PRTC runner and Puma rep phenom Bryan Poerner solicited his teammates to take a break from Summer training a few years ago and run a race in early July on the central Jersey shore. Since then, the Belmar 5 Miler has become, in one fashion or another, a staple on the PRTC Summer schedule.
But the Belmar 5 Miler is no easy Summer shuffle. It is a vital part of the USATF-NJ road race scene and a must-run for every Central and North Jersey runner, as well as an attraction for many runners out of New York City.
This year, the team sent along three men and one new member of the girl’s team – Renee Gunning! Renee is from the Philadelphia area and a graduate of North Carolina State University. Renee works at Philadelphia Runner and joined the team in June! You will be definitely reading a lot more about Renee. Her bio will appear on the bio page soon.
Though Renee now is competing in the open ranks, she found herself on this day competing against an old collegiate rival – Clara Horowitz of Duke University (which sits just miles away from NC State). Horowitz ran this race off of fitness she is enjoying from her last season in the NCAA – which ended just two weeks ago. She recently signed a professional contract with New Balance. Despite this and the fact that Renee is just getting in to shape, she was able to finish second overall behind Horowitz. Renee’s speedy time would have won 11 of the last 13 editions of this race!
On the men’s side, Bryan Skelly ran his second road race of the week (he finished second overall at the Pitman Freedom 4 Miler back near his hometown of Washington Township, NJ) and finished second as well. Though Bryan finished within seconds of winner Shadrack Too, Bryan said Too seemed to have the energy at the end and just wanted to hold on for the victory. But Bryan is in heavy Summer training, as he is looking for a Fall marathon, so this performance was great. Ross and Bart finished fourth and ninth respectively to place the three men we sent to the race in the top ten! Nice work, team!