It’s crazy to me that the New Jersey Marathon was already 3 months ago! I wanted to do a little recap since I wasn’t blogging when I ran this race. This was my first of 5 marathons in 2015.
Lucky for me, I got to run 2 hometown races this year -> New Jersey & Vermont! The New Jersey Marathon starts at Monmouth Park which is only about 15 minutes from my (parents) house. This came in clutch for 2 reasons; A) we didn’t have to book a hotel and B) we didn’t have to travel too far on race morning. Plus, I literally ran into one of my good friends at the start of the race as she was running the half. Also, my parents and best girlfriends from HS were there to cheer me on & made me the best poster… EVER!
they get me <3
I went into this race planning to take it pretty easy while using it as a super long training run, because I was actually going to ‘race’ VCM 4 weeks after and didn’t want to push it. I should have expected race brain to take over, it usually does. My goal was to get sub-5 to prove to myself that I could run a 4:45 for VCM.
A few days before race day, I learned that I wouldn’t be able to wear my camelback due to security reasons. I was extremely concerned about this because I wear my camelback for all my runs over 10 miles. I like to be able to have water whenever I want, not every 1-2 miles. Plus, drinking a cup or 2 of water/Gatorade at each aid station isn’t enough fluids for me. I knew I was in trouble but I went into the race staying positive that I’d be fine with only being able to stop at the water stations.
The race started in waves at 7:30 with “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen BLARING through the speakers! I chose to run with the 4:55 pace group to achieve my goal of a sub-5 marathon. I’m so glad that I ran with this pacegroup because I had an awesome pacer, Jürgen. He might be one of the most awesome people that I’ve ever met. It was his 99th marathon that day with his 100th coming up the following weekend. To me, that is incredible and I was proud to run with him. He cared so much about everyone in the group, making sure to let us know when water stations were coming up so that we were able to stay on top of our fueling. He would shout out if there was a bump or hole in the ground so we could avoid it. He constantly reminded us of how well we were doing and to keep it up. We were on point for paces the whole time I was with him. Although I didn’t finish the race with him, he inspired me and I’m honored to have met him.
The first 13 miles are a bit of a blur to me… I was in the zone. I know we made our way through a few neighborhoods and over a couple small bridges. I remember the halfway point because I was feeling super jealous of all the people who were about to finish. Then we hit the Ocean Ave stretch -> hello sun. Around mile 18 I started to lose it. I was literally running for water at this point. It was all I could think about! Clearly I was dehydrated. When this happened, there were 2 women running with the pace group that were angels sent from above. One of them shared her water bottle with me as she was feeling hydrated, which made me press on for a few more minutes with the group. The other woman was running next to me and kept telling me ‘one foot in front of the other’, ‘keep breathing’, ‘keep your chest up to open the airway’, etc. She was a gem. At the aid station shortly before mile 19, I had to leave the pace group and walk for a bit. I needed to get some serious water in me. The woman who was talking me through my struggle ended up walking with me for a bit & sharing her salt packets. She kept me motivated to run 10 minutes, walk 1 minute but before long I couldn’t even keep up with this and didn’t want to hold her back.
From about mile 21 on, I did a very slow run/walk but it was mostly a walk… my tank was empty and I was absolutely dehydrated, despite grabbing water at each aid station. Slowly but surely I made my way to the finish, right on the ocean front where my parents and friends were waiting for me. My friends ran with me for a minute -> you guys rock! My dad handed me a rose right before I crossed the finish line. He’s my #1 fan. I ended up finishing in 5:21. I got to see Jürgen again once I was finished which was a treat because I wanted to thank him for helping me through the first 19 miles
shout out to my girl Catherine on finishing!
Overall, I enjoyed this race despite my dehydration & not hitting my goal time. The course is relatively flat with views of gorgeous waterfront mansions and the ocean. If you’re looking for a BQ, all the pacers are set up for BQ times. All of the aid stations were stocked and had wonderful volunteers. The race start area was easy to navigate and the bathroom lines were quick. The race t-shirt & medal were awesome. The expo was pretty good. As the race takes place at end of April, the weather was perfect because the summer heat hasn’t yet set in. We were lucky to have such a beautiful day. If you’re looking for a marathon to run in New Jersey, I would most definitely recommend this one!
well deserved post-race creamee’s 🙂