RED BANK – The 20th anniversary 2013 George Sheehan Classic with its popular 5K (3.1 mile) distance as its main event, is set for 8:30 a.m. Saturday, June 15.
More than 2,500 runners are expected to participate in what is known as one of the Jersey Shore’s most renowned road races. Preregistration is still available, and the 5K is filling up quickly. The race is limited to 3,000 entrants.
The race committee has had a great deal of community feedback over the years that running 5 miles was just a little too long for the everyday runner, and that sometimes the heat in June can be a factor. In response, it was decided last year that the 5K distance is the right match for the entire family to participate, either by racing or walking the scenic course.
This year will be the 20th running of the event in Red Bank. The George Sheehan Classic began in 1981 as the Asbury Park 10K Classic and quickly became one of the major road running events on the national calendar. The race moved to Red Bank in 1994 and was renamed to honor the memory of Dr. George Sheehan, the prominent author, philosopher and area physician. “The Doc” has been called the “father of the running boom” in the United States.
The Sheehan family is planning a release of a new book of his life’s work next year to commemorate the 20th year of his passing.
As part of the Sheehan Classic, the Friday evening Kids’ Classic will be held at 6:30 p.m. June 14. It’s a series of children’s races of various distances – from toddler to age 13. Kids will be treated to face painting, characters and treats from area establishments like Smoothie King and Sugarush. Free entertainment will accompany the kids’ races at the Runner’s Expo Village, on the banks of the Navesink. The expo is open from 2 to 8:30 p.m.
The main race will be held at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, June 15. Event finishers enjoy a picnic breakfast in the park, followed by a popular post-race block party at 10:30 with music and an awards ceremony.
More than $2,500 in prize money will be distributed in the 5- kilometer run to top five overall finishers, top New Jersey finishers and age-category winners.
The race is part of the Jersey Shore Golden Grand Prix, sponsored by McLoone’s. It’s a series of races that offers prize money to overall and age category winners. The five events are: Spring Lake 5, George Sheehan Classic, Belmar 5, Asbury Park 5K and Pier House 5K.
For Sheehan Classic information and registration, call the event hotline 732-571-2162 or check the website at www.sheehanclassic.org.