NJ Marathon needs a new home for the next race
After two years of cancellations, the New Jersey Marathon is looking for a new home community.
The marathon that runs through eight Monmouth County communities starting in Oceanport and ending in Long Branch each spring has canceled their 2020 and 2021 spring runs due to the pandemic. As restrictions on the size of gatherings were lifted and cases declined, plans were made for the October marathon.
But as the number of COVID cases started to rise again, the decision was made to cancel.
“Long Branch shared that they weren’t sure whether to allow it in April 2022, which is our typical racing month, so we have to relaunch this race elsewhere and we are looking for a host,” said the director of the event, Hilary Biggs. New-Jersey 101.5.
Long Branch has taken the lead in security management along with other agencies.
Biggs said that although the race is known as a “flat and fast” course on the Jersey Shore, it is open to any location in New Jersey, including an urban or suburban setting that can accommodate the usual terrain. of several thousand runners.
“We have a number of events and in total we have around 5,000 runners. We would need a place that could accommodate that kind of number. Is there sufficient parking and is there sufficient access inside and outside the city? Not a lot of small towns in New Jersey can handle it that easily, ”Biggs said.
Where would the NJ Marathon go?
Biggs said no particular community has been targeted by the marathon, but Asbury Park is one of the main contenders. The race is already passing through Asbury Park and Biggs said she approached officials to welcome it in the fall before the race was canceled.
“If we were to go to a coastal city like this it would require the least change, which is attractive, but at this point we have time on our side to be able to reinvent ourselves in a new city,” said Biggs.
With just four months to go for a potential April 2022 marathon, it wouldn’t be long enough for many runners to train, meaning a fall run is very likely, according to Biggs.
“We can go September or October or we could plan for March / April 2023, Biggs said.“ We’ve always been an April run. Would love to go to our traditional weekend but it seems far away.
Even with a later date, it looks like the marathon relationship with Long Branch is over when it comes to the marathon.
“Never say never, but my feeling from them is that they are no longer interested in hosting the event,” Biggs said.
Hesitation on major events
Cities may be reluctant to organize events that attract large numbers, even if most are held outdoors.
Long Branch commercial director George Jackson told New Jersey 101.5 in a statement that the prospect of large crowds amid the pandemic remains a concern for the city.
“Since the onset of COVID-19, we have reassessed all special events, especially those that attract large numbers of attendees outside of our region,” Jackson said.
The Sons of Ireland told NJ.com they were unable to get clearance for their Polar Bear Plunge on January 1, but got the green light from Long Branch to host at Ocean Place Resort and Spa.
The Sea Isle City Polar Bear Plunge over President’s Day weekend could also be in danger, according to a Press of Atlantic City report. The city has a policy in place to no longer allow private event organizers to block streets or use city facilities due to pressure on resources.