The Jersey Shore Undy Run/Walk 5k was a new race to me. It was familiar, though, since the course was the end of the Long Branch Half Marathon, a race I’ve run 5 times. It is a flat as a pancake, out and back, all along the boardwalk/street by the ocean and Pier Village in Long Branch, NJ. When I heard that the funds go to the Colon Cancer Alliance, I knew I had to try this one out. One of my softball teammates has been fighting colon cancer for 6 years, and is the toughest lady I know. Anything we can do to help fund fighting this ugly disease is important.
To start, I got there early and therefore Parking was easy – right along the boardwalk, at metered parking. The directions led specifically to this area, however, there wasn’t too much parking available here, so those who arrived a little closer to the start time, I saw making awkward K-turns to go back to another parking lot. It didn’t seem like there was anyone out directing people toward parking, so I could see how this could get confusing once the first lot filled up. On their parking website, it listed a bunch of different lots, though, so it seems like there were many options.
I loved that the swag was a pair of boxer shorts instead of a tshirt!
There were lots of vendors set up, and a big inflatable colon.
This WAS an undy run after all. I had to find the sparkliest pair of undies at Target, and wear them over my shorts. Sparkly buns by the beach FTW!
Folks were also dressed in fun t-shirts with team names, etc. Lots of butt jokes happening – which of course I enjoyed.
As I was sitting in the shade (sweating at 7am already – yay), I was judging the crowd: lots of fun runners and walkers. Not many “super serious” looking folks – and that is a-ok with me! Being a back of the packer, sometimes it’s nice to be around runners who look like they’re in as much pain as I am, LOL.
However, I did wish that more folks REALLY got into the theme! Undies! There were some people with boxers over their shorts/pants, but only a few with UNDIES! What a great opportunity to wear a ‘costume’ – c’mon people! Darn it. There were a few brave souls who bared it – the awesome guy in the tutu above, and I saw one girl who truly ran in undies (you GO GIRL!!). I definitely love a theme party, and aside from the fun shirts, wish folks had really taken the “undy” thing to heart.
The race itself? Oof. It was humid and hot, and I was sweating before we even started. I knew I’d just be fighting to keep running steadily (if I could, even). There was zero shade, and full, hot sun the entire time. The start was disorganized, with everyone having to move and no one really being sure where the start line was. Once we got into line, though it was alright. We started a little later than the scheduled 8am start, but nothing crazy. Also, because of the crowd (more casual), there were walkers who placed themselves way too near to the start.
The water stop came a little after 1.0 miles, and luckily we passed it again at just after 2. That second passing by was absolutely necessary – I felt like I was dying by then, and had to stop to walk. Running in the hot hot summer heat can be so brutal, man. Honestly, I am incredibly proud that I was even able to maintain these splits (which, by the end, included a little walking):
After I finally crossed the finish line, I collapsed in a heap of sweat. I even drank a coconut water (which I think taste gross) just to get a little bit of energy back. I was zapped. In the next hour, I chugged three bottles of water and a huge iced tea from Dunkin’. The end of race snacks were actually pretty great: fruit, goldfishes, clif bars, pirate’s booty. No complaints there!
My overall review, since this was my first time running this race? It would be a fun little 5k… in April, May, September, or October. No matter what, by mid-July you’re pretty much guaranteed misery on a course with zero shade. Will I do it again? Maybe. I do enjoy torturing myself 😉 However, the flat course with an ocean view was certainly a bonus, and of course, the race supports a great cause.
How do you keep cool during/after super hot summer races? I know I chugged ALL THE WATER as soon as I finished….