Local races abound for fitness and fun

| 08 Apr 2014 | 01:38

After a winter like the one we just had, spring is going to be very welcome in these parts.

What better way to celebrate the season — plus do something healthy for your body and support of a local cause — than to run or walk in one or more of our area's races.

Here is a schedule of some races that have been publicized for this spring around the tri-state area.

Saturday, April 12
The Pancake Run 5K & Mile

Originally held on the flat-as-a-pancake Paulins Kill Trail, the annual Pancake Run has become a rite of spring for many runners. Now held at Lodestar Park, on Route 94 in Fredon, The Pancake Run loops around the traffic-free park and features a great, post-race breakfast at the Fredon Fire Department next door. Proceeds benefit The Fredon Fire Department and The Polar Bears Track & Field Club. For information: www.polarbearstrack.org or Race Director, Bruce Wask, 973-579-9177 or brucewask@nac.net.

Sunday, April 13
Debbie Ann 5K
Debbie Ann Modrow-Snook dove into the pre-winter, icy waters of Culver's Lake and saved the life of her son. In doing so, she lost her life. The Thank You Mom Foundation Inc., is a non-profit organization founded in memory of Debbie. Her sacrifice has helped others put the small things into perspective and since 2010, has hosted this annual race to raise awareness and monies for others in need. Held at Swartswood State Park, the race tours the campground and both wooded and paved trails of the park. The race begins at 1 p.m. For registration and information: thankyoumomfoundation.squarespace.com/5k-race-registration.

Thursday, April 17
Centenary College 5K Race

Starting at 6 p.m. at River Park, in Hackettstown, this 5K follows the Musconetcong River. The course is flat and the terrain includes pavement and fine gravel. T-shirts will be given to the first 30 registrants. For information: www.centenarycyclones.com/5K or cusick@centenarycollege.edu.

Monday, April 21
The 118th Running of the Boston Marathon

Please remember those who lost their lives in last year's bombings, and good luck to those local runners who will be participating. Registration is closed, but the race will be televised.

Saturday, April 26
Hopatcong Anti-Bullying 5K

Starting from the Hopatcong High School, this event will include face painting and a potato sack race for kids. There will also be silent auctions, a Pee Wee race (two laps of the track) and a 1.5 mile walk. For information: www.hopatcongschools.org, click on "high school" then on the lower right corner of the page under "important links." Main Street 5K & 10K

In its 16th year, these races will benefit the Special Olympics NJ of Sussex, Morris and Warren counties. Staged at the Fieldhouse, in Sparta, the 5K and 10K start at 9 a.m. and take runners through the streets of Sparta and Station Park before returning up into town and to a blazing down-hill finish into the Fieldhouse parking lot. The day includes a Fitness Expo, food, give aways, prizes and awards. For information/application: www.mainstreetevents.org or Race Director, Andy Ball, 973-222-8748.

Sunday, April 27
Easter Seals NJ 5K Run & Walk

Centenary College Men’s Basketball and Centenary College Sports Management Association are partnering together to organize a 5K run and walk to benefit Easter Seals NJ. The event will take place in Hackettstown starting at Centenary College and go throughout the towns’ streets and Hackettstown High School. The race will start at 10a.m. Food and beverages will be provided at the end of the race. For information: www.zvents.com/hackettstown_nj/events/show/370066783-easter-seals-nj-5k-run-walk.

Kiwaniss Kingston Classic Marathon & Half Marathon

Presented by HITS Endurance, these races start at 7 a.m. at Robert Dietz Memorial Stadium, 170 N Front Street, Kingston, N.Y. There is also a Mile, 5K and 10K as part of the race events. For application/information: 845-247-7275 prior to race weekend or 518-821-118 ,during race weekend.

Saturday, May 3
Rock The Ridge 50 Mile Challenge

Rock The Ridge is a 50-mile endurance challenge and environmental fundraiser set in Mohonk Preserve, a vast, nonprofit nature preserve situated in the mid-Hudson Valley of New York State. The goal of this race is to traverse a 50-mile course within 24 hours by running, walking or any combination of the two. The course winds along carriage roads and paths, though forests and over ridges of the Preserve, land which the Nature Conservancy has described as "one of earth's last great places." Funds raised go to Mohonk Preserve in support of its mission to safeguard the land and encourage people to explore and experience nature. For information: www.mohonkpreserve.org/rock-the-ridge.

Sunday, May 4
Run With The Butterflies 5K & Mile

Held in memory of 12 year old Allison Valverde who died from Ewing's Sarcoma during her 6th grade year at Bras Castle Elemantry School, Run with the Butterflies is a 5K run or 1 mile walk that will directly benefit Sarcoma Cancer research. There will be door prizes, awards for each gender/age group, special performances, and more. Registration includes the event, a race T-shirt, a race goody bag, food/beverages, and more. Vendors will be present with proceeds benefiting the SFA. The race will start at 8 a.m. at Meadow Breeze Park in Washington, N.J. For information and registration forms: www.zvents.com/washington_nj/events/show/368979587-run-with-the-butterflies.

Delaware River Run 5K
Staged at the Erie Depot and Riverside Park, in Port Jervis, N.Y., this race starts at 9 a.m. and features a great post race fare and course. For information: 845-858-4000 ext. 6 or pjrec@frontiernet.net.

Friday, May 9
The Huguenot Street Cooperative Nursery School's 5K Community Run/Walk & Mile Run

This race will benefit improvements to be made at the school and will start at 6 p.m. The race will take place at the school in New Paltz, N.Y. E-mail race@huguenotnursaryschool.com.

Saturday, May 10
Dora Pedersen 5K

In 2010, Northwest Christian School established The Dora Pedersen 5k, named in memory of former NCS gym teacher Dora Pedersen. The race is held at the Northwest Christian School, 92 Route 519 (Newton Halsey Road), in Newton, and features a fast, out-and-back course. The race starts at 8:30 a.m. For information: www.ncsnj.org/5k.asp, 973-383-9713 or ptf@ncsnj.org.

Dylan's Dinosaur Stomp
Held in Hopatcong, at 10 a.m., this is a 5K run/walk followed by a day of family fun in the park supporting Dylan Flinchum, a three-year-old suffering from MLD, a degenerative disease. It will be held at Modick Park, on Lakeside Boulevard and Hopatchung Road. For information: dylanrockon.weebly.com/dylans-dinos or dylanrockon@yahoo.com.

Sunday, May 4
Musconetcong Watershed 4-Mile Run Walk The River & Lollypop Run

This run offers a free drawing with a grand prize of a $250 gift certificate to Countryside Studios Photography, and a scenic loop course that takes runners past streams, pastures, historic buildings and the lovely Musconetcong River. Embroidered fleece blankets will be presented to the overall male and female winners. For information: 908-537-7060 or www.musconetcong.org.

Saturday, May 17
Girls On The Run 5K

For many young ladies, this will be the culmination of weeks of preparing to run their first 5K, but the race is also open to the public. It starts at 8 a.m. at Arrowhead Trail, in Sparta, and is an out and back course. With a DJ and lots of post-race goodies and prizes, this is an energy-packed event and celebration of the sport. For information: www.gothnjn.org.

Run Around Lake Mohawk Challenge

Held in conjunction with the Girls on the Run 5K, this event offers some major hills, but also is graced with some gorgeous vistas of Lake Mohawk as you tour the entire perimeter of the lake 8.2 miles all the way around the lake. For information: gotrnjn.org/event/girls-on-the-run-spring-5k-and-lake-mohawk-challenge.

Sunday, May 18
The Stampede 5K & Mile

Held at bucolic Lodestar Park, on Route 94 in Newton, The Stampede has been around for 19 years and benefits The Bears Youth Running Program and Polar Bear Track & Field Program. It features a unique giveaway glass to participants and gift certificates for the top three male and female finisher. The double-loop course includes a pristine nature trail, and the post-race fare consists of home-baked goods. Entry fees are $15 pre-reg and $20 the day of the race. For information: BearsRunningClub@aol.com or 973-362-8006.

The Run For The Red Pocono Marathon

Starting at Pocono Mountain West High School, the Run for the Red Marathon is a Boston qualifier with water and sports drinks every 2 miles. It features cash prizes and a half marathon and 5K accompany the premier event. The marathon course is a point-to-point run finishing in Stroudsburg, Pa. Pre-register is required. For information: www.poconomarathon.org .

Saturday, May 24
Chester Kiwanis Hambletonian 5K

Held at Community Park, in Chester, N.Y., this race will start at 8:45 a.m. For information: Richard Robillard, 845-469-7317.

Saturday, May 31 & Sunday, June 1

Classic 10K and Rowley Cup 5K
Staged at Middletown High School, in Middletown, N.Y., this will be the 34th running of the Classic 10K and the ninth running of the Rowley 5K. For information and applications: race@classic10K.com or www.classic10K.com.

Wednesday, June 4
National Running Day

Get out and run to celebrate the sport.

Saturday, June 7
Hardyston Township Run for The Ribbon 5K

Held at the Hardyston Sports & Recreation Comples on Wheatsworth Road, in Hardyston, the township partners with Guardians of the Ribbon for this third annual event. Guardians of the Ribbon is an organization formed to support individuals and families struggling with cancer, and proceeds from the event are earmarked specifically for the Hardyston community. The race starts at 9 a.m. For information and registration: bwestra@hardyston.com or www.hardyston.com.

Off The Beaten Track 5K Trail Run

Celebrate National Trails Day with a trail run/walk through Kittatinny Valley State Park and a Wellness Fair hosted by the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce and the Sussex-Warren Chronic Disease Coalition. Participants and the public can partake in free health screenings, complimentary samples, educational opportunities and activities for the entire family. For information: Race Director Andy Ball, andyran2832@yahoo.com.

Sunday, June 8
Vernon 5K & Mile Walk

Sponsored by the Vernon Township Department of Recreation and Community Development, this 5K Run and Mile Walk will be held at Maple Grange Community Park, in Vernon. The race begins at 9 a.m. and will segue into Vernon Day which begins at noon. For Information/registration: 973-764-4055 ext. 2261 or www.vernontwp.com/pdf/2014_5k_register.pdf.

Saturday, June 14
Firehouse 5K & Community Walk

Hosted by the Newton Fire Department, this race is a way to kick off Newton Day and raise funds to replace aging gear and equipment. The race begins on the old railroad bed at Spring Street and Diller Avenue then goes through the Newton. For information: www.firehouse5k.com.

Saturday, June 16
The Chief's Challenge & Kids' Fun Run

The Paul D. Pinsonault Memorial Foundation presents these events in memory of his dedication to the community. Net proceeds from the race will be awarded in the form of a scholarship to a graduating Hopatcong High School student(s) who has excelled both academically and athletically. The course is through scenic Hopatcong with mile splits and water at the half way point and finish. The start will begin at the H.S. track parking area and finish on the H.S. track. It will be a challenging course with rolling hills as well as flat portions. Music, refreshments, prizes offered. The race starts at 9 a.m. at Hopatcong High School. For information: www.bestrace.com or www.facebook.com/ChiefsChallenge5k/info.

Saturday, June 21
Oburg 5K Run/Walk

Promoted as "a major race in a minor town," the Ogdensburg 5K actually has participants running through Sterling Hill's historic zinc mine at mile two, and after the race, participants get free admission to the mine museum by presenting their race number. Proceeds benefit the Ogdensburg First Aid Squad which has been serving the community for almost 50 years. The race starts at 9 a.m. For information/registration: sterlinghillminingmuseum.org/race/index.php.

Rhulen Rock Hill Run & 5K Ramble

Starting at 9 a.m. at Frontier Insurance Headquarters on Lake Louise Marie Road in Rock Hill, N.Y., this event is held in memory of Walter Rhulen, and avid running and local community humanitarian. The race benefits The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as well as several other local charities and features a health fair, raffles and live music. For information: sloughlin@firestorm.com, 845-794-3600, ext 5026 or www.rockhillrun.com.

Saturday, July 19
Quiet Valley Rooster Run Cross Country 5K

Held in Stroudsburg, Pa. runners have been known to spot a giant rooster on the course. The race starts at 9 a.m. and tours the Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm property over hills, past the farm ponds, pastures, apple orchards and historic buildings. The course has varying surfaces including grass, dirt, gravel and paved roads. Overall prizes are hand made pottery and age group awards are pottery medals. Proceeds benefit the farm. For information: Garret Stahlman, 717-300-1337 or QVRoosterRun@timberhilltiming.com.

Saturday, July 26
Pass It Along Lmcc Triathlon

This sprint triathlon has become an annual event for both seasoned triathletes and those wanting to give a multi-sport event a go. Proceeds benefit Pass It Along, whose mission is to build confident, resilient, compassionate teenagers through self-discovery, volunteer and leadership opportunities. The triathlon includes both an individual event and a relay. The race starts at 7 a.m. on the shores of Lake Mohawk, in Sparta, and consists of a 1/4 mile swim, 12.8-mile bike and 5K run. For information/registration: www.passitalong.org/triathlon.