TRAVIS MAHONEY TAKES TOP HONORS IN NEPTUNE CITY.
JACK KEARNS PHOTO

Mahoney, Booth Nab Neptune City
5K Honors

BY JIM ROBBINS

NEPTUNE CITY, NJ--Four Hundred and twenty-seven road racers competed in the 18th annual Neptune City Day 5K presented by the event’s racing committee in cooperation with the Jersey Shore Running Club (JSRC) on the sunny, good-racing-weather morning of Saturday, August 7.

Travis Mahoney, 20, of Old Bridge was the one to break the finish-line tape located on Riverview Avenue at Memorial/Municipal/Beach Park, at a racing time of 16:21. Jeff Propert, 29, of Wall was second at 17:12 and third place went to Belmar’s Shane Hart at 17:32.

“I was together with two other guys for the first two miles and then I made a move and finished alone,” said Mahoney in describing his championship performance. Alone he was; the runner-up finished 41 seconds later. “It’s beautiful, it’s not too hot like the summer has been,” he said when asked about the weather. Mahoney further informed that his best 5K effort was 14:40 but not in a road race. It was done on a school track.

Dactilia Booth, 34, of Long Branch was first in for the women at 18:44 (12th place overall) from the loop course that started on West Sylvania Avenue and Hwy. #35, adjacent to the Neptune City First Aid building, which served as the sign-up area, proceeded west to Oxford Way and turned onto Sixth Avenue and meandered its way to the Park. Belmar’s Amber Hart, 31 was second at 19:11 (18th overall) and Erin Lunny, 21, of Middletown at 19:16 (19th overall) rounded out the top three women

“In the beginning (of the race) there were two women in front of me but by the second mile I passed them and stayed in front to the finish,” said Dactilia when asked to comment. “I liked the course. There were turns but not too many and I do like turns in a race,” she offered and of the weather: ”It was near perfect.”

Runner-up Hart is the 2009 Sgt.Pat’s 5K women’s champion and during that oceanfront Long Branch 3.1-mile race presented always on Easter Saturday the runners were confronted with a northeast storm and she described the weather realistically with the words, “Windy, windy, windy!” On July 10 at the Belmar Five Mile Race where she finished at 31:59 (8th woman overall) she again described the weather realistically with “Hot, hot, hot!” When asked about the weather at Neptune she said, “I would have said ‘Perfect, perfect, perfect !’ but there is just a bit of humidity out there.”

 

DACTILIA BOOTH, FIRST WOMAN AT THE NEPTUNE 5K.
JACK KEARNS PHOTO
Pat Ford, 50, at 18:38 (11th overall) was the top Neptune City award winner and Ed Alburtus, 48, was second in that category at 19:49 (30th overall) followed by Scott Parker, 47, at 21:58 (54th overall).

“I want to thank Mary Sapp (race director) and all the volunteers and the public workers for putting on the race--the runners have the easy thing, all we have to do is run--it’s the organizers and the volunteers who have to do all the work,” said Ford when asked to comment.

The top Neptune City leading females were Alyssa Keleigh, 12, at 25:37 (144th overall); Marissa Albano, 13, at 26:05 (155th overall) and Patty Carroll, 50, at 26:51 (173rd overall).

Although this event does not have a racewalk division, Elliott Denman, 76, of West Long Branch followed all the striding rules and racewalked the distance at a good pace of 12:56 per mile and recorded a 40:08. Area runners and racewalkers know of Denman’s being an Olympian racewalker in 1956 and are proud to know of that fact and to be a friend of his.

Neptune City’s Mayor Thomas Arnone finished at 28:06, a very respectable racing time of a 9:03 per-mile pace but just a bit slower than last year. “I look forward to this day, we’re very fortunate--we have a ton of volunteers to make this happen, and that’s what Neptune City is all about,” offered the enthusiastic mayor, who was on hand at early registration to be helpful at whatever was needed. Along with the race, Neptune City Day includes a craft show, food fair, contests, Kids’ rides, bocce tournament, and fireworks at 9 p.m.

Long Branch’s Marilyn Ryder, mother-in-law and mother of Phil and Penny Hinck, well-known race directors/organizers, was in at 29:05, a 9:22 per-mile pace, that earned her the first place award in the 60-69 age-group. “I like the course, there are a lot of people out there cheering us on and showing us the way to go (there are many turns during the last mile). There are a lot of police protecting us from traffic and I feel safe the whole way.” When asked about the weather: “Today is a perfect day for running.”

“I thought it was pretty good, I just got back from Vancouver this week and haven’t been running, maybe because the Canadian beer is so good,” said Howell’s James (Jim) Bergum, 61, who posted a 26:23 racing time, when asked what he thought of his performance. “It’s probably been the best weather we’ve had all summer,” he said when asked about condtions. Bergum continues to serve the running/racewalking community by being the Webmaster for the Freehold Area Running Club.

“I’ve had a tough summer, but nonetheless this is the best weather Neptune City has ever given us,” said Tim Mahoney, 50, of Belmar, who finished at 21:36 a respectable 6:58 per-mile pace. “The community support is no doubt the best,” he further offered.

Mahoney, a retired officer from the New Jersey State Police, is the past president of the JSRC and also serves as director of the club’s annual 9/11 Memorial Run presented on that infamous date at the Belmar/Spring Lake boardwalk. He emphasizes that it is a highly dignified run/jog and not a race so as to invite non-runners to get involved at 6 p.m. starting in Belmar across from Dunkin Donuts.

Phil Hinck, past president of the JSRC, and race director of many Shore area races including the nationally recognized Spring Lake Five and George Sheehan Classic was, along with being available to assist in the many activities needed for the event, the race starter. Just prior to the 8 a.m. start, at Sylvania Avenue, he introduced Erica Kostyz of Ocean Township who gave a super rendition of “God Bless America.” Hinck then assembled the racers to the starting line, advised them to take water at the designated spots, voiced a loud “Ready-Go!” and the racers were off following the lead police car driven by Lieutenant Louis Trocchio Sr. and accompanied by Edward D. Kirschenbaum Sr., Director of Public Safety.

Eric Lauenstein of the Neptune City First Aid Squad, rode in the race’s follow-up ambulance, driven by Sergeant Vicky Butler and reported, “All went well; we had absolutely no emergencies.”

Mary Sapp, race director, along with Mayor Arnone, Hinck and Fred Rummel, Monmouth County Parks Commisioner and director of Wall Township’s Fourth of July Firecracker Five, presented gift certificates and medals to the aforementioned winners and age-group leaders from a platform on the scenic grounds of the park. Bill Boyajian of Best Racing Systems assisted by his son Eric who is going into his sophomore year at New Jersey Institute of Technology, along with Ray Durborow, organized the finish-line activities and computer results, using D-Tag chips from Chronotrack, all of which can be found on www.bestrace.com or www.jsrc.org.

“I want to thank Phil and Penny Hinck of the JSRC and all the volunteers who do the many things necessary to put on a race. A special thanks to all our sponsors, especially Retro Fitness of Neptune City. I want to especially recognize the Neptune City Police Department, neighboring police departments, along with Ocean Grove Citizens Patrol for excellent traffic control. Thanks, also, for the patience of motorists who had to be diverted for the safety of our racers,” said Mary Sapp, race director; who was assisted by Susan Hewitson, also a race-committee member, in concluding comments.