HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - Lace up the sneakers, stretch out the hamstrings, make sure to fill up the water bottle and head out to the track at Hillsborough High School on Sunday, May 7 to “Walk on the Wild Side” anytime between 7 a.m. and noon.
"Walk on the Wild Side" for Steps Together is a benefit that helps raise funds for members of the community and their families facing a medical crisis.
Participants must sign a short waiver before they can participate. When finished, runners/walkers are asked to write down the number of laps completed and drop that piece of paper in the lap jar for compilation at the completion of the event.
There is no official start or finish, no specific distance, no getting left behind, just a community coming together to send a message of love and support to those facing a medical crisis, according to the organizers.
This is a rain or shine event; despite freezing rain that greeted walkers and runners last year, participants collectively walked 3,759 laps, the equivalent of 939.75 miles.
The year before, the community turned in 5,459 laps, the equivalent of 1,374.75 miles.
Organizers hope to set a new record at Sunday’s event.
In 2014, $3,000 was raised; in 2015, $13,289 was raised; despite last year’s inclement weather, over $7,000 was raised.
A significant portion of the proceeds are raised during a companion event, “One Hundred Laps of Healing” which features Bill Maher who runs a complete marathon – 26.2 miles – by circling the track 105 times. Walkers and runners can join Maher, collect pledges from family and friends and donate their earnings.
Lanes 1-3 are reserved for Maher and other runners; Lanes 4-6 are reserved for walkers. No strollers are permitted.
Dozens of sponsors and businesses from the community will participate throughout the day.
Courtneyand Mike Newman are the founders of Steps Together. After meeting at the Philadelphia Marathon in 2004, they became training partners and soon married.
During this time, they enjoyed five years of coaching the Strides For Hope Marathon team which raised funds for The Cancer Support Community of Central New Jersey. Under their guidance, each participant trained to walk or run the 13.1 or 26.2 mile distance and raise a minimum of $3,000. Fifteen marathons later for Mike (PR Time of 2:36), and eight for Courtney (PR Time of 3:24), the birth of their second child officially made training and traveling to destination races too difficult and they semi-retired in 2010.
Medical scares with both their children over the next 6 months brought to their attention the true cost of medical care and the importance of paying their blessings forward. They decided to combine their passion for fitness and fundraising by creating Steps Together. She is the board president and executive director.