HILLSBOROUGH, NJ -The Resolution Run 5K Committee presented a check for $11,700 to Project Graduation representatives Tuesday night at the township municipal building, money that was raised at the 3.1-mile run on New Year's Day.
The charity event has been held each New Year’s Day since 2002 and is organized by the Resolutions for Others Foundation, a Hillsborough based non-profit group.
More than 600 runners and walkers turned out for this year’s race, which started at 11 a.m. at the Peter J. Biondi Municipal Building under sunny skies; the race time temperature was 46 degrees, according to Race Director Gary Verhoorn.
Project Graduation 2017 continues the all-night, alcohol- and drug-free annual celebration held the night of graduation, free to graduating seniors. It is planned, financed and carried out by parents and volunteers to help ensure the safety of Hillsborough's graduating class.
A portion of the proceeds also benefit three pet rescue organizations, Carol’s Cats, Companion Animal Placement and Greyhounds of NJ.
Brian Crowley of Hillsborough finished with the fastest men's time, 17 minutes, 11 seconds, beating his time from the previous year by 10 seconds; Amy Williams of Hillsborough was the top women's finisher with a time of 19 minutes, four seconds, a little more than one minute ahead of her nearest competitor.
Crowley, a “regular” at the Resolution Run, won for the third consecutive year and for the fourth time in five years.
In the Masters category (runners 40 years of age and older), winners this year were Brian Bumgarner of Branchburg in 18:27 and Keira Forker of Hillsborough in 22:00.
Volunteers and business sponsors are essential in supporting the race, according to Kevin Katmann, director of volunteers.
"Some of our volunteers have been with us all 16 years of the race, while others helped us for the first time,” he said, singling out the Somerset Runners Club and student and adult volunteers from Project Graduation 2017.
Stella Nieves, who drove the lead vehicle and, together with her husband, Victor Nieves, helped award the prizes, noted there were a total of 110 awards, including medals, gift certificates and merchandise. Hillsborough Massage Therapy and Village Shoe Store of Montgomery gave awards to the top winners while first, second and third place runners in 16 age groups from under 9 years old to 80 years old and over won custom designed medals.
Awards were also given to the Oldest, the Youngest and those who traveled furthest (Great Britain). Runners came from 11 states. There were 173 runners from Hillsborough.
Runners were asked to supply an optional resolution for the new year. All resolutions are listed on their website for the entire year.
The Race Committee thanked all 600 runners and walkers who registered. “Without them, this community event never would have taken place,” Katmann said.
Verhoorn thanked the Hillsborough Township Police Department, the Hillsborough Rescue Squad, the Township Administration, the Municipal Committee, the Board of Education and the Township Youth Services Committee and its Project Graduation Committee.
In addition to fees from runners, Business Sponsors help to ensure the success of the Resolution Run, including:
The 2017 Presenting Sponsor was Hillsborough Massage Therapy LLC.
There were four 2017 Platinum Sponsors, Foothill Acres Rehabilitation & Nursing Center of Hillsborough, Harlingen Veterinary Clinic of Belle Mead, Schilke Construction Company of Hillsborough and TayganPoint Consulting Group, based in Washington Crossing, PA.
Gold Sponsors for 2017 were Allen Lopez-Absolute Home Mortgage Corp, Advanced Eyecare & Vision Gallery-Dr Barbara J Tarbell, Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill, Bridgeway Senior Healthcare/Avalon Assisted Living, Hillsborough Podiatry Group, HRC Fitness, Just Subs, Petrock’s Bar & Grille, Premiere College Funding, Princeton Orthopedic Associates, Shop Rite of Hillsborough, 10x10 Home Body Fitness, V5 Cycles, Van Cleef Engineering Associates, Village Shoes and Wegman’s of Bridgewater.
The 2017 Bank Honor Role Sponsors were Affinity Federal Credit Union and Peapack-Gladstone Bank.
Patrons included Central Jersey Nurseries, Century 21 Worden & Green, Dubitsky Dental, Gregory D Hirsch, MD, Family Chiropractic Center, JML Landscaping, Kathleen Academy of Dance, William J Kohlhepp, Jr, Esq, StrengthCondition.com, TMB Triathlon Club and the Women’s Club of Hillsborough.
Further information is available online at www.resolutionrun.org and www.facebook.com/resolutionrun5k.