Guest post courtesy of my husband, Gerard (I am so not a runner!)
When I’m not mixing cocktails or eating oysters, I love to run. In addition to the health benefits, I find it to be very Zen, and what could be more Zen than running along Cape May’s beachfront? Or running through shaded streets admiring the beautiful Victorian homes, or behind the dunes in Cape May Meadows?! There is a course for all runners (or walkers).
A few of my favorite beach runs
The Promenade is one of the most popular places to run or walk in Cape May. It is about one and a half miles long stretching from the Cove Beach entrance to Madison Avenue. It makes for an easy run of almost any distance and I usually run a 3 mile out and back. The Promenade is almost always crowded during the Summer, with a mix of runners, walkers, and bicyclists (before 10 a.m.).
The Promenade is flat with awesome views of the beach and the magnificent painted ladies of Beach Ave. Closer to Cove Beach you will see the Cape May lighthouse and St. Marys by the Sea. Don’t forget to touch the pole at the turn-around! I think its best to run early morning before the sun is too high in the sky. An easy morning run is just the thing to shake off a cocktail or two from the previous evening.
Sunset Blvd to Sunset Beach
Depending on where you’re staying in Cape May, this is a nice little four mile out and back run. The route begins at the intersection of Broadway and Sunset Boulevard to its end at Sunset Beach. The shoulder of Sunset Blvd has a dedicated bike lane so you won’t have concerns with traffic. Be careful by the Bread Lady because people in cars park on the shoulder and there is always a line of folks waiting for her wonderful bread.
If you get out before 8:00 a.m. during the Summer, it is generally shaded until closer to Sunset Beach. Closer the the WWII lookout tower, there is not much shade. At the turnaround at Sunset Beach, you’ll be rewarded with a view of the concrete ship S.S. Atlantus and bay breezes. This course is fairly flat with a slight incline as you head back toward Cape May City.
Lighthouse Loop 6 Miler
This is by far my favorite run in Cape May and can be easily extended to seven, or even eight miles depending on where you begin and end. From our home on Windsor Ave., I run to Sunset Blvd. then to Sunset Beach. The course winds through Cape May Point, past Lake Lily and into Cape May Lighthouse Park. Pro tip: the water fountain by the bird observation deck is a great place to rest and refill your water bottle.
The course continues behind the dunes along Bunker Pond eventually climbing over the dunes to the beach. Then along the water to Cove Beach and back to the Promenade, to Grant Street and back to the house. The course has a little bit of everything from bay views to the lighthouse and a variety of shorebirds along Lake Lily.
If you’re looking for a challenge, there are several road races held in Cape May. I can say from personal experience, there is a great vibe and fun for runners of all ages and abilities.
The Great Cape May Footrace
The first race of the year is the Great Cape May footrace. Runners can choose to run 5K or 10K distances. It is the granddaddy of Cape May races and is in its 43rd year. It will be held on May 7, 2022. Visit their website for more information and to register.
Cape May Point 2 Mile and 5 Mile
This race has been held for 42 years! Runners can choose either 2- or 5-miles distances and the course winds through the charming streets of Cape May Point. It will be held on June 18, 2022. You can register online here.
The Murph Mile
The Murph Mile is named in honor of Cape May Beach Patrol’s Kevin Murphy. All proceeds benefit CMBPA’s scholarship fund. This race is a one-mile sprint along Beach Avenue and will be held in August 2022.
Beach to Brewery 10K
This race is an absolute blast! The Beach to Brewery 10K is a point-to-point race beginning on Beach Ave in Cape May and ending at Cape May Brewing Company. It’s moderately flat with a decent hill over the Cape May canal bridge. The best part; there is a cold, refreshing Cape May Brewing Company beer waiting for you at the finish line. Finally, an activity the combines my two favorite things! You can learn more at Cape May Running Company.
It’s been a while since I’ve run a half-marathon, but this one has been on my list for some time. I signed up for it in 2020, but COVID had other ideas. The course is flat and fast through Cape May City, out to Cape May Point, finishing along Beach Ave. New for 2022 is the Fright Night 5K the night before the main race. Also new is a half marathon relay. The weather in late October is usually ideal for running and I bet quite a few personal bests will be logged. More information here.
Cape May Running Company has done an amazing job fostering the running community in Cape May. Located at 305 Beach Ave., they offer everything a runner needs. Forgot your favorite kicks, they have you covered. Need new shorts or singlet, you’re sure to find exactly what you need. Be sure to check them out when you’re in town.
I hope you’ll get out and explore the streets of Cape May and remember, beach run is the best run. I’d like to know your favorite Cape May running routes. Let me know in the comments.
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