SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – The community that runs together, stays fit together.

When it comes to getting the community out to run or bike, South Brunswick is definitely meeting one of its school district goals for the year: wellness.

A crowd of 152 runners came out to Constable Elementary School Saturday morning to take part in the sixth annual Turkey Trot 5K and Fun Run, doubling the average attendance for the last couple of years, organizers said.

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“It’s awesome to have this many people from the community come out,” Constable Principal Peter Rattien said after finishing the race. “The goal we set for it, health and wellness, to have people supporting it, running it, I just think it is a great way to get the community all together.”

Younger participants participated in several “Fun Runs,” dashing for about 50 yards in front of the school before the diverse group of 5K participants took to the streets of Kendall Park.

In what has turned out to be normal, Schools Superintendent Dr. Jerry Jellig, himself a running enthusiast, came in first for the men at 19:02.

Jellig also came in first place earlier this year at the Hugs For Brady 5K, and third in the recent Viking 5K, both held at the high school on Ridge Road.

In keeping with the district-wide goal of health and wellness, Dr. Jellig, Rattien and other administrators have promoted and participated in each of the runs.

During the Viking 5K on Nov. 1, Dr. Jellig challenged the South Brunswick Police Department in what was billed as “doughnuts vs textbooks,” where the five fastest times for each group would be calculated to determine a winner.

This year, the honor went to the police.

“It was a good run,” P.B.A. Local #166 Spokesman and runner Brady Shelcusky said. “We did good. It was our first race.”

During Monday night’s Board of Education meeting, Dr. Jellig presented Capt. Jim Ryan and the police with five etched glasses and a box of doughnuts to recognize their victory.

By promoting the runs through the schools, the turnouts have been much higher this year, officials said.

The various people participating said they are usually challenging themselves by running in the races.

At the Viking 5k, the first place for the men went to Marquis Cox, 21, of Mount Laurel in Burlington County.

Cox said he runs on his college cross country team and used the race as practice while he was home from school.

“I run road races every weekend,” Cox said. “I’m getting ready to go back to college and compete again.”

While some participants are practicing for other races and events, many of the participants came out with their families just to run, or even walk, together.

Organizers of both events said they were happy to see them expand and hope the trend continues in the future.

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