Every year since 2013, my husband Brian and I would do the George Sheehan Classic 5k in Red Bank. This year, the race was combined with the Asbury Park 5k to become the Asbury Park Sheehan Classic 5k in Asbury Park. I was super bummed that we wouldn’t be running the same course we had for years in Red Bank, but since the JSRC usually puts on great events, we decided to sign up for this new version of the race anyway.
August is really a toss up month as far as weather goes. For the past 2 weeks we were treated to cooler mornings with the temperature not rising until early afternoon, but of course 2 days before the 5k New Jersey faced one of the worst heat waves we have had in years with temps in the 90’s, heat index of 105, and extremely high humidity.I was originally toying around with the idea of going for a PR attempt, but once I heard the weather report that idea went out the window and the new goal became to finish without puking or passing out.
We happened to be near Asbury Park the evening before the race so we headed to the park to pick up our packets (the race bibs had been mailed to us when we registered.) The Asbury Park 5k has a signature tie dye style and the organizers decided to stick with that theme, giving the participants all different choices of tie dye design race shirts to choose from. There were so many different styles that it was almost too many choices, but I ended up with a dark purple tie dye shirt that was pretty unique compared to the old Sheehan white t-shirts we used to get. The only bummer was that the shirts were unisex and not separated into men’s and women’s, but that was to be expected.
|One of the signature Tie Dye T-Shirts|
Included in our packet was also a free Coor’s light beer ticket from McCloone’s for after the race and a $20 off coupon if you spent $40 or more there (which doesn’t expire until the end of the year!) We were also informed that we would get free beach access that day with our race bibs. So many perks from this little $25 entrance fee race!
Because of all the perks, we decided we were going to make a day out of the event and packed our bathing suits, change of clothes, and beach chairs with us race morning. For $10 we got 5 hours of parking at a metered space and we were ready for action. (oh, and no port potties since the convention center near the starting line was open for racers) As we waited at the starting line with the 1,500 plus other racers, we heard the people around us commenting on the weather and saying they wouldn’t be attempting to go fast. That made me feel a bit better about my decision not to push the pace…
The course was actually 2 loops, which was the first time I’d be running loops in a 5k. We were off to a slow start due to the crowds and I managed to break out about a quarter mile in and took off wayyyyyy to fast. My first mile clocked in at 8:41 and I could already feel my red face from the heat. Not long into mile 2, the race took a turn onto a street that had absolutely no shade and it felt like we were running on the sun. This is where you could see people peeling off the course to puke…. The worst part was knowing that we all got to run this section all over again in the second loop!
I slowed down significantly and the second mile clocked in at 9:50. The one good thing about the looped course was that the 2 water stations on the course were now actually 4… I took a water and dumped it over my head, which felt good for about a minute. My pace slowed even more as I didn’t want to become one of the pukers, and the last mile clocked in at 10:24. The last .1 or so mile was on the boardwalk and I tried to pick the pace back up a bit but the damage was already done. About 10 steps before the finish line, the dude right in front of me puked everywhere and I had to literally jump out of the way to avoid him. That was one of my more interesting finishes…. My official finish time was 30:11, and when I saw it I was a bit pissed at myself because I probably had the ability to push 12 seconds faster for a sub 30 but I played it safe.
Here are the results from the website:
To our surprise they handed out finisher medals, which is always awesome. We then went to the little festival area that was set up where they had all sorts of treats - yogurts, bagels, bananas, oranges, brownie bites, granola bars, bottles of water, and I’m sure I’m missing things. We didn’t stay in the festival area that long as there was no shade and Brian was already starting to get burnt; so we headed to McCloone’s to enjoy our free post race beer, which many of the other participants were already enjoying.
Afterwards, we headed back to the car to change into our bathing suits and grab our beach gear, took a dip in the ocean, and relaxed on the beach until about 1, when we grabbed lunch at McCloone’s with the coupon. $40 worth of food for $20 meant we had enough left over for dinner as well, and at 2pm we called it a day and headed back home to the pool, exhausted from being in the sun all day.
This race really gives you your money’s worth and I highly recommend it. We will likely sign up again next year. The one down side is being in the middle of August in the heat, but it’s worth the challenge!
What 5ks are you running this summer?