I have two favorite places in this world, Lake Placid, NY (aka LP) and Long Beach Island, NJ (aka LBI). Actually, let’s change that to three and add Hawaii to the list. Lake Placid and LBI are just a bit easier for me to get to 🙂
The Long Beach Island 18 Mile Run is a great race to celebrate a great location.
Long Beach Island is a great Jersey Shore area and if you’ve never visited, you need to get yourself there. It’s an 18 mile long barrier island just north of Atlantic City. It’s clean beaches, calm bays, and fresh salt air attracts people in for wonderful summer weeks and weekends. It books up quickly during the summer months and fall has gotten pretty busy, too. Late fall and winter on the other hand is quiet, so when you need some quiet time to recharge, you’ll want to plan to come during the off-season. No matter when you come, LBI is a wonderful place to spend time at the shore.
The best way to tour LBI? Run it!
The LBI 18 Mile Run is one of my favorite races. It’s a narrow island and the race takes place on the main road (Long Beach Blvd.) running from the town of Holgate on the south end of the island to Barnegat Light on the north end. It’s a narrow island, so as you run the race, you get to see all the towns on the island. And you it’s hard to get lost when all you do is run a flat, straight course from one end straight to the other with only a couple of turns at the end. The best part of the course is it’s finish, which is in the parking lot of Barnegat Lighthouse. This makes for some great post-race photos.
I’ve run the race several times and have always enjoyed it. I didn’t run it this year and part of me was secretly relieved I didn’t! The weather made for a difficult race with heavy rains and strong winds. It was a day you’d want to stay curled up on the couch with a good book. Despite the tough conditions, the runners pushed through the weather and did well. Racing through difficult conditions may not result in fast times, but the feeling of what you’ve accomplished makes it worthwhile.
I highly recommend running this race. It is a great race that supports the community and is held in October, which works perfectly into many athletes’ schedules when training for a fall marathon.
The race is dedicated to the Israeli athletes killed by terrorists at the 1972 Munich Olympics as well as those who were killed on September 11th. As you run the race, you’ll see mile markers that are dedicated to someone lost to these attacks. It’s moving to see these along the way and makes the race feel more meaningful.
Locals and visitors come out to cheer, and the night before the race there’s a pasta dinner at the St. Francis Center where they also hold the drawing for their annual car raffle. How cool would it be to win a car the night before a race?
Another thing I like about the race is the late start at 10:30am. They have buses that will take you from St. Francis (in the middle of the island) to the start as well as buses that will take you from the finish back to St. Francis. At St. Francis Center, they have the awards ceremony and showers that are available for the runners.
Overall, this is a well run race that’s great either as your next A race or as part of your training for a fall marathon or Ironman.
Have you run the LBI 18 Mile? What are your favorite memories from the race?
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