WESTFIELD, NJ — Registration for the fourth annual Greta’s Run, a 5K for people of all abilities coming April 23, is open. To register, click here.

The annual race was created in memory of Westfield High School student Greta Schoenemann. Co-founders Ben Nanna and Jayne Ruotolo skipped a year in 2016 when they decided to move the 5K from September (the month Greta died) to April (the month she was born).  

The 2017 Greta’s Run will benefit the Challenged Athletes Foundation, which provides physically challenged people with specialized sporting equipment to help them pursue active and healthy lifestyles, and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, which is dedicated to advancing quality of life and discovering cures for spinal cord injuries.  

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“The proceeds granted to the Challenged Athletes Foundation will be restricted to benefit Greater Westfield, New Jersey, residents, and the proceeds granted to Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation will be restricted to benefit one initiative that serves nationally,” Nanna said.  

He called Greta’s Run “the most ability-diverse 5K in the area.”

“At the third annual Greta’s Run we had 1,133 participants and 200-plus volunteers. I’m no math genius, but I’d say we need to do more than that. Greta was a Westfield High School student-athlete, so we are honored to be working with Westfield Athletics this year and have over 1,000 athletes join us on race day.”

Greta’s Run will start and finish at Roosevelt Intermediate School in partnership with Westfield Public Schools. In addition to the 5K itself, several fun surprises are planned for that day.

“We can tell you the prizes, as usual, are awesome,” Nanna said. “There will be live music, Jersey Mike’s Subs and all your friends.”

Nanna thanked the community and sponsors who have made the run possible over the past few years.

“We’ve loved every minute of it and we hope we’ve made the Westfield community proud,” he said. “Greta’s Run is a celebration of our friend Greta, just as much as it’s a celebration of everyone who shows up on race day. Our friend Dennis McGorty raced with his handcycle for the first time at Greta’s Run, then did the New York City Marathon. Greta’s sister Elise was pushed in her wheelchair racer for the first time with us, too.  A lot of these firsts happen at Greta’s Run, stemming from all ages and abilities. This makes us feel good as organizers because we take making you feel happy and engaged seriously; everyone belongs at Greta’s Run.”

Many of the run’s participants never had the opportunity to meet Greta, he said.

“Nevertheless,” he said, “they relate to what she stood for. We want Greta’s Run to demonstrate the power of giving back, community and looking out for one another.”

For more information, click here to visit their website and “like” the Greta’s Run 5K Facebook page.

TAPinto Westfield is a proud sponsor of Greta’s Run.