempting to change the lives of families in African villages again by donating used athletic shoes to the MORE Foundation during the Expo. It takes the proceeds from 600 pairs of shoes to sustain a family for a year, and we’d like to adopt several families again this year! Together we have supported 8 families since 2012. That’s a lot of shoes! We thank you for giving us your old training and racing partners! We encourage you to continue the tradition this year.

Move for Hunger will be conducting a food drive again this year during the Health & Fitness Expo.  Please remember, it’s “cans in hands” when heading to the Expo.  Please help us to end hunger here in New Jersey!! Together you have donated over 6,000 pounds of food.  Thank you for your generosity!


I hope that the information above will help you to understand what to expect during the many parts of race weekend 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

2014 Race Director Update #6

NN NJM logo - XXSmall

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 #6 – 5 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 sixth in the series of weekly messages. Copies of these updates are also available on our Website.

Important Summary – Smooth Sailing on April 27th – 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 pre-paid option.  Click here for a pre-paid pass ($5).
  3. Pre-paid parking near the Finish Area: Guaranteed Parking for spectators at 7-President’s Oceanfront Park in Long Branch.  Click here for a $15 pass.
  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. Click here to register ($25).
  7. Race Day Security Information for Athletes, Spectators, Press, Volunteers and Race Staff: Click here for special race day security requirements.

The graphic for the Finish Line Festival Area is not complete, so this week’s topic has been changed.

1.     Tune-up Training Run On the Courses:

Mark your calendar for a tune-up training run on Sunday, April 6th (three weeks prior to race day).  We will have a 10 miler (8 am start) and 20 miler (7 am start) “Last Long Training Run”, on parts of the course.

Please “Join” our event on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/events/562747157155359/  as we need an accurate headcount to finalize ordering of supplies and staffing plans. Please let us know that you’ll be training with us on that day by clicking on “Join” for the event.

 2.     Last call for customized bibs!

Everyone registered prior to April 1st will have the name they entered during registration pre-printed on their bib. If you did not enter anything during you registration, your first name will be automatically pre-printed.  Everyone registered on/after April 1st will NOT have a customized bib. Let your friends know!

 3.     The 2-Person Half Marathon Relay:

 At Packet Pick-up at the Health & Fitness Expo (Friday April 25th and Saturday April 26th):

Either the team Captain or the teammate may come to Packet Pick-up with the Registration Details Form and valid photo ID. Please announce your Bib # and Team Name, and give the Form and valid ID to the volunteer to receive the bibs, timing chips/belt and safety pins for both team members. Please note: you will not be able to pick up the race packet for your team unless you have the proper paperwork!  Please review the “Packet Pickup Info” on our website prior to visiting the Expo in order to make this process as easy as possible.

Relay Info on Race Day:

Please wear your Bib # on the front of your t-shirt, and a second bib with “RELAY” on the back of your shirt. You will be provided sixteen safety pins in your race packet to use in attaching these two bibs to each person’s shirt.  Please note: the bottom of your bib will have a tear off portion to be attached to your gear-drop bag (if applicable).  It should be removed and either attached to your race day gear bag, or disposed of if you’re not checking a gear bag.  Please review the Gear Drop instructions in Race Director Update #4 if you are planning to drop off a bag of clothing for the finish line.  The race packet will also contain a third race bib with timing strips on the back, which is attached to an elastic belt. That is the belt and bib which the active athlete will wear during their portion of the relay race and which will be transferred to the second athlete at the Relay Transition Area (see below).

Getting to the start of your leg of the Relay:

  1. The first athlete on a team should either park or be dropped off near the Start Line at Monmouth Park, prior to 5:45 am.
  2. The second athlete on a team may either: park or be dropped off at Monmouth Park and utilize the free shuttle bus service to the Transition Area, or drive to a parking lot near the Transition Area in Monmouth Beach (see below).

Shuttle Buses to/from the Relay Transition Area:

  1. Buses from Monmouth Park to the Relay Transition Area will load between 6:45 am and 7:00 am and will LEAVE promptly at 7:00 am on race day morning in order to avoid road closures.  Please note: After 7:00 am you must find your own way to the transition area, which is not within walking distance. (See below for parking near the Relay Transition Area in Monmouth Beach).
  2. Buses from the Transition Area (watch for signs) will shuttle the first team member to the finish area. They will run from 7:15 am until 9:30 am only.  Toilets and water will be located in the Transition Area, along with a tent for shelter.

Parking near the Transition Area is on the southern end of Seaview Ave. in Monmouth Beach (between Valentine St. and Surf Rd.).  Since that parking area has limited spaces, and is open to the general public, it is advisable for most relay participants who are starting their portion of the race from the Transition Area to park at Monmouth Park and take the free shuttle buses to the Transition Area.

At the Relay Transition (Griffin Park in Monmouth Beach):

When arriving inside the Transition Area, the first teammate must remove the belt with the bib and timing chip and hand it to the second teammate.  Once the belt is securely in place the second teammate may exit the Transition Area to begin their portion of the race.

Race Support Staff will be on-site at the Transition Area for questions. Please follow their directions to make the transition as easy as possible.  Please plan your Relay carefully for the best experience!

Relay Info at the Finish Area:

  1. The first athlete will NOT be allowed to enter the secure finish area while waiting for their teammate.
  2. The second athlete will be given 2 Finisher medals after they turn in the timing belt at the finish line.
  3. The second athlete should request two portions of food as they go through the Athlete Services Food Tent since security requirements only allow entry from the finish line side.  Please note: you will not be allow back into the tent once you’ve exited.

 4.     ShapingNJ 5K:

To race in the ShapingNJ 5K you must wear an official race bib and timing strip during your race, with the medical information filled out on the back.  Race Packets (race bib/timing strip and race shirt) will be available for pick-up during the Health & Fitness Expo on Friday, at Monmouth Park, in Oceanport. If you are unable to make it during the normally scheduled expo hours (1-7 pm), you may pick it up at the Start Line on race day morning, between 7:00 and 8:00 am.

Parking (paid) is normally available in the lots near the start/finish area, and there may be some on-street parking available, depending on your arrival time.  Please carpool whenever possible to reduce traffic congestion and full parking lots.  The only street closure will be on Ocean Ave. (not Ocean Blvd.), between the eastern end of Brighton Ave. in West End and Laird St. in Pier Village, and therefore access to the Start will be unimpeded.

Athletes should begin lining up at the start line at 8:15 am for the prompt 8:30 am start.  Please line up by expected finish time, so that faster participants are ahead of you. There is always a danger of tripping accidents during the start of a race if participants are not arranged in the order by speed (pace). Please do your part to help make it a safe start for yourself and others around you.

 5.     Barnabas Health Family Festival and Kids Races:

On Saturday morning April 26th, directly after the ShapingNJ 5K, we will present the Family Festival and Kids Races sponsored by Barnabas Health.  In addition to several races, there will be: clowns, face painting, music, carnival games, crafts, refreshments, awards, medals, and commemorative T-Shirts. It is a great festival for the entire family!

The fun starts at 8:30 am until noon on the Great Lawn at the Ocean Promenade, in Long Branch at the finish line of Sunday’s races!  (North of Pier Village – between the Ocean Place Resort & Spa and Rooney’s Restaurant)

Included in this event will be “1.2 Mile Kids’ Marathon” which includes the “Kids Move the New Jersey Marathon” athletes. These are local (Long Branch) children earning mileage and completing their very own marathon over the course of several weeks.

Registration for the Barnabas Health Family Festival and Kids Races is available either directly through benefiting charities (registration links will be available on the event’s page on our website), or between 8:30 am and 9:30 am on event day on the Long Branch Oceanfront.

Questions? Please email: kids@njmarathon.org

I hope that this information will help you plan for the variety of activities available over the 3 day weekend. Please let us know if you have other questions about what to expect.

Best wishes during your training and throughout the entire weekend of activities!


Joe Gigas
Executive Race Director
Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon