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Videos: Six and Younger Runners Kick Off 18th Annual Mountainside PAL Cop Trot

Firefighters hung the American Flag on the end of the ladder. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Police officers kept the runners safe during the children's race and the 5K, blocking off intersections and directing the runners. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Children lined up before the mayor was there. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Ready to run. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Mayor Paul Mirabelli tells the children how the race will start. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
And, they're off! Credits: Barbara Rybolt
This youngster had his own cheering squad. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Heading to the finish line! Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Proud of his medal! Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Marie and Tony Love, 'The Spinners' provided music for the Cop Trot in the morning and, later in the day, the PTO Fall Festival. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
The 5K is ready to start! Credits: Barbara Rybolt
The 5K runners head into the corner from the starting line. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Runners, walkers and strollers! Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Heading out of the school driveway to Central Avenue. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
At the finish line! Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Waiting at the finish line. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
Credits: Barbara Rybolt

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ - Saturday, Oct. 21, was a perfect day for the 18th Annual PAL Cop Trot.

Firefighters hung the American Flag on the department's ladder truck, then raised it high. Just before 8:30 a.m. the word went out that it was time for the first race of the day -- for children six years of age and younger.

Mayor Paul Mirabelli, who is president of the PAL, welcomed everyone to the Cop Trot, and asked them to join in a chorus of "God Bless America." The crowd turned to the flag, took off their hats and put their hand on their heart, including the antsy children, chaperoned by enthusiastic parents, who were already at the starting line.

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After an explanation of how he would start the race, the mayor said, "Ready. Set. Go!" and almost 20 children were off and running. They left the far end of the parking lot, followed the exit road, up to Central Avenue, down the street and back into the parking lot. A few young runners had a parent running with them, while others ran in the crowd, following a police officer on a bicycle. Everyone returned and ran through the official Cop Trot finish line.  Everyone except one little girl.

She came back in a police car. The officer who brought her back said when she got to Central Avenue she refused to go into the street because "her mom said, 'I can't cross the street without her.'" Despite his best efforts, she insisted she wouldn't into the street, so he gave her a ride back. Mom, who was looking for her daughter to finish with the other runners, was relieved to see her pop out of the car.

Following the children's race, people began lining up for the 5K, for children older than six and adults, which began at 9 a.m. 

The Cop Trot is the PAL primary fundraiser. It funds the following activities:  Fall Soccer; Flag Football; Cheerleading; Travel Basketball; Open Gym; Breakfast with Santa; Skate Night; 8th Grade Pool Party; 4th of July Fireworks; Deerfield and GL Scholarship Awards and the Father's Day Charity Car & Bike Show.



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