Runners have a hot, fast time in Belmar
Belmar 5 Road Race
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BELMAR — A pair of former Princeton University runners saw success at the Belmar 5, which took place on Saturday morning.
Nearly 2,500 runners competed in the 38th annual, five-mile race.
Cameron Marantz, 26, of Philadelphia, was the overall winner of the race, completing the five mile course in 25:02.39, while former teammate Sarah Cummings, 25, of Manhattan, was the top female finisher with a time of 27:44.63.
This was Marantz’s first year competing in the Belmar 5, while Cummings competed in it last year, as well.
Marantz liked the competitive nature of
the Belmar 5, which is why he decided to run it this year.
“This is the first year I’ve done it,” said Marantz. “I was just hurt and looking for something to do in the summer. I saw there was a pretty competitive one here, so I came down.”
Marantz, who runs competitively with the Bryn Mawr Running Club, recently dealt with tibialis posterior tendonitis prior to the race.
The race started out fairly even between several runners before Marantz started to pull away halfway through. Marantz and second-place finished Alfredo Santana, 23, also of Philadelphia, started to pull away and battled throughout the end of the race.
“We went out at a pretty modest pace for the first couple of miles,” said Marantz. “It started to split after two-and-a-half miles. Then there was me and one other guy [Santana] that started to move. We were trading leads for a while and then around three-and-a-half [miles], I started accelerating.”
Marantz admitted that he thought Santana was farther away than he was toward the end of the race.
“I think he fell off around four-and-a-quarter [miles],” said Marantz. “I had more room on him, and I thought he was just falling off. When he started closing in on me, I kind of had to kick it up a bit.”
It was a hot day despite having started at 8:30 a.m., but the heat did not bother Marantz much.
“It was a good race, it was fun,” said Marantz. “It is pretty well organized and nice and flat. It is hot but, I am pretty good running in the heat. I’ve run a lot of hot races in my life.”
Cummings, who ran the Belmar 5 for the first time last summer, spends weekends in Spring Lake, where her parents live, but resides in Manhattan the rest of the week. She runs around the area every weekend, so it was a natural decision to compete in the Belmar 5 again.
“I run this stretch every weekend,” said Cummings. “I did it last year and the whole Grand Prix series is very well-publicized. I have some friends that are from around here that remind me that it is coming up. Everyone does it every and year, and you run into people.”
Cummings, who graduated from Princeton in 2011, did not know Marantz would also be running the race, but was happy to see an old friend from college.
“I did not know he was going to be here. It is always fun to see who shows up,” Cummings said of Marantz. “He texted me this morning and said ‘I saw your name, are you here?’ I was jogging from my parents’ house two miles away.”
Cummings runs for the New York Athletic Club, but enjoys coming down for the more relaxed races at the Jersey Shore each year.
“I am still racing competitively but these races, the atmosphere is so fun,” said Cummings. “You have the laid-back beach vibe. It permeates the race culture and it is not as rigid as some of the New York road races. It is nice to be a little bit more low key — there is no pressure.”
The top local finisher in the Belmar 5 was Liam Wall, of Manasquan, who finished in 27:03.45. He finished in eighth place overall, and was the top finisher in the 1-19 age group.
Lauren Gilbert, of Wall, finished first in the 30-34 female age group with a time of 31:54.87, while Michael O’Connor, of Spring Lake, took first place in the 40-44 male division with a time of 29:17.11.
Don Griffin, of Belmar, took first in the 45-49 male group with a time of 29:35.33, while Kathy Kropke of Avon won the 45-49 female division with a finish time of 33:59.85.
Deborah Capko, of Avon, finished in 38:21.39, good for first place in the 50-54 female division.