By John Burton
RED BANK — Motorists traveling through the borough Saturday morning should expect road closings for the annual George Sheehan Race.
Police will be blocking traffic from all streets from Maple Avenue to Prospect Avenue from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Maple Avenue, which is Route 35, will remain open for north-south traffic. Front Street also will stay open for those traveling east to west. Additionally, Broad Street will be closed to traffic from Front Street to Harding Road starting at 4 a.m. to allow for set up. It will reopen at approximately 10:30 a.m., following the race’s conclusion.
More than 2,500 runners are expected to participate this year.
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.
As part of the Sheehan Classic, the Friday evening Kids’ Classic will be held at 6:30 p.m. 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.