Hitting the pavement for a cause
Main Street 5K/10K benefits Special Olympics
CJ Hagan of Ogdensburg crossing the finish line of the 10K.
Several members of the Newton Health & Wellness race team pose for a portrait. They won a trophy for the largest race team category with 19 total members.
Law school student Laura Gilson of Sparta placed 8th overall in the 10k race and first in her age group for 20 to 29.
Main Street Events promoter Andy Ball (black & white shirt) leads a parade of participants to the start area.
Team Eastern Propane of Oak Ridge pose for a portrait.
Runner Erin Meineke of Sparta finished first among female participants in the 30-39 year old age category.
The ThorLabs team of Newton.
Sparta's Craig Calhoun and his dog Cassie run together.
SPARTA — Runners and walkers of all ages and fitness levels from Sparta and surrounding communities participated in the Sparta Main Street 5K/10K Festival and Fitness Expo on Saturday, April 26.
Celebrating its 16th year, the charity event benefited the Special Olympics New Jersey of Sussex, Morris and Warren counties. The Fieldhouse at Sparta Athletic Campus in Sparta hosted the event.
Brandon Meyer was the first runner to cross the finish line. Meyer also participated in 2013 and finished third overall. He is a junior at Warren Hills Regional High School in Washington and participates in cross country and spring track and field. He also recently completed the Boston Marathon.
"I placed in third at last years Main Street 5k/10k Festival & Fitness Expo so I'm happy to place first this year," said Meyer in a post race interview. "Finishing first was definitely a goal of mine this year. It is a great course and I love the town of Sparta. The first mile I wanted to stay under five minutes and I made it in 5:01 so I was pretty on pace. The second mile I held the pace for as long as I could. Then by the third mile I began to die out a little with the hill. But once I got up on the hill I turned on the fuel."
Meyer's father, Paul Meyer, participated in the 10K run.
Like the Meyers many of the runners and walkers made it a family affair by traveling the route together. Some businesses from the region such as Thorlabs and Newton Health & Wellness both based in Newton sent runners in teams.
Newton Health & Wellness won a special award for fielding the largest team at the event with 19 members participating. Medals, plaques and prizes were awarded to athletes in multiple categories.
Most of the event participants were not concerned about finishing first, but just finishing and being part of something positive and raising funds for a good cause.
Blue Ridge Lumber of Ogdensburg, Mark Scordato & Associates Wealth Management of Parsippany, Sparta Chiropractic and Newton Medical Center were among the many business entities that sponsored and participated in the events.
For the final placings of runners and walkers visit www.mainstreetevents.org.
— Photos by George LeRoy Hunter
For more photos visit www.TownshipJournal.com.
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