SOMERVILLE, NJ – The last leg of Saturday’s Somerville Challenge 5K was the gauntlet, with the prerequisite cinder blocks, logs, truck tires and wooden block obstacles - plus an added touch.
Volunteers armed with soakers sprayed the runners and tossed cups of chalk dust in their paths, good for lots of laughs, a few expletives, rainbow clouds of dust, and some bizarre designs on their clothes.
Anthony Monetti and his wife Karen, owners of the Bodhi by Anthony Gym, 198 West Main St., along with friends and clients, designed and built many of the 12 obstacles that were on the course, which ran along the pathway of the Peters Brook.
Entrants paid $50 to test themselves, with all monies raised donated to the Somerville First Aid Squad.
The family-owned gym offers group fitness programs, nutrition programs, yoga classes and personal training sessions.
The staging area was at Michael Lepp Park on Veterans Memorial Drive East. Runners took off across the bridge that connects to Southside Park, looping around the park and back to Lepp Park, before heading across Main Street and through the side streets of the borough.
The runners went out in groups of 20 or less and were staged 10-15 minutes apart to prevent the course from getting clogged.
The first aid squad had eight members running in the event, with other EMTs along the course with emergency medical equipment on standby.
There was no official timer; no trophies were awarded, but runners walked away satisfied they had faced up to the challenge and had overcome the obstacles.
“This is pure fun to push yourself to see what you can do,” Karen Monetti said.