Giving Back

First Fit to Food Run a Success for the Young, Old and Dogs Alike

Abdelaziz Rochdi of Rockaway, center, placed first, followed by Chatham track coach Nick DeSantis, left, and Ryan Vandervalk, right. Credits: TAP Chatham
Jackson Levine, 9, of Summit was breathing easy after finishing 20th overall Credits: TAP Chatham
Team Ticknor: Margie, Sam, Henry, Emma, Jack and Mark, along with their two dogs all ran in the Fit for Food race Credits: TAP Chatham
Arch Seamans, 82, averaged 13:10 per mile Credits: TAP Chatham
Sisters Julia and Emma Battiato of Chatham finished 1-2 in the 14-and-under female division Credits: TAP Chatham
(L) Christine Stanley of Chatham, who finished second among females in the race, with her Chatham friend, Rebecca Mele. Credits: TAP Chatham

CHATHAM, NJ - A 9-year-old, an octogenarian and two dogs made for an interesting inaugural at the Fit to Food run sponsored by the Chatham Club on Sunday.

The 3.1 mile race that started and ended at the Chatham Club, raised thousands of dollars for the Community Food Bank and brought out all ages for the benefit.

Jackson Levine, 9, of Summit crushed the competition in the 14-and-under category of the race with a time of 23:53.2. He finished well ahead of his father by averaging 7:42 per mile. At the other end of the age spectrum, 82-year-old Arch Seamans of Rockaway was the 56th male to cross the finish line, averaging 13:10 per mile.

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Seamans worked at Honeywell for 49 years and then began running at the age of 68. He's run 730 5K races since.

"I used to volunteer at the Food Bank in Hillside," Seamans said.

A family from Madison dubbed themselves "Team Ticknor," as both parents, four children and both dogs, a black lab and a beagle, all completed the race. Jack Ticknor, 14, was third in the 14-and-under male division, followed by his 12-year-old brother, Jack, who was fourth. The youngest brother, Mark, 10, was sixth. Evan DiGiovanni, 17, of Chatham was second to Levine in 24:13.2.

The Ticknor boys' big sister, Emma, placed first among females 15-19, and was the ninth female to cross with a time of 25:40.6. The dogs were not officially entered into the race, so their times were not posted.

The top three finishers in the race overall were Abdelaziz Rochdi (15:39), Nick DeSantis (16:09.9) and Ryan Vandervalk (18:01.4). Rochdi averaged 5:02 per mile and DeSantis ran his miles at a 5:12 pace.

The top female runners were all from Chatham: Bobbie Mastronardi, who ran 20:51.5; Christine Stanley (21:24.8) and Diane Fell (22:51).

"I'm happy for the food bank," Stanley said. "I'm a member here at the Chatham Club and it was nice to have an event like this outside the club."

In the 14-and-under girls division, sisters Julia and Emma Battiato, finished 1-2. Julia, a  12-year-old 7th grader who attends Chatham Middle School, was the 28th female to finish in 31:37.3. Emma, 11, a fifth grader at Lafayette, ran 33:58.7 and was the 36th female to cross.

Full results can be found at








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