BY JERRY MILANI
For 2009 and 2011 Long Branch Half Marathon champion and course record holder Craig Segal, competing at an elite level and running a business full-time can be a challenge. But being in familiar territory – a course he knows “like the back of your hand,” as he says – has the co-founder of Runner's High of Freehold a favorite to break the tape for the third time in five years on Sunday, May 5.
Segal, who will turn 29 the day before the race, lives in nearby Highlands, and counts the streets of numerous stretches of the Long Branch Half Marathon among his favorite training spots. And though the Holmdel native who excelled at Holmdel High School before turning in an outstanding collegiate career at Villanova (2002-06) and Monmouth (2006-07) may be tabbed as the man to beat, his goals are more internal as he covers the 13.1 miles.
“I'm want to know that, when I walk away from the race, I have put forth a solid effort,” he said. “If it's a PR [personal record], then great, but if it's a hot day or I don't run a PR, that's ok too, if I've given my best.”