AUGUSTA, NJ – “Everyone’s a winner here, everyone crossed the finish line,” said Sussex County Sheriff Michael Strada Saturday morning, at the conclusion of the first 5K/10K run at the Sussex County Fairgrounds, to benefit the Sussex County Sheriff’s Crime Stoppers.
The Sussex County Sheriff’s Crime Stoppers is a non-profit organization that helps lead to the arrest, and indictment of criminals, paying up to a $1,000 cash reward to the tipster.
About an hour prior to the race start, a passing and strong shower briefly hovered over the area, and then cleared. The sun returned, along with some humidity, with an occasional passing cooler breeze.
“It’s good to see the sun,” Andy Ball of Main Street Marketing and Events, who organized the 5K/10K event.
Ball, said both courses were USA Track & Field (USATF) sanctioned.
The 5K started and ended within the fairgrounds, and the 10K on Plains Road, with the same finish line as the 5K.
Within the park, Ball asked participants of the 5K to first pause before the race for a moment of silence to remember the victims of September 11.
“We want to thank all of our military, our veterans, and all those who passed on,” Ball said, and the crowd cheered.
The race then started moments at 9:30am, with the group taking off. The 5K was led by Samuel Burlum, CEO & President of Extreme Energy Solutions, driving in a Sidewinder ATV, a low emissions vehicle sold by his company. The 10K was led by a Sussex County Sheriff’s Car.
There were 54 participants in the 5K, and 51 in the 10K race. Out of the 105 participants, 65 pre-registered for the event.
Brian Thomas of Ogdensburg was the overall winner of the 5K, with a total time of 20:25.2, followed by Catherine Stone of Hardyston at 20:36.0, Philip Gely of Newton at 22:50.9, and Howard Condit of Vernon at 23:10.9.
In the 10K, Stefan Alvinsson of Sandystown, N.J. finished at 38:56.0, Jeff Staple of Aambury, N.J., at 40:27.1, and Bill Bosmann of Rockaway, N.J. at 40:27.1.
For complete results of both races, click here.
“I’m a lifelong runner, I’ve stayed with it, and it’s about doing something consistently,” said Thomas.
Overall, Thomas said, “I was really happy with the course.”
Stone, who was the first for the women at the 5K race, and second overall, said, “This is a nice race, it was really fast, and clean.”
Eileen Cawley, a personal trainer from Lafayette, was another 5K participant. She placed number 15 overall, and had a time of 28:50.7. She ran with her daughter, Emma, who placed first for females in the 12 through 14 age group, and came in 21st overall, with a time of 30:18.6.
Cawley explained, “I try to make sure to teach her [Emma] about healthy living. I tell her, ‘you don’t want to try to win a prize, you want to get your time from your first 5K, and try to beat it.’”
Janet Dashio of Sandyston ran in the 10K. She was one of three participants from the Department of Child Protection and Permanency (formerly DYFS). She raced with co-workers Michele Quinn, and Judy Connell.
“We’re supporting our sheriff’s department,” Dashio said after the race.
She described the air on the course as “heavy and humid” for the day.
It was Dashio’s third 10K, and she has run many 5K’s, she said.
Joe Farinella of Andover Township was the oldest registered participant at 73 years old. Farinella participated in the 10K, after having only started running at age 68. He has run in the Goofy Challenge in Disney, and the New York Marathon, among his accolades.
“I love running,” said the retiree from Picatinny Arsenal.
“We’ll see what happens today,” Farinella said before the race, describing his average time for 5K’s at “28 and change”.
For the 10K, Farinella clocked in at 59:12.9, coming in number 34 of 51 participants.
Trophies were handed out for the top participants, and then ribbons in blue, red, and white, for first, second, and third place participants in each category.
Strada said for anyone who was not present to receive their ribbon at the end of the race, to please contact Lt. Larry Beller at the Sussex County Sheriff’s Department at: (973) 579-0865, extension 2501.
Of the race, Strada told The Alternative Press, “It’s all about bringing the community out, and raising awareness for the Crime Stoppers Program.”
Richard Bunce, Hopatcong Councilman, and Chair of the Sussex County Sheriff’s Crime Stoppers, said the group is seeking more commissioners, and encouraged attendees to volunteer.
“It’s a very worthy organization,” Bunce said.
“I think it [the race] went really well,” Strada continued. “I think it will continue to grow.”
“I see a lot of families here today, I really appreciate it, we at the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office, really appreciate your support,” Strada told the participants before handing out the awards.
The Sussex County Sheriff’s Crime Stoppers 5K/10K Run was presented by Thorlabs. Other sponsors included: Adam Todd Caterers, The Alternative Press of Sussex County, Athenia Mason Supply, D&H Alternative Risk Solutions, Eastern Propane, Extreme Energy Solutions, Extreme Off Road, GBW Insurance, Glen Vetrano, Hardyston Township PBA Local 374, Jersey Gators Swim Team, Lakeland Bank, Madsen Construction, The New Jersey Herald, PSE&G, The Printing Center, R&T Nautilus, Royal Buick GMC, St. Clare’s Health System, Senator Steven Oroho, Sheriff Michael Strada, Subaru World of Newton, Sussex County Community College, Sussex County Fairgrounds, and Sussex County Imports.
For more information about Sussex County Sheriff’s Crime Stoppers, or to submit a crime tip click here to fill out an online anonymous tip form, or call in tips to: (973) 300-CRIME.
Editor’s Note: Several parties featured in this article work with Extreme Energy Solutions, a corporate partner of The Alternative Press of Sussex County’s branch of TheAlternativePress.com; Samuel K. Burlum (CEO & President of Extreme Energy Solutions), Brian Thomas (Extreme Off Road, LLC), and Thomas Sweeney (SMART Air Fuel Saver). Brian Thomas is also a freelance reporter, and marketing consultant for The Alternative Press of Sussex County. Extreme Energy Solutions, Extreme Off Road, and The Alternative Press of Sussex County were all race sponsors.