Participants in the 13th edition of the Resolution Run and Walk 5K “lucked out” with clear—but cool—weather this year.
The Hillsborough race has been held each New Year’s Day since 2002, and benefits Hillsborough High School’s 2014 Project Graduation, an all-night, alcohol-and drug-free celebration.
This year’s race was held under partly sunny skies with temperatures that rose to about 30 degrees, according to Race Director Gary Verhoorn. At precisely 11 a.m., hundreds of runners and walkers took to the streets of Hillsborough from the Peter J Biondi Municipal Building.
The top male and female runners were Nick Schnabel, of Somerset, and Ashley Thomasey, of Lynchburg, Va. Schnabel finished the 3.1 mile course in a time of 17 minutes, 35.99 seconds; Thomasey ran in 18:52.16, shattering the previous female record by over 20 seconds.
The male finish was especially competitive, with the top three finishing within 15 seconds of each other.
Celia Arthur, of Frenchtown, again ran the entire course in 51 minutes, 53 seconds, while spinning a hula-hoop. She has done this amazing feat before at the Resolution Run, delighting hundreds of other runners and the Finish Line volunteers also.
This year she was doing her hula hoop run to increase awareness of Steps Together, a Hillsborough nonprofit that raises money to help area families with unmet medical expenses. Founded by Courtney and Michael Newman, Steps Together began their 2014 fund-raising year at the Resolution Run.
The Resolution Run 5K depends on volunteers and business sponsors to support the race.
“This year we had a dedicated group from the Somerset Runners Club, student and adult volunteers from Project Graduation and others who heard about the race from its website, www.resolutionrun.org or on its Facebook page," Dr. Ron Berju, Hillsborough chiropractor and volunteer coordinator for the race, said. "Some of our 40 volunteers have been with us since the beginning.”
506 runners of the 600 registered runners crossed the finish line in front of the municipal library, and each received a Finishers Ribbon to go along with their Resolution Run Hoody and a goody bag. They were treated to warm pretzels, water and fruit to help recovery. Dale Cyburt and George Jarvis were key volunteers in the sweatshirt and food distribution areas.
“This years’ athletes were especially happy to start the New Year with a positive event,” Cyburt said, to which Jarvis concurred, adding, as he handed out food, “They are a happy group.”
Stella Nieves, who helped award the prizes, noted there were a total of 110 awards, including plaques, gift certificates and merchandise, bestowed on participants. Beside the usual awards for the best running times, awards were given to the Oldest (two 81 year olds, male and female) and Youngest (6 years old) as well as the farthest travel (London, 3,494 miles)
Four countries (US, Canada, England and Ireland) were represented and participants were from nine states.
“There were 567 registered from New Jersey and 216 of these were from Hillsborough,” according to Nieves. Females outnumbered males, 331 to 269.
When registering, runners were asked to supply an optional resolution. Special awards for the Most Meaningful, the Funniest and Most Original resolutions were given. All resolutions are listed on their website, www.resolutionrun.org. “Reading the resolutions throughout the year can be a continuing source of both enjoyment and amusement,” Verhoorn noted.
Six hundred runners and walkers registered for the event. All participants must pre-register and when 600 spaces are sold out, registration is closed. “This year, we closed on Dec. 8, one of our earliest ever,” said Race Director Verhoorn. In addition to fees from runners, Business Sponsors ensure the success of the Resolution Run, and Sponsors are shown below.
The Race Committee thanked all runners and walkers who participated in the event. “After all, without them, the community event never would have taken place!” Verhoorn noted.
Thanks were also expressed to the Hillsborough Township Police Department, the Hillsborough Rescue Squad, the Township Administration, the Municipal Committee, the Board of Education and the Township Youth Services Committee and its Project Graduation Committee.
Project Graduation is planned and carried out by students, parents and community volunteers to help ensure the safety of Hillsborough’s graduating class and has been the prime beneficiary of the race since it began. This year, a portion of the proceeds will also benefit three pet rescue organizations, Carol’s Cats, Companion Animal Placement and Greyhounds of NJ.
The Presenting Sponsor was Hillsborough Massage Therapy LLC.
Platinum Sponsors this year were Hillsborough Podiatry Group and Retro Fitness of Hillsborough.
Gold Sponsors consisted of Advanced Eyecare & Vision Gallery-Dr Barbara J Tarbell, Efinger Sporting Goods, Foothill Acres Rehabilitation Center, Harlingen Veterinary Clinic, Joseph Cioce, Attorney at Law, Just Subs of Hillsborough, Koerner & Crane, Attorneys, Petrock’s Bar & Grille, Premiere College Funding, Princeton Orthopaedic Associates, Schilke Construction Co., Shop Rite of Hillsborough, 10x10 Home Body Fitness and Wegman’s of Bridgewater.
The 2014 Bank Honor Role Sponsor was Financial Resources Federal Credit Union.
Patrons included Central Jersey Nurseries, Dubitsky Dental, Family Chiropractic Center, JML Landscaping, Kathleen Academy of Dance, William J Kohlhepp, Jr, Attorney At Law, Pete’s Bike & Fitness Shoppe, Powerhouse Gym of Hillsborough, Route 206 Farmer’s Market, StrengthCondition.com, Van Cleef Engineering Associates and the Women’s Club of Hillsborough.Information about the race is updated at their website, www.resolutionrun.org and on their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/resolutionrun5k