Spring Lake Five (May 2011)

And they're off...

For many New Jerseyans, summer begins with the Spring Lake Five, a five-mile run held in Spring Lake, NJ on Memorial Day weekend.  This race is over thirty years old, but still maintains a non-commercial and community feel.

About 500 runners participated in the first race in 1977, and then just a few years later, over 1000 runners were participating.  Those numbers continued to grow over the years, and this year, there were over 8,000 people – of various running abilities – running in the race.

My sister was one of them.

The first to cross the finish line.

Though she’s been running for a few years now, this was her first race.  She was a little nervous at the start, but she had been training, and I knew she would be great.  She was going to be running with friends and knew that by being there, she was helping to support a good cause.  Several good causes, actually.

The first woman to cross the finish line.

Proceeds from the race fees go to support Spring Lake recreation and local charitable organizations.  Since 2002, over $500,000 has been raised for recreation programs and charitable projects.

With my sister right before she ran the Spring Lake Five.

This year’s charity partners included The Sharing Network Foundation, The Wellness Community, Arthritis Foundation, Holiday Express, Charity House Foundation, The Front and Center Fund, Ocean of Love, Team in Training, The JT Foundation 4 Autism Awareness, Covenant House, and Flight 93 National Memorial Campaign.

My sister did do really well, just as I expected.  And though my role at this year’s race was simply as a spectator, a photographer, and a supporter, I could feel the contagious excitement of those who participated, and perhaps next year I’ll run in the race too.

But I’ll have a lot of training to do before I’m ready!

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl

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Picture Perfect: Spring Lake

Spring Lake, NJ

On a warm and sunny day last weekend, just as the summer (unofficially) began, I spent the afternoon walking around Spring Lake – the town, and the lake itself.  There, couples rested on benches and enjoyed the peaceful afternoon, families rode their bikes around the lake, teens fished with their friends, and runners from the Spring Lake Five celebrated their morning run.

I, of course, had my camera handy and snapped as many photos as I could that captured the serenity of the day.  I think this one sums up what I experienced most…

Have a Picture Perfect Sunday!

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl

Picture Perfect: Spring Lake Boardwalk

The boardwalk during the Spring Lake Five

Yesterday, I watched my sister run in her first race, the Spring Lake Five.  I was very proud of her – and have tons more to say and share about this awesome event.  But for now, I’m going to share a Picture Perfect moment I found while I was in Spring Lake.

Once the race had begun, the sun had come up and driven away all of the morning haze.  I wandered over to the boardwalk to pass the time as I waited for the runners to make their way to the finish line.  There, I shared the quiet boardwalk with walkers and people out on their beach cruisers.  It was definitely a side of the Jersey shore that not everyone sees.

This early, New Jersey morning was off to a beautiful start and Picture Perfect to me…

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl

BareWires Surf & Skate ~ Spring Lake, NJ

Warning: THIS IS NOT YOUR AVERAGE SURF SHOP!

BareWires Surf & Skate in Spring Lake, NJ (photo by Cresitello/ESM)

Surfers, skateboarders, and shopaholics alike have a new place to call home in Spring Lake, NJ.

Focusing on smaller, less mainstream brands like RVCA, Patagonia, Ezekiel, Insight, Nike 6.0, and Chemistry Surfboards, owners of BareWires Surf & Skate,  Adam Holloway and Brian Smith, have taken a unique approach to their new store.  “We want to thank brands like RVCA, Patagonia, and Ezekiel for taking a chance with us.  We got a lot of feedback that this area was over saturated in terms of surf brands. But people like Paul Kane with RVCA and Jimmy Pasch with Patagonia understood our vision and supported us,” says Smith.  Those interested in smaller independent labels are in luck as well since the guys have also paid special attention to labels like AMBSN out of San Clemente and Rhythm an Australian surf company based on The Gold Coast.

Ezekiel clothing at BareWires in Spring Lake, NJ (photo courtesy of BareWires)

The Spring Lake shop is the second BareWires location, and it has a distinct vibe compared to the other shop in Long Branch.  Holloway and Smith worked really hard to get the store to look the way it does, carefully planning the layout and executing finishing touches.  Creating a shop with a cool atmosphere and core knowledge was important. Just because it’s a surf shop doesn’t mean it shouldn’t look nice,” says Holloway.

“We feel like we have a lot to bring to the community in terms of knowledge and experience.  Brian and I grew up here, we surf here and live here.  We want BareWires to be a shop that has something for everyone, all skill levels; everyone is welcome,” says Holloway.

Can you find the Jersey Girl? I'm somewhere in this photo from the night of the BareWires grand opening party! (photo by Cresitello/ESM)

To celebrate the grand opening of the shop, BareWires hosted a party and attendees included company representatives, local surfers, and many of Holloway and Smith’s friends.  Also in attendance was New Jersey artist, Ronnie Jackson.  Jackson’s energetic, colorful artwork – inspired by the ocean, beaches, and wildlife found around the Jersey shore – is featured in the shop.

With breathtaking photos from Eastern Surf Magazine chief photographer, Donald E. Cresitello on display, to a BareWires original surfboard from the 1970s, to fashions the whole family will love, you won’t find a similar shop or experience around.

Stop in soon and check out BareWires Surf & Skate in Spring Lake, NJ!

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl


Related Links and Additional Information:
Address:  219 Morris Avenue, Spring Lake, NJ
Phone: 732-359-7780

BareWires Blog: http://bwbombast.blogspot.com
BareWires on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BareWiresSurfSkateSpringLake
BareWires in Long Branch: http://www.barewiresurfskate.com