New Jersey Marathon Review

It was wonderful day for running today in Long Branch, NJ. Temperature at 49 degree at 08:00 and went up to 62 at 11:00; however, it has slight head/cross wind from mile 19 to finish.

The race course for NJM is mostly flat since it lay next to the coast, but it does have some uphill sections, such as run over three bridges, up-and-down boardwalk on the ramp, and a steady incline from mile 20 to 24. Also, the course also make you to run five different surface material, concrete, asphalt, wood, sand, and grass, just lots of fun.

At the race start, I ran out hard with a group of seven guys and clicked first mile at 6:21. I knew I am way over my head right at that instant. I cut back and hold my pace around 6:45. I mostly was running on my own without much complication from other runners with that pace. Also, by holding that consistent pace, I somehow manage to pass all three lead ladies before mile 20 and several others young guns before mile 24.

At mile 24.25, the course took me merge with the half marathon joggers; which is stupidest idea ever, since the race organizer did not have a separate path for the full marathoners. I was literally dodging between hundreds overweight half marathons on the Boardwalk with my sore legs. It was horrible and was worst than running in DC during Cherry Blossom tourist season. Somehow, I got mile 26 with solid pace; I dig deep and charge to the end to break Three. As I was charging hard, I heard one person on side yelled out, “Georgetown! Quarter mile to go! Break the three hours and it is all yours…”

I clocked my finish at 2:59:41 and splits are
01 – 6:21
02 – 6:47
03 – 6:45
04 – 6:46
05 – 6:43
06 – 6:44
07 – 6:43
08 – 6:48
09 – 6:52
10 – 6:44
11 – 6:54
12 – 6:47
13 – 6:51
13.1 – 0:43 – clocked the half at 1:28:37
14 – (5:59 + 0:43 =) 6:42
15 – 6:47
16 – 6:45
17 – 6:51
18.2 – 7:16 (water stop was next to mile mark)
19 – 6:41
20 – 7:00
21 – 6:59
22 – 7:13
23 – 7:01
24 – 7:12
25 – 6:56
26 – 6:51
26.2 – 1:27

Official time is out -

I finished with a time of 2:59:38, 21th overall and male, 5th in 30-34 division.

Yee... Haa!!! I am very please about this race, but I strongly belief I can have my time around 2:56 if I didn’t have to hop up-and-down those boardwalk ramps and dodging between slow half marathon jogger. Well, I guess I gotta do this again next time to prove my theory is correct.

Moreover, based on the official result - I ran 1:28:33 in the first half, that’s 6:46 per mile pace; which I ran 1:31:05 for the second, that’s 6:57 per mile. 11 seconds decrease per mile at the second half. I believe if I didn’t ran out too hard at the beginning and didn’t need to dodging round for last two miles, then I MUST be able to run 2:56 marathon.

What next?

Rest up this week and then start focus on the track. I been breaking every distance on the road this year so far, I want to try my luck on the track. I want to see if I can get my miler time as near 5:00 as possible. I will talk to Master A sometime to get an idea what I can do and join GRC Wednesday night's workout.

I also have Akron marathon in September and Tucson marathon on my calendar for this year. I plan to use Akron as a training run for the PR course in Tucson; hopefully I will have another mile stone in AZ. I’ll see…

One side note outside of this trip that I want to add; I stopped by Flying Fish Brewery off New Jersey Turnpike and had a little beer tour on my way to Long Branch NJ on Saturday’s morning. They have excellent beer. After I spoke with them and learn that they are looking forward to expand their business to DC. I truly hoping they can get in contact with Karl. That way we get a good sponsor and they have good publicity. We’ll see…


  1. Great work Frank! Awesome to break that barrier!

  2. Nice review of the race! Congrats on your sub-3! I can't agree with you more on the clusterf#ck at the end. That was a big issue for me as well.