Long Branch, NJ (PressExposure) May 02, 2011 -- Oz Pearlman, a 28 year old professional magician from Manhattan, and Bronawyn O'Leary, 35, a teacher from Cliffwood Beach, N.J., set personal bests in winning the men's and women's divisions of the 15th New Jersey Marathon Sunday. Pearlman ran a course record of 2:28.19 in winning the race for the second time (he won in 2008 as well), while O'Leary ran 3:02.22 to place first for the first time in her professional career. The pair led a record field of over 11,000 runners and wheelchair athletes aged nine through 85 who competed in the full marathon, the half marathon or the relay up and down the shore area on Sunday, capping a weekend of fun and fitness for all.
"We had a record turnout not just of competitors but of support staff along the route, and that is a great tribute to all the work staff and volunteers have put in to make this the race for the people of New Jersey," said Race Director Art Castellano. "We are all looking forward to continued success next year, and helping raise even more funds and awareness for a vast array of charities similar to what we did this year. It was a great weekend for all involved."
The race drew competitors from over 26 countries and six continents to the shore, and a record of over $1.3 million dollars was raised for hundreds of charities by race participants on Sunday. Thousands also attended the Race Expo at Monmouth Park on Saturday, making the two-day event one of the most successful of its kind anywhere in the state.
Among the elite finishers, Pearlman, who immediately left the race course to perform two magician shows later in the day in Short Hills and Manhattan, was followed by Adam Ambrus, 28 of Morristown, New Jersey, who finished in 2:32.05, and 33 year old Carlos Martinez. On the women's side, O'Leary, who teaches in Keansburg, finished ahead of 22 year old Erica Weitz of Orlando, Florida (3:95.31) and Laura Swift of Woodbridge, New Jersey.
Craig Segal of Highlands won the men's crown in the Long Branch Half-Marathon, a 13.1-miler, in 1:10.47.57. Pia Nehme of Ashrafieh, Lebanon, captured the women's championship in 1:25:20.55.
The race marked the first time the course was run in one single loop, starting and finishing in Long Branch.