MONTCLAIR, NJ – Brookdale Park was filled with hundreds of people who came out to support the HackensackUMC Mountainside 5K run/walk and Wellness in the Park Festival on Sunday.
The highlight of the day's festivities included two races where guests were asked to go at their own pace. Shortly before 9 a.m., at least 100 registrants lined up to participate in the 5K run/walk while volunteers handed out T-shirts and numbers to participants who registered for the event.
The run kicked off the activities of the day that also included a 1K leisure walk at 1 p.m. and a day-long program that included music and presentations by wellness experts.
Special guests included two Red Bulls soccer players and the New Jersey Jackals mascot. Jamison Olave and Ryan Meara of the New Jersey Red Bulls were on hand to sign autographs and take photos while vendors lined the pathway to present their goods and services to the community.
With more than 150 vendors in attendance, spectators were given free samples and the opportunity to purchase goods as they visited the various businesses showcased. Vendors ranged from those who gave massages, to Tarot card readers and wellness experts who specialize in aromatherapy. Included therein, were also those who specialized in organic food, fruits and vegetables and smoothies, as well.
Jimmy Garcia of East Brunswick traveled with his family to the Wellness in the Park Festival. He said, “I thought it would be an opportunity for my son Jeremy, who is 14 years old, and I to participate in this together. This is the first time we actually participated in a 5K run." Garcia and his son were cheered on by his wife and other family members as they also participated in the afternoon walk. "It was a beautiful day for the walk and the run. It doesn’t take much for people to come out and do this. It’s for a good cause, as well as you're taking care of yourself. It’s one of those things that you don’t have to be a super athlete to do something, especially with your family on a beautiful day like today.”