No hurricane to spoil the Wild Half this year

    Last year, Hurricane Irene caused a lot of problems at the Jersey Shore. Mandatory evacuations meant shortened vacations, cancelled weddings, and the loss of a major summer weekend for Jersey Shore businesses.

    Another big casualty: The Wild Half, the first ever half marathon to be run in Wildwood. It was scheduled for the day Irene hit. 

    Because Wildwood’s post-summer schedule is so packed with things like Bike Weekend, Firefighter’s Weekend, and the annual Irish Festival, the organizers couldn’t find another weekend to close down streets for the race. They made the tough call to cancel it entirely, offering anyone registered a free spot in the 2012 race.

    Let’s all breath a sigh of relief.

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    The Wild Half is scheduled for next Sunday, August 26, and there’s a “really small” chance of a hurricane smacking the Jersey Shore, says Tom Thunstrom of He’s playing the role of cautious weatherman here. Never say never, but he’s not banking on anything tropical stopping the race this year. 

    There is still time to register for the 13.1-mile race — they’ve added an 8k (4.97 miles miles) this year, too, if you’re looking for a shorter distance.

    Neither race is cheap since prices rose as the race date drew nearer. Right now, the half is $80 and the 8k is $55. Prices will jump again after Monday, August 20 to $95 and $55 respectively. 

    But there is a nice perk if you sign up for either race: a free weekend pass to Morey’s Piers. You can bet I’ll be taking a slide down Wipe Out! after I cross the half marathon finish line, and don’t be surprised if I do so while still in my running clothes.

    One pass per runner, though you can buy passes for people in your group for $55 per person (a discount from the regular price of $150)

    If you’re not around next weekend but still looking for a Jersey Shore race, keep the OCNJ Half Marathon on September 30 and the Atlantic City Marathon on October 21 in mind. I ran the OCNJ half last year, and enjoyed the smaller size of the race, and free pizza and water taffy at the end.

    This is my first year doing the Atlantic City Marathon, though I’ve heard good things from fellow runners. There’s a whole suite of races that weekend, too — including a half marathon on the same day as the marathon, and a 5k and 10k the Saturday before.

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