Belmar road race scheduled for Saturday


The 32nd annual Belmar Five Johnny Cobb Memorial Run is set for Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m., and more than 3,000 runners are expected to participate, according to race director Phil Hinck.

The race is presented by the Goodwill Hose Fire Company, which uses proceeds to defray its operating costs as one of the three fire companies in Belmar.

Hinck said that participation in the 5- mile has been increasing steadily by between 200 and 300 runners each year. Last summer’s event drew about 2,800 runners, he added.

The 5-miler is the third leg of the Jersey Shore Golden Grand Prix, which also includes the Spring Lake Five, the George Sheehan Classic and the Asbury Park & Pier Village 5K.

Craig Segal of Holmdel won the men’s division at both the Spring Lake Five and the Sheehan Classic, while Noel Brock, an assistant track coach at Toms River North High School, won the women’s race at both events. Hinck noted that no one has won all four events in the five-year history of the Golden Grand Prix.

The Belmar race features a fast, flat course that begins on Ocean Avenue between Second and Third avenues. It includes an out-and-back leg on Ocean Avenue and goes around Lake Como and Silver Lake before ending up at Fifth Avenue between A Street and Ocean Avenue.

“Most of the runners are from the surrounding counties,” Hinck said. “We’re very proud of the fact that this is such a large, local race. We try to make it family-friendly, and I think that’s helped our numbers.”

The course records stand at 23:26 for the men’s race, set by Brent Barnhill in 1987, and 26:39 for the women’s race, set by Elaine van Blunk in 1990.

The event actually kicks off on Friday evening at 6:30 p.m. with a series of kids’ races followed by a fitness walk at 7 p.m. A movie will be shown, and there will be a fireworks display following the kids’ race and the fitness walk.

About 300 volunteers will support the race, including members of the Goodwill Hose Company, who monitor the course.

Hinck noted that the race is named for the late Johnny Cobb, a longtime supporter of the race. A local fixture, Cobb was a 25-year veteran of the Belmar Police Department and member of the Goodwill Hose Fire Company.

Registrations are still being accepted. Prices through Thursday are $12 for the kids’ race; $17 for the fitness walk; and $22 for the 5-miler. Prices go up by $3 beginning Friday, and race-day registrations will be available on-site. Online registration is available at