Healthy Family Fun at 5K to Wellness Event
BRIDGEWATER - On Saturday, March 24, Somerset County Freeholders Patricia L. Walsh and Brian G. Gallagher kicked off the county’s fifth annual 5K Race to Wellness at Duke Island Park. Two hundred forty-five runners had registered for the USATF-certified 3.1-mile race and one-mile fun walk.
"I want to thank everyone who participated in our annual event,” said Freeholder Walsh, county Wellness Committee liaison. “The 5K Race to Wellness is just one example of many collaborations between county staff and our public health partners that successfully promote personal and community health. For the past eight years, Somerset County has been consistently ranked as one of the top three healthiest counties in New Jersey and we’re striving to become number one.”
Prior to the race, four-time Olympian Joetta Clark Diggs inspired the crowd and led a warm-up, including jumping jacks and stretches, to prepare them for the 5K. During the race, Capt. Steve SanAntonio of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office led participants through park trails on bicycle.
When the horn blew at the start of the race, Christian Cadmus, a sophomore track runner from New Providence High School, took the lead and never looked back. He was the race’s overall winner with a time of 16:46. The first-place female runner was Nicolette St. Lawrence of Brooklyn, NY, with a time of 18:42.
“The county Employee Wellness Committee and EmPoWER Somerset did a great job of coordinating this year’s 5K,” said Freeholder Gallagher, who participated in the race. “I’m also proud of my son, Brendan, who finished first in his age category of 20-29 with a time of 22:23.”
The 5K Race to Wellness was sponsored by the Somerset County Wellness Committee and EmPoWER Somerset. Proceeds from the race benefit county non-profit organizations, including EmPoWER Somerset, the Somerset County 4-H Association and Somerset County Tourism.
EmPoWER Somerset Executive Director Brenda Esler assisted her team of volunteers with runner and walker registration. “I am grateful for our race sponsors, including RWJUH-Somerset, New Jersey Door Works, Somerset Orthodontic Specialists, Hillsborough Massage Therapy and Wegmans. They make our event possible so we can continue our goal of giving back to the community.”
Established in 2012, the Somerset County Employee Wellness Committee is dedicated to improving and maintaining the general health and well-being of employees. The goal of the Wellness Committee is to promote greater health awareness by providing information, activities and services that are designed to support healthy life choices.
“I am grateful for the large turnout of registrants and for the collaborative efforts of our dedicated volunteers, who do such a great job,” said Capt. SanAntonio, race founder and meet director. “Mother Nature cooperated and gave us a beautiful sunny day to race in a gorgeous park next to the river. I look forward to coordinating another race next year.”
Full race results can be found on RunSignup, and additional race photos can be found on the county’s website.
At the end of the race, Freeholder Patricia L. Walsh and Freeholder Brian G. Gallagher, right, present the first-place trophy to Christian Cadmus, who is from New Providence High School.
On a sunny Saturday morning in March, members of Berkley Heights’ Wolfpack Track Club helped to kick off Somerset County’s 5K Race to Wellness with Freeholder Brian G. Gallagher, far right, and in the second row, from left to right, Kristen Schiro of EmPoWER Somerset, Olympian Joetta Clark Diggs and Freeholder Patricia L. Walsh.