2015 Race Director Update #7


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 #7
4 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 seventh 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
  1. Last Long Training Run – On the Courses:

Mark your calendar for a tune-up training run on Sunday, April 5th (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 courses.  Training paces usually run the gamut; anywhere from 7 to 14+ minutes per mile.  Our largest groups are 10 min/mile and up.

Please “Join” our event on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1544864765788444/  We need an accurate headcount to finalize our plans, as we expect hundreds of athletes to run with us that day.

Please note: We will start and end these training runs at Indulge Lounge and Food Bar, in Pier Village, at: 16 Laird St, Long Branch, NJ 07740.  Parking in Pier Village is free this time of year.

For this training run we will not be using directional signs at every turn, but instead we will be providing the route maps as .kml files for you to download and use with your favorite run mapping application.  There will be a few directional signs in places where athletes have been confused in the past.  As always ,we will provide fluid stations every 4-5 miles with self-serve water and Gatorade.

  1. The Finish Chutes and Festival Area

The Finish Area is composed of two secure zones (click here for the map). The first secure zone is the race course; from Pier Village (off the map to the upper right corner), along the Promenade and extending past Rooney’s Oceanfront Restaurant on the upper left of the map. Barricades running the entire length will separate runners, security & medical personnel from spectators, etc.  You will only be allowed into this secure area if you have the proper level of security credential.

The outermost security zone extends from the course barricades at Madison Ave. to McKinley Ave. (lower right on the map) and then along the side of McKinley Ave. (along the bottom of the map) to Cooper Ave. (in the lower left corner of the map) and from there along Cooper Ave. and then toward the course barricades (in the upper left corner of the map).  Please note: Relay athletes who have completed their leg, Volunteers, Vendors and Spectators may gain access to the outermost secure zone via one of the following security checkpoints: Cooper Ave. and McKinley Ave. Everyone passing through these security checkpoints are subject to search and no bags of any kind will be allow past these checkpoints into the outermost security zone.

Athletes entering the secure area via the finish line chutes may carry two bags once they have passed through the Athlete Food Area; the Official Race Day Gear Bag from the Gear Drop Trucks located in the parking lot of the Promenade Beach Club, and the food bag given them in the Athlete Food Area as they exit the finish chutes.  These are the only two bags which may be carried by an athlete wearing an official 2015 Marathon, Half Marathon or Relay bib worn in plain sight.  Spectators may not carry a bag of any kind while in this secure area and will not be allowed inside the finish chutes of the race course.

It is the goal of the security plan to provide you with as safe and carefree a finish line experience as possible.  The security plan was put in place after the bombings in Boston in 2013.  Spectators and athletes who knew and followed the rules are free to enjoy all of the Finish Line Festival activities we offer without interference. That includes standing beside directly behind the barricades along the Finish Area, in designated locations.

Here are some points of interest throughout the Finish Line Festival Area which you will enter after you exit the finish chutes and Athlete Food Area. Please note: This areas is still within a security zone and special safety rules apply:

  1. If you checked a Race Day Gear Bag with us at the Start, pick it up after you exit the Athlete Food tent (on your right), inside the Promenade Beach Club parking area. A changing tent and restrooms will be set up in that area for your convenience as well.
  2. If you have a VIP credential, head into Rooney’s Oceanfront Restaurant at any time to enjoy your special post-race VIP location, with helpful staff, food, beverages, etc. created especially for you.
  3. Athletes without a VIP credential may also choose to head into the general area at Rooney’s. Why? Rooney’s will be offering discount drinks to athletes wearing their 2015 race bib.
  4. To continue into the Finish Line Festival then continue on Cooper and turn left onto McKinley Ave. to access the Finish Line Festival Areas listed below. Signs will be posted along Cooper Ave. and McKinley Ave. to guide you to the various parts of the Finish Line Festival, to the NJ Marathon & Half Marathon bus station for a free shuttle back to Monmouth Park and to NJ Transit’s Long Branch Station for a train home.
  5. As you walk down McKinley Ave. you will pass behind the Emergency Medical Service area, which you passed in front of at the finish line. Medical attention is available again here should you need it.
  6. The next walkway on the left of McKinley provides access to: the Recovery/Rejuvenation Tent (get a free massage); the Awards and Results Tent (if you don’t have access to a smartphone with a QR Code Reader installed come here for your finish time), Age Group Results (age group awards will be customized and mailed to you in May); ). Also, in this area, and close to the race course, you will find the Official Merchandise Tent, the Information/Lost & Found Tent, the Volunteer Check-in/out Tent, as well as a vendor engraving finisher’s medals (stop by to have your name and official finish time engraved in the space provided on the back of your well-earned medal).
  7. You may access the main stage area from either of two walkways on McKinley. There is seating in front of the stage and plenty of green space behind the seating area to enjoy the concert. BTW – we will be announcing the name of the Finish Area Festival band performing on this stage very soon. This stage is also the location of the Awards Ceremonies for the half and full marathons.
  8. If you’re planning to meet other athletes and/or your support team after your race, the Reunion Area is the place designed to make that as easy as possible for everyone. It is accessible via either the main stage area or via the walkway on McKinley just beyond the stage. Look for the tall inflatable Windmill gorilla marking the location of the Reunion Area. Continue further along that walkway you will find: Sponsor Village. Our Sponsors hold raffles throughout the festival hours and provide valuable information, exhibits and experts.
  9. The next open area on your left as you continue down McKinley will be the food vendor area and also access to Charity Village.  The Windmill, Hudson Coffee Co., and other vendors will be offering food and drinks for sale here.  The charities in the village are raising money from athletes racing for them during our races and from sponsors and will be celebrating with their fundraising athletes in their village.
  10. At the end of McKinley is Madison Ave. Just outside the security checkpoint on Madison Ave. will be portable restrooms for all spectators.
  11. If you turn right onto Madison you will notice signs directing you to the free Shuttle Buses back to Monmouth Park. Please note: New Jersey Transit trains WILL NOT STOP at Monmouth Park.
  12. Turning left at the intersection of McKinley and Madison Ave. and then turning right a short way down Madison Ave. (toward the ocean) will be signs lead to the Ocean Place Resort and further on to Pier Village (not shown on the Finish Area Map). There will also be signage leading you through Pier Village and to the Long Branch Train Station. Please note: There will also be a band playing at the Tiki Bar at the Resort for your enjoyment, as well as bands at Rooney’s and as several locations in Pier Village.
  1. Why You Run

Tell us your story! Why do you run? What it is that got you started and what is it that keeps you going?  As we do each year, we’re again collecting stories at: info@njmarathon.org.  We’re looking to inspire people with your wisdom, stamina and experiences!

Please join others in letting your fellow athletes know of the trials and tribulations you’ve overcome and how running has helped.  Every year we are amazed by the stories of bravery, persistence and determination in the face of the very significant adversity which our fellow athletes have experienced. Some of us run because we can, but many of us run because we must!  Why?  How has it helped?  Your story may help someone who’s going through what you already have, and here’s a way to reach out to them.

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 at the finish areas, 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 #10 (Race Week)

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 #10 – 1 week 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 tenth in the series of weekly messages. Copies of these updates are also available on our Website.

Smooth Sailing on April 27th – See Race Director Update #1 for more details:

  • 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).
  • Corral loading: Half/Relay 6:10-6:40 am, Full 7:35-7:55 am. The last corral will remain open until the start, for late arrivals. The start lines will close after the last corral has left.  Don’t be late!
  • Post-Race Busing to Monmouth Park: Road closures require return busing to begin around 9:15 am. During your wait enjoy the: Finish Line Festival Bands, raffles, vendor food, shop for official race gear, have you finishers medal engraved, sign up for a massage, etc.
  • Pre-paid parking at Monmouth Park: We strongly suggest the pre-paid option.  Click here for a pass or purchase one at the Expo for ($5). Parking passes will be $10 on Race Day on exit!
  • Race Day Gear Check: Take advantage of this free service for dry, warm, clothing after your race!
  • Race Packet Pick-up: Free at the Expo. Paid service on race day morning.  Click here to register ($25).
  • Pre-paid parking near the Finish Area: Guaranteed Parking for spectators at 7-President’s Oceanfront Park in Long Branch.  Click here for a pass ($15).
  • 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.
  • Race Day Security Information for Athletes, Spectators, Press, Volunteers and Race Staff:Click here for special race day security requirements.

Smooth Sailing on April 26th

  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • Getting to the Start: There are no anticipated road closures on April 26th.  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.
  • Security Restrictions: Report any suspicious behavior and unattended bags to Race Staff/Police.
  • Race Day Registrations: Race day registrations at the start line will be available until 8:25 am.
  • Bag Check: There will be a bag check area set up near the start/finish line.



 1. Race Information Booklet

We are pleased to provide a link to our “green” Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon Information Booklet.  We hope that it will be a useful recap of information about our entire weekend of activities for you and your supporters.

2. Maps

Here’s a link to maps for each of our races plus the Start & Finish Line Festival Areas all in one place.

3. The Marathon is SOLD OUT

Don’t delay in registering for our half and relay as they may sell out at any moment!    Please note: As people switch races, defer or drop out we’ll fill each newly open slot from the wait list, but there’s no guarantee. So, if you missed the registration period for your race please get on the wait list soon as some people will be offered entry through that channel.  Please note: Our 5K race will continue to take registrations until its max number has been reached.  We are planning to take registrations on race day (Saturday, April 26th) for this race, unless of course it sells out during the Expo. Registrations for the Kid’s 1.2 Mile Marathon on Saturday are offered thru affiliated charities only. Race day registration for this event will likely be available as it has never sold out, yet.

4. Start Line Parking – one more time!

There is no free parking in and around Monmouth Park, the site of our Start Village and Start Line.  Last year some people experienced long waits to exit the parking lots after their race.  This year, in order to address those issues, we have created a pre-pay option ($5 either online or at the Expo).  Pre-paid parkers will have their own exit line and will hand a ticket to the attendant and they’ll be on their way.  Those who did not pre-pay will also have their own exit line.  BTW – we have hired a different group to take cash (only) this year and they will be making change whenever necessary.  The cash only fee will be $10 at the exits. IF everyone who didn’t choose the pre-pay option comes with a $10 bill that line will move as fast as the pre-paid line.  Save money and time by choosing the pre-pay option though as that is not likely to happen!

5. Finding Your Bib Number and Registration Information

We have posted a link on our website to find your bib number and other important registration information.  Many have already used that link successfully. So far the link has been available ONLY for anyone who registered prior to 4/1. However, starting on Monday evening, 4/21, everyone who registered prior to the close of on-line registration will be included).  Please enter your last name, click “Search” and either print out that screen of information or write down your bib number and bring it to Packet Pick-up at the Expo, along with your official government issued ID.

6. Finding Your Finish Time

Finish times will be available soon after you complete your race, in a number of ways: 1) download a free QR Code Reader/Scanner to your smartphone  and you can simply scan the QR Code on your bib, 2) you can ask a friend with a smartphone and QR Code Reader/Scanner to scan the code on your bib for you, 3) you can go to the “Awards and Results” Tent in the Finish Line Festival Area and volunteers there will scan your bib for you,  4) you can also get your finish time via a link on the main page of our website.

Here’s a QR code to test your QR reader/scanner.  qrtest1 It will take you to our currently blank race results page (no finishers yet)!


7. Reconnecting With Your Supporters

In the middle of the Finish Line Festival Area is the Reunion Area, a place to meet your family and friends after your race. To locate it either check the Finish Line Festival Area map or look for the big gorilla as you get near the main stage.

8. Getting Back To Monmouth Park

Return busing to Monmouth Park will begin around 9:15 am (or when the course is clear of athletes).  We are unable to begin sooner as the roadway between the finish area and Monmouth Park will still be closed due to the race.  Please note: Loading of the buses will be by corral order initially (A then B) in order to allow those athletes who finished earlier, and their supporters, first access to the buses.  The initial wave of athletes and spectators will be gathering in the bus corrals from about 9:00 to 10:00 am.  As that wave of riders starts to dissipate the bulk of the half marathoners will finish.  After 10 am boarding will be open for everyone and will continue until 4:30 pm.  See below for a list of things to do after your race.

9. Runner Tracking on Sunday the 27th

We will again provide a free runner tracking service during our Full and Half Marathons. A link will be posted soon to sign up for the service.  It will be on the main page of our website and posted on our Facebook page and Twitter feed as well.

10. Last Call for Volunteers!

We still have a few volunteer positions open for race week shifts (April 23-27).  If you’d like to be part of the action and involved in some of the many activities required to put on this weekend long 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.

11. Our Health & Wellness Speaker Series

Plan you visit to our Expo & Race Packet Pick-up after checking our Presentation Series below:

  • Cross Training For Runners on (Fri., 1:30 p.m.), by Kaiser Therapy
  • Core Training For Distance Runners on (Fri., 2:00 p.m., and Sat., 1:00 p.m.), by JMP Fitness
  • Fueling for Race Day Success (Fri., 3 p.m., Sat., 11 a.m.), by Draper Training and Nutrition
  • Adopting a Healthy Life Style & Achieving Goals (Fri., 4 p.m., Sat., 10:30 a.m.), by Stay Strong Multi-Sport
  • Race Pacing Strategy (Fri., 6:30 p.m., Sat., 3:30 p.m.) by Otto Lam, Pace Team Director
  • Post-Marathon Recovery Plan (Fri., 4:30 p.m., Sat., 5:00 p.m.), by Nourish.Sculpt.Motivate
  • Training and Racing with Type 1 Diabetes (Fri., 5:30 p.m), by Jay Hewitt, Elite Ironman triathlete
  • 2014 Course Overviews (Fri., 6 p.m., Sat., 4 p.m.), by Jim Thomas, Course Director
  • Proper Usage and Application of Taping (Sat, 1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m.), by Kinesio Taping Association
  • Running Form (Sat., 11:30 am), by eChiFitness
  • Yoga for All Ages (Sat., 3 p.m.), by Monmouth Beach Yoga & Wellness

12. Making Race Day Special

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

  • Enjoy meeting race staff, past and current champions, dignitaries, etc. in the VIP Area at Rooney’s (pre-registration is required).
  • NYC and Northern NJ athletes; take the train to the race – simplify race day transportation on Sunday.
  • Rock to Brian Kirk and the Jirks at our Finish Line – Brian and the boys are back, by popular demand!
  • Listen for your bib # to be announced as one of our many Finish Line Raffle winners. You’re automatically entered in raffles as soon as you cross the finish line (winners are chosen by finisher’s bib numbers)
  • Enjoy a free, light massage, to help with your post-race recovery and rejuvenation
  • Enjoy a meal while cheering for family/friends on the race course at locations in and near the finish area.
  • 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 take a dip in the ocean!

13. Helping 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 supported 4 families in 2013. Thank you!

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!!


This will be my last update prior to race day. I hope that these ten weekly messages have made your planning for race day a bit less complicated, and that you know more about all the great things to do at our Expo, what to expect on the course during your race, about our new 5K and Family Festival and Kids Races on Saturday, and at our Finish Line Festival on Sunday. We all hope that you thoroughly enjoy your time with us.

Please follow us throughout the year on Facebook, Twitter and on our blog to learn about the new things which we have planned for 2015, and to join us for our free: clinics, training runs, adventure runs, and the races which we sponsor throughout the year! We look forward to being a training/running resource for you year round and hope that you will stay in touch as we are interested in you as athletes and not only as participants in our races.

This one’s for you New Jersey and runners everywhere, as we welcome our friends and neighbors from across the state, the country and from around the world!  This year we are celebrating YOU as we encourage you to, “Let Your Star Shine” during your weekend with us.  Here’s your mantra for race day, “Be Brilliant”!!  May you shine brightly on race day and throughout the year, fellow athletes!

You inspire us each day with your determination, dedication and good humor, as you work through the many issues involved in endurance sports!  Congratulations to each of you as you strive to be better than you were yesterday!


Best wishes during your training, racing and throughout the year! We look forward to you joining us again in 2015!


Joe Gigas
Executive Race Director
Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon