Jersey City is hosting its first marathon on Sunday, an event that will bring both excitement and inconvenience to Chilltown in order to accommodate the 6,000 professional and amateur runners expected to participate.
The race, which has been in the planning for over a year, has been “certified” by USA Track & Field and qualifies runners for the US Olympics and the Boston Marathon. Runners from 28 countries and 38 states will compete. Because the 26.2-mile course spans downtown, Greenville, and Bergen-Lafayette, huge swaths of major thoroughfares including Washington Boulevard, Grove Street, Manila Avenue, Marin Boulevard, Garfield Avenue, Pacific Avenue, Freedom Way, and Caven Point Road will be off limits for parking and closed to vehicles beginning as early as 12:01 a.m. Saturday, April 22.
“Significant traffic and parking disruptions due to the Jersey City Marathon on April 23rd from early morning through the afternoon,” tweeted the Jersey City Parking Authority at 7:49 a.m. this morning.
Nevertheless, the event is certainly a feather in Jersey City’s cap and will bring many residents outside to cheer on the participants.
The marathon is the brainchild of Steve Lipski, executive director of Jersey City Road Runners, who proposed it to Mayor Fulop and ultimately signed on Dan Brannen, who has worked with the New York City marathon, to certify the event and CompuScore to time the race.
Beginning at 7 a.m. in Newport, runners will travel along the waterfront and through the Powerhouse Arts and Paulus Hook Districts, continue through Liberty State Park, down Caven Point Road through Greenville and Bergen-Lafayette, and loop back to Newport Green. In order to log the requisite 26.2 miles, runners will need to complete the loop twice. But the race, which features an elevation of only 200 feet and “straight terrain with minimal turns” is “one of the flattest” and fastest courses in the country, according to event planners. A half marathon route is also available.
Festivities will kick off the night before the marathon with a “VIP” pasta dinner at Newport honoring local trainer Helen Clark and attended by US track and field Olympian Joan Benoit Samuelson and Kelly Conover, widow of the late Olympian Mark
Event sponsors include Newport, Silverman, PowerBar, Fleet Feet Hoboken, Fleet Feet Montclair, Jersey City Economic Development Corporation, Jersey City Health Department, KIND, RWJBarnabas Health, Paul Miller Porsche, Precision Pain & Spine
Institute, AeroFarms, PT Solutions, The French American Academy, Air Force Reserve, Podoks, Strulowitz & Gargiulo-Twin Boro Physical Therapy, and ShopRite Inserra Supermarkets, Inc.
Complete information about the route, street closures and no parking areas, alternate
parking options, and towing warnings for April 22 and 23 is available