I wanted a vacation from NYC, ideally one that involved a race and a trip to the beach. Add in the fact that I needed to start training my replacement on July 15 (meaning my schedule would be less flexible), and this race was perfect!
Super brief vacation recap!
Belmar, NJ is about 2 hours south of NYC, via the NJ Transit’s trains. I decided to arrive on Thursday evening and leave Saturday afternoon, after the race. To save money, I found a room in Neptune, NJ on Airbnb. It was a bit of a walk (or a short Lyft ride) to get to the beach area/where things were more interesting, but it was worth it. The hotel rooms in my budget had terrible reviews, many involving cigarette odor–and they weren’t close to the beach, either. I arrived Thursday evening, picked up my bib, ate dinner overlooking the water, and had an early-ish bedtime. It was the perfect start to my trip!
On Friday, I went to the beach, where despite applying sunscreen numerous times, I got sunburnt. Unfortunately, although it was hot out, the water was FREEZING, and I also needed to be close to my phone, for work. It wasn’t the ideal beach visit (more of that to come when I go on vacation in August), but it was a nice break from my routine. I took a break from getting sunburnt to get a massage! Definitely one of the highlights of my trip, and I felt SO relaxed afterwards. I had originally planned to watch the fireworks on the beach that evening, but was tired and decided to turn in early.
On Saturday, I woke up, drank coffee, took a Lyft to the race area, and was good to go! After the race, I walked back to the Airbnb to shower, then ate a delicious brunch and returned to NYC…where I bought aloe vera gel.
I read a few race recaps, which basically said that the course is fine but it’s usually very hot and humid. My only goal was to run a sub 50 minute race, so unless it was a heat wave swampy armpit, I figured I’d be fine.
Price: $38 ($35 + $3 processing fee). Not amazing, but I registered the week of the race. Price: B
Website: It was fine, had all of the information I needed.
Publicity: Well, I did a google search for races and found it, so therefore it was a success! Publicity: A
Transportation to race: I took a Lyft across the bridge, until I got to the road closures. It was then a short walk. Transportation: A-
Weather: Low 80s, not insanely humid. It was the best possible situation I could hope for.
Time: 8:30am. A bit of a late start, but it meant I could set my alarm for 6:30am and snooze it until 7 and still not be rushed…and since I wasn’t running for time, I didn’t care too much about the heat. Start time: A
Start/finish area: Along the boardwalk. There was water and family and friends could gather. It was nice!
Packet pick-up: I got mine a few days prior, at the fire station. It was a smooth process.
Race shirt: Unisex, so I won’t be keeping it.
Boo, unisex shirt!
What I wore: tank top, shorts, running cap, sunglasses.
Bag drop: I wasn’t using it, so I didn’t check.
Course: The course runs down the boardwalk for about a mile, around a small lake, then back, with an additional neighborhoody section added on at the end, to get to five miles. There was a little shade one we left the the boardwalk. The locals were amazing! People were spraying their hoses at runners, and offering general support. There were a few random trumpet players around the course, which was a nice added touch.
Water stations: It said there were four on the course. There were, but they weren’t evenly distributed. Since there wasn’t a massive heat wave, this wasn’t the end of the world.
Bathrooms: I only remember the port o potties in the start/finish area. Bathrooms: D-
Pictures: Free, but when I searched for my name, they didn’t have any. 🙁 Pictures: F
Medal: IT HAS A WINE CORK. BEST MEDAL EVER. Medal: A+++
The Belmar Five Mile Race was a great mini vacation, and a fun local race. It’s definitely not a “must do” every year, but if you’re in the area, like to run, and like the beach, I suggest making the trip!
Also, I posted about the race on Instagram, and one of my friends told me his dad ran it! Small world!