The 14th Annual Berkeley Heights 5K Charity Road Race and Fitness Walk will draw runners, walkers, children, and spectators to Memorial Field on Sunday morning, September 19th.

Race Director, Dr. Patrick R Smith of Smith Chiropractic commented, "We have many extras planned for this year's event. Our Platinum sponsor Hampshire Self Storage will make quite an impact, Investors Savings Bank will man the food tent, The John Hawk Agency, an Allstate Insurance and Financial Services firm in Chatham, will sponsor a drawing for an iPod and have an added feature at their booth, Smith Chiropractic will sponsor a drawing for several iPods and will host a sports massage tent with several give aways, Weichert Realtors Watchung will offer games and offer many give aways for children and adults, a live band will play, an expanded sponsor booth area will provide participants and spectators alike the opportunity to learn and enjoy many new things, Dr. Smith added "I think everyone will really enjoy what we have planned for this year, It's going to be the place to have fun and learn September 19th", and all participants will receive a "special reusable goodie bag stuffed with lots of great stuff!. There will also be a few surprise giveaways that you'll have to be there to participate in." Dr. Smith went on saying, "We have improved our web site, www.berkeleyheights5k.com and this year's custom race t-shirt is sure to be a crowd favorite." Dr. Smith recommends signing up by September 9th to guarantee getting one of the custom race shirts and the special goodie bag. "We pride ourselves on providing a great shirt each year and I know I say this each year, but I really think this one is the best yet, it's fun."

Runners will race through tree-lined neighborhoods in the Berkeley Heights 5K, which is sanctioned by the USA Track and Field Association and is a 500-point race in the New Balance Grand Prix Series. Non-runners and families can participate by entering the 1.5 mile fitness walk which winds through sections of the tree-lined residential 5K course. Not to be forgotten, children ages 2 to 11 are invited to dash across Memorial field in the free fun runs. (No registration for fun runs, just show up!)

To register for the 2009 Berkeley Heights 5K Road Race or Fitness Walk, simply complete and mail in the registration form included or log on to www.BerkeleyHeights5K.com and click on the register box, a paper application is also printable

The early registration fee (by September 10th) is $20.00 ($18.00 for USATF-NJ members) guarantees a custom race shirt and goodie bag. After September 10th, the registration fee will increase to $23.00 with no guarantee of a custom race shirt or goodie bag. Early registration packet pick-up takes place on September 14th, 16th, and 18th at Smith Chiropractic, 134 Snyder Ave in Berkeley Heights. Registration may also be done in person at Smith Chiropractic anytime between now and September 18th.

The schedule of events starts on Memorial Field at 7:45 am on Sunday, September 19th with late registration and distribution of race packets, including number, custom race shirt, and goodie bag (if raining, go to Berkeley Heights Community Center on Park Avenue). The 5K road race takes off at 9:30 am, followed by the 1.5 mile fitness walk at 9:35 am. Free fun runs for children ages 2 through 11 begin at 10:30 am on Memorial Field, all participating children will receive a race ribbon (no registration is necessary). At 10:50 am, the awards ceremony begins, with 84 custom plaques and trophies being presented to the top 3 male and female finishers of the 5K and in various male and female age groups ranging from 14 and under to 80 and over. Lots of hardware, come and get it!

According to Dr. Smith, "we're expecting to host another great group of runners, walkers, and children with all those smiling faces dashing across Memorial Field, making our event one to the best small town races in the state and helping us to fulfill our goals of family fun, friendly competition, fitness and a sense of community. My hope is that this event will always be connected with a sense of people uniting in a patriotic and caring way."

Proceeds from last year's event, which totaled $9,600, were divided among the following local organizations that provide much needed services to residents in the community:

1. Berkeley Heights Education Foundation - provides school enrichment programs.

2. SAGE Spend-A-Day - adult daycare and Alzheimer's care.

3. Berkeley Heights Police Athletic League - youth sports programs

4. Summit-Area Baby Center - provides support for local infants in need.

5. Summit-Area Red Cross—provides resources during local crisis

6. Summit Speech School, New Providence - helps hearing impaired preschoolers.

7. Our House Inc. Berkeley Heights Group Home - assists developmentally-disabled adults.

8. Santa Claus Shop, Summit—keeps the spirit of giving alive for over 600 local families in need.

9. Berkeley Heights Rescue Squad & Berkeley Heights Fire Department

10. Berkeley Heights Recreation Commission & Berkeley Heights Environmental Commission

11. Berkeley Heights D.A.R.E. Program - provides drug awareness and resistance education in our schools.

12. New Providence Education Foundation—provides school enrichment programs.

13. The Wounded Warrior Project—Grassroots organization providing comfort to servicemen and women injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. www.woundedwarriorproject.org.

14. Benjamin Santore Special Needs Fund—to aid local boy with neuromuscular disorder.

15. Homefirst interfaith Housing & Family Services— www.homefirstinc.org  

Dr. Smith reflected "over the past 13 years with the generous support of local businesses and corporate sponsors/leaders as well as the great participation at our events, we have raised a total of $79,600. I am proud to say that everyone's efforts have achieved such wonderful results and done so much good within our community."

As in previous years, Compuscore will provide accurate timing of the 5K with results posted after the race and on the web at www.BerkeleyHeights5K.com. Also, a professional online race photo service will be on hand, to capture images of all those who participate.

A local DJ will provide musical entertainment. Complimentary sports massages will be available for all walkers and runners before and after the competition, courtesy of Smith Chiropractic. GABRIELE Fitness & Performance will host a dynamic stretch tent, free blood pressure screenings will be available to anyone interested. Complimentary refreshments will be provided to all, including bottled water, sports drinks, bagels, organic oranges, watermelon, sports bars, custom made protein drinks, Sports Nutrition and more.

Dr. Smith added, "Without the tremendous support we receive from local businesses and corporate leaders, our charity event and all the good it does would not be possible, PLEASE support our sponsors with your business!" This year's patrons are as follows:

Platinum Patrons:

HAMPSHIRE SELF STORAGE

Gold Patrons:

Allstate: The John Hawk Agency, Chatham

Applebee's "It's a whole new neighborhood"

Avaya Communications

DERCO copying, printing, and supplies

GABRIELE Fitness & Performance

Independent Press

Investors Savings Bank

Kings Supermarkets

NP FUEL

Samuel G. Smith Jr. Memorial Fund

SMITH CHIROPRACTIC

SMOOTH-ON

Sneaker Factory running centers

Summit Medical Group

Overlook Hospital/Atlantic Health

Taylor Rental

TheAlternativePress.com

Weichert Realtors, Watchung office

Silver Patrons:

Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine- Dr. Zhou, OMD

Avelient Technology

Basking Ridge Country Club

Berkeley Heights Nursing & Rehabilitation Center

betterways lawncare

Bleakley, Schwartz, Cooney, & Finney

Cartridge World, New Providence

CET Heating and Air Conditioning Inc.

Computer Fixers

Family Foot Care- Gary L. Quartello, DPM

Fresh & Wholesome Market

Gary S. Crystal, DMD, Berkeley Heights

Glassworks of Summit

INCA Graphic Production

John P. Sullivan, CFP, CPA

MAD NUTRITION

Majewski-Jones Architects

MARY'S Your Name Here

Philip E. Memoli, DMD, The Center for Natural Dentistry

Respira Salt Wellness Center

The Handyman 4-U

The Sign Center

Suburban Chambers of Commerce

TEE BAG Embroidery & Screen Printing

Twill Printing Services

XYMOGEN

Lastly, Dr. Smith said, "each year we rely on the dedication of our volunteers. Without their service, we could not have a Berkeley Heights 5K, volunteering and giving a little time back to our community is one of the ways anyone can help make a difference…it's especially great when high school age kids help out and make such a positive impact on their community…it looks good on the college application too." Anyone interested in volunteering for this community event or for further information, call race director Dr. Patrick Smith at the race hotline (908)464-8899, or on the web at www.berkeleyheights5k.com. All proceeds from this charity event will again be donated within our community on behalf of everyone involved. So strap on your running shoes and join the fun! Run, Walk, or Volunteer!