Spectator Tips and Suggested Viewing Locations
A truly successful marathon, half marathon and half marathon relay need four components: Participants, Spectators, Volunteers, and Sponsors. This section is devoted to you, The Spectator.
Our single loop marathon course and our single loop half marathon course were conceived to be "spectator friendly" by allowing both residents and visitors to the cities/towns to watch the athletes at several points during the races. The races start at 6:45 am and end by 2:30 pm.
Central Parking is located at Monmouth Park. The address is 175 Oceanport Ave, Oceanport, NJ 07757.
Parking near the Finish area is limited and many of the local streets will be blocked starting no later than 7:00am on Race Day.
Shuttle buses will be available to take spectators and volunteers to the Finish/Relay Transition area and back. (View the Shuttle Bus Schedule here)
Here are a few example of ways to view the athletes at several points during the races:
Finish Area: On the Ocean Promenade in Long Branch.
Eastern end of Broadway: A short walk across Ocean Blvd. (future location of the Broadway Arts Center).
Pier Village (miles 12.7 and 26): In addition to being a great vantage point, it's also a great place to relax during the races. It is full of shops and restaurants and is at the beach!
Corner of Ocean Ave & Brighton Ave., West End: This beautifully tree-lined stretch is closed to traffic (park west of Second Ave.) and is at mile 11.4 of the Full and Half Marathons and also at mile 24.7 of the Full Marathon as it comes back north towards the finish line. This avenue is full of shops and restaurants. Plus, a bandstand with live entertainment is on the corner of Brighton Ave and Ocean Blvd. The beach is one block east.
Asbury Park: Ocean Ave in Asbury Park at mile 17 southbound and mile 20 northbound is another great location to watch the Full Marathon. The stretch of Boardwalk south from Convention Hall is lined with shops and restaurants and is another great location to relax and watch the race. The race will also run passed the famous Stone Pony and the Wonder Bar!
Ocean Grove: Between the Great Auditorium and Ocean Ave: Near the southern most point of the Full Marathon course. The street is lined with B&Bs and pleasant ocean views. This is the point of the race when many of the marathoners start to have difficulty, and they would greatly appreciate your encouragement here. Please cheer them on as they turn north toward the finish line, which is still about about 7 miles away.
If you make a simple plan before going to the race, it will make your experience almost as rewarding as the participant's, and your participation will enhance the experience for ALL!
Please keep the following basics in mind:
- The Marathon Start Time will be 8:00 am, with the Half Marathon and Half Marathon Relay at 6:45 am.
- The Half Marathon course is 13.1 miles long.
- The Full Marathon course is 26.2 miles long, so please remember to to encourage these athletes along the course.
- A NJ Transit train from either NYC Penn Station or from Bay Head is a good way to commute to the races for both the athletes and spectators (see our Additional Options page for information about our Special Race Day Morning Train from NYC Penn Station). Check the NJ Transit schedule for departure times.
- Make a parking plan, and walk to your choice of viewing location from there.
- Bring: paper towels, tissues, hard candy, gummy bears, or other small but appreciated amenities, for the participants - and especially bring a strong voice to cheer (or a noise-maker).
- Yell encouraging words, and unless you're within sight of the Finish Line, do NOT yell "ALMOST THERE!"
Every year there are about 30% "First Timers" for the Marathon distance of 26.2 miles. Your support is in many cases vital to their ability to finish!
For sure, these "First Timer" participants will remember your support for the rest of their lives!
No matter how many marathons these athletes complete in the years ahead, they will always remember their first marathon, and your encouragement could make the difference between it being a positive or negative experience.