As part of my goal for 2016 to run at least one race every month, I ran the Belmar 5 in July. The race takes place in the beach town of Belmar, New Jersey. This year, like last year, I managed to recruit a friend to run with me. Caitlin and I got to Belmar early and the plan was for a few other friends to meet us for a beach day. The race started at 8:30am and the morning is fairly smooth, thanks to the fact that the race mails bibs to pre-registered runners. This is an awesome feature. We arrived in Belmar by 8ish and found parking, got ourselves ready, and went to the bathroom before lining up at the start and it was nice not to add a bib pickup in there. The race benefits the volunteer fire department in Belmar. As much as I like the ‘big city races’ I also like the smaller races that benefit local causes in a very direct way. Throughout our driver to Belmar and getting ourselves ready once we go there, it was raining on and off, sometimes pretty hard. By the time the race started, the weather was fairly clear with a sprinkle here or there and actually a welcome sprinkle on a hot humid morning. Five miles is a nice distance, and not terribly common. The race is flat and stays on nicely paved roads. The course goes around two different lakes and runs along the ocean front as well as through some residential neighborhoods. Crowd support is decent as well as lots of folks come out to their front porch to cheer on the runners. My goal was to finish the race in under 50 minutes, and I did that with a 49:33. Caitlin and I finished within a few minutes of each other and we quickly grabbed our race shirts and some food and started getting texts that the rest of our beach going friends were there and ready to meet us.
Ultimately, it was not beach day weather, it was windy, the water was rough with ‘no swimming’ flags and lifeguards were not on duty for day to discourage swimming. We ended up finding a Planet Fitness in the area to shower and spend the rest of the day taking in the town of Belmar.
After Caitlin’s wedding last year, where the reception hall’s fire alarm kept going off, resulting in several visits from the fire department, we felt in only fitting to take a group photo with a fire truck.