It’s just a few days before the greatest race in New Jersey and we sat down with Joe Gigas, the Race Director for the NJ Marathon and the Long Branch Half. We’ve met a lot of people around the running world in our time, and no one has a greater passion for our sport than Joe. As much as he loves running, his enthusiasm for runners themselves, is equally remarkable.
Joe shared some of his feedback with us about this weekend’s festivities, the 19th year for this event.
Run Jersey: What makes this race so special?
Joe Gigas: Running on the Jersey Shore is always special. The people, the neighborhoods and the views are always a thrill. It doesn’t get better than running by the ocean. Plus it’s the best finish line on earth.
Run Jersey: What is different this year?
Joe Gigas: We are really excited about the Kids Move program as it’s been expanded. We always encourage kids to be active and healthy. This year, we partnered with LADACIN Network to have more kids participate in the race. (Children of all ability levels will be moving with the runners for the last part of the race).
Run Jersey: What advice do you have for the participants?
Joe Gigas: This race is for you. Go enjoy it! It’s a great way to introduce the shore to people. And it’s a celebration of the Jersey Shore & its rejuvenation and rebuilding.
Run Jersey: What advice do you have for the newbies?
Joe Gigas: Arrive early and relax. Come 2 hours early. We encourage people to take mass transit or carpool. Also, if it’s your first race, you may want to join a pace team. They are incredible and will keep you on the pace you want to run.
Run Jersey: Joe, we can feel your excitement here…
Joe Gigas: I am so proud to have such great sponsors… Novo Nordisk, Barnabas Health, Panasonic, Geico, Eternal Water, Clif Kid and more. I’m also truly thankful to all the volunteers and spectators.
Speaking with Joe about running is always an uplifting experience. He radiates an incredible enthusiasm for this event and our sport in general. If you see his smiling face (and bright NJ Marathon jacket) be sure to thank him for the outstanding work he and his team do.
In the meantime, enjoy the best race on the planet this weekend. Soak in the sites and sounds of the the shore and go run a PR. RunJersey.com will be on-hand all weekend long for extensive race coverage, photos, videos and tons more.
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