Spring Lake Five (May 2011)

And they're off...

For many New Jerseyans, summer begins with the Spring Lake Five, a five-mile run held in Spring Lake, NJ on Memorial Day weekend.  This race is over thirty years old, but still maintains a non-commercial and community feel.

About 500 runners participated in the first race in 1977, and then just a few years later, over 1000 runners were participating.  Those numbers continued to grow over the years, and this year, there were over 8,000 people – of various running abilities – running in the race.

My sister was one of them.

The first to cross the finish line.

Though she’s been running for a few years now, this was her first race.  She was a little nervous at the start, but she had been training, and I knew she would be great.  She was going to be running with friends and knew that by being there, she was helping to support a good cause.  Several good causes, actually.

The first woman to cross the finish line.

Proceeds from the race fees go to support Spring Lake recreation and local charitable organizations.  Since 2002, over $500,000 has been raised for recreation programs and charitable projects.

With my sister right before she ran the Spring Lake Five.

This year’s charity partners included The Sharing Network Foundation, The Wellness Community, Arthritis Foundation, Holiday Express, Charity House Foundation, The Front and Center Fund, Ocean of Love, Team in Training, The JT Foundation 4 Autism Awareness, Covenant House, and Flight 93 National Memorial Campaign.

My sister did do really well, just as I expected.  And though my role at this year’s race was simply as a spectator, a photographer, and a supporter, I could feel the contagious excitement of those who participated, and perhaps next year I’ll run in the race too.

But I’ll have a lot of training to do before I’m ready!

~Melissa
The Jersey Girl

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