SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Hundreds of participants gathered at the field behind South Plainfield High School on June 4 for the Riley PTSO’s 2nd Annual Mud Run.

The fundraising event featured fun and challenging obstacles designed for runners of all ages and abilities. According to Riley PTSO board member Carly Hamlette, over $2,000 was raised this year with funds going to support school events such as carnival day and educational assemblies.

“We wanted to do something for families that was fun and that the kids could also be a part of,” said Hamlette, adding, “It's a Riley School PTSO goal to have healthy and fun family events that build community.”

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The event, run by Brad Vaccaro of Your First Mud Run, featured four different ‘waves’ of runners ages 6 and up. Participants made their way through the two-mile course, which featured eight different obstacle stations, twice. Adults and children completed burpees and pushups, ran through tires, crawled through a tunnel, climbed a cargo net and slip wall, and, of course, crawled through the mud. All participants received a T-shirt and medal.

“The goal is mainly to get people into obstacle racing; it doesn't matter if you’ve never run before,” said Vaccaro, adding, “We are the only company that offers something that kids can do with their families.”

In addition to the run, the event featured music, giveaways, raffles, and vendors, including New York Like, Pampered Chef, LuLaRoe, jewelry and cosmetics, Kenny’s Empanadas, and more. Members of the PTSO as well as the South Plainfield Rescue Squad were on hand throughout the day and assistance along the course was provided by South Plainfield High School boys cross-country team members Ryan Bali, Braedon Dobrynio, Wyatt Gerber, Dylan Kolvites, and Brandon Pascal.

“We'd like to especially thank the Riley School parent volunteers who helped set up and clean up, the South Plainfield EMS, the volunteers from the high school cross country team, Kenny's Empanadas and all the vendors, as well as the board of education for their support and participation,” said Hamlette.

According to Hamlette, the event garnered positive feedback on social media and, this year, participants of this year’s mud run came from South Plainfield and neighboring towns and from as far away as New York and Pennsylvania. Among them was Stacy DeSabella, who traveled from Connecticut to take part in the event hosted by the school her cousin Sofia Morabella attends.

“I love to run and taken part in 5K’s before but never this,” said DeSabella. “It was so much fun.”

“We were happy to see Riley School families participating and running alongside each other,” added Hamlette.

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