WESTFIELD, NJ — Rain didn’t dampen the spirits of hundreds of runners who came to town Wednesday night for the 17th annual Downtown Westfield 5K & Pizza Extravaganza.
In fact, the light drizzle and cooler air may have been preferable to the athletes (if not the spectators), as the event often falls on some of the hottest days of the year, according to Downtown Westfield Corporation Executive Director Sherry Cronin.
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About 2,000 people registered for the "Pizza Run," with 40 percent coming from Westfield, Cronin said. Some came from as far away as Missouri, Texas and Florida. Runners were given free pizza after they crossed the finish line. Live music and a DJ contributed to the party atmosphere.
“It’s a great night, despite the rain,” Cronin said.
About 200 volunteers worked on the 2018 Pizza Run.
“This race could not have happened without the great volunteers and our dedicated sponsors,” Cronin said.
This year, the lead Sponsor was again Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. The Platinum Sponsor was Trinitas Regional Medical Center and the Gold Sponsor was Stop & Shop.
Silver Sponsors were Overlook Medical Center and UBS.
Bronze Sponsors were Columbia Bank; Drew-Rogers; Elizabethtown Gas; Hehl & Hehl, P.C.; JackRabbit Westfield; JAG Physical Therapy; Kessler Rehabilitation Center; Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper; Merrill Lynch; Mosquito Shield; NJBEST New Jersey’s 529 College Savings Plan; RWJBarnabas Health; Spencer Savings Bank; Summit Medical Group; Vine Ripe Markets; Weichert, Realtors; Westfield Braces; and Westfield Pediatric Dental Group.
A Contributing Sponsor was Professional Physical Therapy and a Supporting Sponsor was REDCOM Design & Construction LLC.
Money raised is earmarked for Downtown Westfield streetscape improvements such as new street lights, sidewalks, crosswalks and landscaping.