BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The 21st annual Berkeley Heights 5K Charity Road Race and Fitness Walk generated $17,000, with nearly 450 runners and walkers took to the township streets on Sunday, September 17, 2017.
“Bright sunshine and crystal blue skies continued to bless us this year for our 21st annual Berkeley Heights 5K and we had another wonderful community event,” said Race Director, Dr. Patrick Smith of Smith Chiropractic in Berkeley Heights.
As a result, 21 local community organizations benefited from the money raised at the event through grants from the Smith Chiropractic Foundation, host of the Berkeley Heights 5K. “This year’s donations will bring our 21 year total to $206,600, which are given on behalf of all those (runners, walkers, patron sponsors, and volunteers) who make our charity event possible," said Smith. "We feel very positive that our event continues to be an annual, small-town road race and fitness walk that embraces family fun and friendly competition. As a result, we are able to fulfill our goal of community support through continued grants to local organizations and individuals in need. The organizations we support directly improve the lives of our neighbors and help make our community stronger. The notion of neighbors helping neighbors is really what the Berkeley Heights 5K is all about. When I started this event 21 years ago, my dream was to create an annual small town road race, which local residents would enjoy, and together we could raise a few dollars to give back to our wonderful community. With this year’s donations, my dream has again been realized and we exceeded what I thought was possible.”
Dr. Smith was quick to point out, “Without the generous support of our corporate and local business patron sponsors and the dedication of our volunteers, our charity event would not be possible, which is another example of how great this community is, good people willing to give both time and money to help one another. For me, the real heroes each year continue to be our sponsors, both the local business community and our larger corporate friends stepping forward to help make this event another success.”
Athletes and spectators were pampered by local professional massage therapists with free pre- and post-race sports massages compliments of the professionals from Berkeley Heights Massage Envy; free blood pressure screenings were performed by sponsor E Medical Offices; a DJ entertained the crowd with music and dancing. Everyone enjoyed munching on fresh bagels and oranges, along with bottled water and sports drinks served and provided by the Investors Bank Berkeley Heights team, all under the Taylor Rental big top tent. Post-Race drawings were plentiful as the John Hawk Agency, an Allstate insurance and financial services firm in Chatham, together with Smith Chiropractic, donated several iPads. Weichert Realtors Watchung gave several substantial prizes with lots of other sponsors at tables providing many more free offers, drawings and valuable information.
Runner and Walkers moved thru spectacular Red White & Blue balloon towers donated by Taylor Rental in Berkeley Heights, and all participants received a reusable eco tote goodie bag filled with a custom race tee and lots of free items and offers from event sponsors. “We really encourage our sponsors to get involved and so many of them join us on the field with great booths and free drawings”, Dr. Smith said.
This year’s top three male and female finishers received custom Lucite race plagues. Receiving the top hardware were men’s champion Peter Hyland from Glen Gardner in a time of 18:47, Jason Heap from Morristown was second with a time of 19:23 and Christopher Marinko, age 13, from Berkeley Heights took third place with a time of 19:52. On the women’s side, champion Cathy Melissa Sacco from Denville in a time of 21:13, Lauren Delea from Sparta finished second with a time of 21:35, and Ellie Robertson from Berkeley Heights, age 10, grabbed third place with a time of 23:07.
Additionally, 76 beautiful age group custom crystal trophies were handed out to male and female winners in age groups ranging from 10 and under to 80 and over.
Smith reflected, “Each year it is very uplifting to see the triumph of human spirit displayed at the Berkeley Heights 5K and in 21 years we have seen a lot of magic, and realize how much this event and all the lives it touches means to me, said Smith. “I never know what kind of good things are going to happen each year, I just know they will, for example, we had three runners in their 80’s compete and finish the race. They are Joseph LaBruno, 86, Shirley Pettijohn, 83, and Melva Murray, 85, plus 9 year old Andrew Burkitt finish 13th overall, with many more stores of human triumph in-between.”
Smith added, “This year’s Patron support was again overwhelmingly generous. Without the following local business and corporate leaders, during a tough economic time, our charity event and all the good it does, would not be possible and I encourage everyone to support the businesses who support us.”
Berkeley Aquatic Club New Providence & Berkeley Heights
Allstate The John Hawk Agency
Bassett Associates Summit
Elizabeth Scheffer Fund
E Medical Offices
Goodman’s Restaurant & Deli
JAG Physical Therapy
Massage Envy Spa Berkeley Heights
Runnells Center for Rehabilitation & Healthcare
Samuel G. Smith Jr. Memorial Fund
SMITH CHIROPRACTIC family care & sports injury
Sneaker Factory running centers
The Liberty Group Berkeley Heights
Weichert Realtors Watchung offices
Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine- Xi Ren Zhou, OMD
Autumn Lake Healthcare
CET Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.
Cooney Finacial Services
Davies & Associates Insurance Management
Don-Tre Driving School
Family Foot Care – Gary L. Quartello, DPM
First Class Electric
Gary S. Crystal, DMD, Berkeley Heights
John P. Sullivan CPA CFP
Law Office of David C. Bendush
MARY’S Your Name Here
MAX Challenge of New Providence
Paras & Paras, Summit
Philip E. Memoli DMD—The Center for Natural Dentistry
Tee Bag-- Screen-Printing & Custom Embroidery
Smith gave special thanks to all the dedicated volunteers, especially those from the Berkeley Heights Education Foundation, the staff of Smith Chiropractic, the Berkeley Heights Police Department, the Berkeley Heights Recreation Department and Director Tom Barton, the Berkeley Heights Rescue Squad, the Berkeley Heights Department of Public Works, Sharon Brady for web design and IT support, Sue Cunningham for logo design, and Kayla Smith Photography for all event photos.
Complete race results including; 100’s of professional HD photos, which can be downloaded for free, are available at www.BerkeleyHeights5K.com. Log on to learn more about the Berkeley Heights 5K Charity Road Race & Fitness Walk.
Editors Note: Registration for 22nd annual Berkeley Heights 5K Sunday September 16th, is now open, for information please go to www.berkeleyheights5k.com. Dr. Smith and the BH5K team have several special things planned.