By Rachel Sclar
The 10th Annual Roxbury Community Benefit 5k, held on Monday, June 11, was a perfect 70 degree evening for the participants and spectators that gathered at Eisenhower Middle School in Succasunna ready to celebrate the tradition.
The 5k event hosted by the Morris County Striders Running Club attracted people from all over New Jersey as well as Pennsylvania, Delaware, and even South Carolina. At the sound of the siren 497 runners and walkers began their 5 kilometer journey with two water stops along the way. Residents swarmed the streets watching and encouraging the runners as they passed by.
The course began in front of Eisenhower Middle School on Eyland Avenue. It proceeded through neighborhoods between Eyland Avenue and Hillside Avenue, continued through the Roxbury High School parking lot, and concluded back at Eisenhower Middle School. After the race, participants and spectators were greeted with a DJ, Domino’s Pizza, Cliffs Ice Cream, yogurt, nutrition bars, water, sport massages and prizes raffled off from local businesses.
An award ceremony took place recognizing teams and top runners in each age group. First place overall for males went to Colin Frost with a time of 15:20. He was one second shy of the course record. Rebecca Crawford, with a time of 19:28, was the first place overall winner for
Nicole Natalie, 22, of Ledgewood, had a time of 22:52. She got second place for females ages 20-34. This is her seventh time running in this race and has come home with a medal each year.
She loves the event and her favorite part is “always seeing familiar faces and catching up with everyone in town,” she said.
Natalie has run in four half marathons and enjoys running daily. She says that “Roxbury is such a unique place filled with wonderful people and active citizens. The race is a great way to bring them together and fundraise for the town. It has such a positive impact on families as it
promotes health and well-being.”
For the Sclars of Succasunna the annual 5k has been a family tradition for eight years. All five members prepare for the race months in advance hoping to beat one another’s times. Lisa Sclar
had a time of 29:00 and got fourth place in her age group. The mother of three says “it’s a fun night out with the family. My goal each year is to beat my kids. Unfortunately, that never happens, so beating my husband is good enough for me.”
The family is already looking forward to next year’s race.
Proceeds of the event went to local volunteer and non-profit organizations such as Roxbury High School Project Graduation, Roxbury First Aid Squad, Roxbury Fire Department, Roxbury
Day Care Center, Roxbury Social Services, Kiwanis Scholarship Fund and the St. Therese Building Fund.
By Rachel Sclar