PEDERSON BREAKS RECORD AT THE 60TH ASBURY PARK POLAR BEAR 2023 5K. MATTEESOU WINS THE WOMENS DIVISION
Robert Pederson of California ran off with the 2023 installment of the
60th annual Asbury Park Polar Bear 5k Road Race. He broke the tape in a fast 14:48.47 time, breaking his own record of 15:14.18 which he set in 2021. In a hot race for second and third, Michael Zurzolo
(15:27. 26) edged Michael Bond (15:27.86). Fourth place
finisher Brian Hill Jr. also figured into the race with a fine `15:29.32.
Zurzolo, Bond and Hill all moved into the top ten best times ever in
5th, 6th and 7th place over a revised fast one lap out and back course on
the Asbury Park Boardwalk. Among those knocked out of the all time top
ten was former four time winner and U.S. Olympian Bill Reilly.
In the women’s race, Nicolette Mateesou finished first with a wide lead,
clocking in at 18:33.38, placing her in the sixth spot of the top ten all
time best times for women. Emma Cary (19.21.65) and Katie Deslere
(19:34.72) settled for the second and third place finishers. Running in
the race for the 60th time, having never missed a Polar Bear race was Dr.
Harry Nolan. A nine time winner of the race over the years, he won
the 75-79 age division race.
In the 5k Race Walk, the winner was Rich Luchaw in 24:11,
followed by Emesh Fernando ( 26:11) and the veteran John
Fredricks (37:20. Maria Paul took the womens race in 30.14.
Over 500 runners and race walkers took part in this years event, which
is considered to be the oldest road race in the Jersey Shore and one of
oldest in New Jersey. The race was began by Elliott Denman in 1964,
now 90 and a 1956 U.S. Olympian. The race was conducted by the
Shore Athletic Club, under the direction of Erin O’Neill and Coach Joe