More than 2,000 runners and walkers and 200-plus volunteers enjoyed the beautiful fall weather and participated in the third annual RWJBarnabas Health Running with the Devils 5K Run & Walk on Saturday, Nov. 2 at the South Mountain Recreation Complex in West Orange.

This annual event supports the commitment of both RWJBarnabas Health and the New Jersey Devils to build healthier communities by promoting healthy, active lifestyles and world-class healthcare. This year, the charitable event raised $125,000 to benefit programs and services of RWJBarnabas Health and its local facilities.

The highlight of race day was the first-ever Battle of the New Jersey Mascots, featuring an obstacle course race that kicked off the festivities. NJ Devil and a line-up of popular mascots, Lakewood BlueClaws (Buster); Rutgers University (Scarlet Knight); Somerset Patriots (Sparkee); Princeton University (Tiger); Trenton Thunder (Boomer); Monmouth University (Shadow); Seton Hall University (Pirate) and Myrtle the Turtle from Turtle Back Zoo battled for NJ Mascot bragging rights prior to the start of the 5K.

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NJ claimed victory, as Barry H. Ostrowsky, president & chief executive officer of RWJBarnabas Health and Adam Davis, chief commercial officer of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, presented NJ with the inaugural trophy. All participating mascots stayed on-site to cheer on runners and walkers, and take photos with participants.

Additional on-site activities included Wellness on Wheels - The 35-foot vehicle, equipped with a hydroponic greenhouse and a full kitchen and the NJ Devils interactive mobile unit, a popular attraction for attendees.

Moreover, New Jersey Devils Alumni and Stanley Cup Champions Colin White and Grant Marshall served as official race starters and took photos with participants, while former New York Giant and RWJBarnabas Health Ambassador David Diehl took photos with attendees, including members of the Bloomfield Fire Department, who ran the 5K in full gear. 

Huan Tran (Montclair) was the overall winner of the 5K, finishing in 16:44:59 while Fawzia Kheir (Jersey City) was the winner of the women’s race, crossing the finish line in 19:52:80.

Carolyn Dorworth, the team captain for #JeffStrong, represented the top fundraising team for the event. She will receive a complimentary skating party for 75-100 people at the RWJBarnabas Health Hockey House.