WESTFIELD, NJ - The 12th annual Downtown Westfield 5K & Pizza Extravaganza held on July 24, 2013 was a huge success thanks to all the sponsors and participants of this year’s event. More than 2,700 runners and approximately 6,000 spectators participated, setting a new record. The overall winner was Chris Heibell of Hillsborough with a finish time of 15:13.41. Second and third place finishers were Chris Croff of Summit at 15:16.13 and D. J. Thornton of Rahway at 15:27.44 respectively. The annual “Pizza Run” takes many months to plan and would not be possible without the help of key people, volunteers, generous sponsors and a gracious business and residential community.
A special thank you to the dedicated DWC staff: Sherry Cronin, Executive Director, Beth Brenner, Asst. Executive Director, Jamie Lemberg, On-line Marketing & Social Media Manager, Meghan Dunn, DWC Intern, who worked tirelessly to plan and execute the event along with Mark Zenobia, OYMP Race Director and staff. More than 100 volunteers also worked at the event under the direction of Meg Mehorter, Volunteer Coordinator.
For the fourth year in a row, Trinitas Regional Medical Center was the Platinum Sponsor of the event. Silver sponsors included: Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Overlook Medical Center, Barnabas Health - Saint Barnabas Medical Center, and Stop & Shop. Bronze Sponsors included: Capital One, David Realty Group Residential Brokerage, Drew & Rogers, Get in Shape for Women of Westfield, JAG Physical Therapy, Lindabury McCormack, Estabrook & Cooper, P.C., Morgan Stanley, ShopRite of Garwood, Summit Medical Group, Trenk, DiPasquale, Della Fera & Sodono, P.C., UBS, Wells Fargo Advisors, Westfield Running Company and Westfield Pediatric Dental Group. Contributing sponsors included: Creative Dental Care, P.A., The Office Beer Bar & Grill, PSE&G, Spencer Savings Bank and Thomas Burns, DMD, P.A. Supporting sponsors included: Farmers Insurance – Partners Agency & Associates, and State Farm Insurance Christine Consenza Agency.
The DWC provided 5,760 slices of pizza purchased at discounted prices from local restaurants Casa di Pizza, Cosimo’s, and Ferraro’s. Once again, the Westfield Jaycees, DWC Chairman Dominick Verdic and family distributed all of the pizza and cookies to the hungry runners. Stop & Shop provided the water stop and finish line water and many goodies at their booth.
Mayor Andy Skibitsky interviewed many attendees to be aired on TV36. Sponsors provided many giveaways to runners and spectators. ShopRite of Garwood provided 5,200 cookies, LaYogurt yogurt and juices, water and soda to the runners. The Westfield Police Department assisted with street closings and volunteer course marshal assignments. The Westfield Fire Department hosed down the runners, and The Westfield Rescue Squad was on hand to provide medical care but none was needed. The Westfield Department of Public Works provided equipment and trash disposal.
Entertainment was provided by the ever-popular Michael Craig Band & FOG. The top female finishers were given floral bouquets donated by Trader Joe’s. An awards ceremony followed the race with random prizes donated by the following businesses: Acquaviva della fonti, Bovella’s Pastry Shoppe, Casa di Pizza, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Cosimo’s Restaurant & Pizzeria, Digiplex Destinations/Rialto, The Farmhouse Store, Kessler Rehabilitation, Kidville, Learning Express Toys of Westfield, Let’s Yo Yogurt, Limani Seafood Grill, Rockn’ Joe Coffeehouse + Bistro, Sole Fine Italian Shoes, Tamar Jewelry, The Running Company, and Xocolatz Restaurant & Grill. Subway provided the electricity for the band. Seraphim Wellness and Kessler Rehabiltiation provided stretching/massage to the runners. Weichert Realtors and Keller Williams provided many volunteers assisting with water stops and course marshals.
The Downtown Westfield Corporation (DWC), formed in 1996, is the management entity of the Special Improvement District. It is governed by a seven member Board of Directors, has two full-time and one part-time staff members, and numerous volunteers serving on Design, Promotion, Economic Development and Organization committees. The vision of the DWC is for Westfield to be a preferred destination where people want to live, work, and visit. Westfield is also honored to be one of 22 designated Main Street Communities in New Jersey, a program of the National Trust’s National Main Street Center. Through the DWC efforts, Westfield won the 2004 Great American Main Street Award and the 2010 America in Bloom Award.
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