- 3 miles/5K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon, Relay
- Road Race
- Event Website
After running a few halfs in New York, I couldn't wait to run my first in New Jersey as an official resident. And I am so happy I chose to run the Novo Nordisk NJ Half Marathon this past spring. The course was mostly flat with the exception of crossing a bridge, scenic and had lots of cheer squads along the way for that extra push of motivation. Plus the swag included a nice black T-shirt and medal that is a great addition to any collection.
The event kicked off with an expo starting on Friday and ending on Saturday at Monmouth Racetrack. It was organized and had ample parking. Family members could create signs and take pictures that were printed out right on site behind the half and full marathon logos. The only slight disappointment was the small gear section for merchandise, but still was able to pick up apparel (I opted for a NJ Marathon hat) that I still wear during rainy day runs.
Sunday morning was race day and the excitement can be felt in the air. The weather was perfect—a great spring morning without rain. Parking was free, which was great, and there was a shuttle from the starting line to finish line at the boardwalk for easy access for supporters and participants. The bathroom lines were LONG at the starting line, so just make sure to get there early.
The course was flat and fast, great for a PR. It took runners through the beach towns on the way to Long Branch. Just keep in mind that the only beach scenes are towards the end of the race. There were ample aid stations with water, Gatorade, and even residents who set up camp on their front lawns giving out waters and snacks.
Arguably the best part was the amount of support given throughout the course. There were families and friends cheering runners on throughout the course, which was very motivating. Both full and half marathoners ran together for about 11 mile before the marathoners went off a bit further before meeting at the finish line. Finishers received a medal, boxed water, got photos taken and had food. The post-race party included a free beer with live music and food. This was a race to experience in NJ for sure.