For blocks runners clogged Broad Street in Red Bank excitedly waiting for the race to begin. The George Sheehan Classic, an annual 5-mile race that takes runners on a scenic tour of the borough and neighboring communities attracts runners of all ages and skill levels, and on Saturday roughly 1,500 racers showed up to participate.
Prior to the race, Michael Sheehan, the son of the race’s namesake, addressed the anxious crowd and talked memories of his father as well as his philosophy when it came to including running as an everyday part of his life.
“I don’t run to add years to my life,” Sheehan said his father, who was a doctor, physician, and author, would say. “But to add life to my years.”
The Sheehan Classic is one of New Jersey’s most popular shore road races and has been featured prominently and ranked highly along other races in national publications. The race has been in Red Bank since 1994, following a name and location change. Typically a mid-August race, the classic was introduced in June this year to take advantage of cooler weather.
Despite high temperatures and significant humidity, the race went off without a hitch and saw runners come in under 30 minutes and over an hour and 20 minutes, all at their own pace.
Finishing first was Craig Segal of Highlands. The 27 year old finished the race in 25 minutes, 28.03 seconds. Segal was followed by Robert Cavanaugh, 33, of West Long Branch at 25 minutes, 44.70 seconds, and Mike Rolek, 24, of Maplewood at 26 minutes, 8.71 minutes.
The top female finisher was Noel Whitall. The 33-year-old Toms River native finished the race in 28 minutes, 39.60 seconds. She was followed by Erin Lunny, 22, of Middletown at 29 minutes, 34.99 seconds. Marissa Alberti, 33, of Long Branch rounded out the top three with a time of 30 minutes, 19.65 seconds.
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