October 25, 2011, Livingston, NJ – A record number of runners ran through the streets of Livingston and finished on the high school track on Sunday, October 23, 2011 at the Second Annual Livingston 5K Run for Health & Wellness.
The day began with members of the Livingston High School chorus singing the National Anthem and the school alma mater. As runners completed a 3.1 mile course, the high school cheerleaders cheered the runners as they crossed the finish line to the theme from the movie "Rocky."
Mayor Rudy Fernandez and Lou LaSalle, Vice President, External Affairs of Barnabas Health, spoke briefly to all the runners prior to the start of the race. LaSalle then started the race in front of the high school on the oval. There, more than 200 runners began the race by running around the oval before running on adjacent streets.
The overall male winner was Youssef Rochdi of Parsippany in a time of 16:51:09. Ann Forestiere of Livingston was the first female runner to cross the finish line in 18:45:25. The first Livingston man to cross the finish line was Angelo Quaglia in 19:45:80. For their efforts, these runners received gifts from Kings and the Running Company. Two young runners from Westfield, Ryan Siegel and Darian Siegel, both age 13, had outstanding times at 20:41:20 and 21:24:02 respectively.
Several of the district teachers ran or walked in support of the event. Much of the registration duties were manned by the district teachers. The Livingston Education Foundation was a big supporter of the day's activities.
Approximately 90 school-age children participated in the many children's activities. Several of the district's physical education teachers supervised the children in events that took place on the high school football field. Once the events concluded, Helen Flores, Executive Director of the West Essex YMCA, started a one mile run/walk around the high school track for the children and any other one mile runner. Each child was given a t-shirt, medal and enjoyed water, bagels and assorted fruit.
A DJ, Michael Abbaticola, provided music for all to enjoy on this special occasion. He also gave out prizes to all the children.
Arnold Gerst, Race Director and Vice President of the Big L Club, the high school booster club, said that "All three organizations which organized this event, the Big L Club, the West Essex YMCA and the Livingston Education Foundation were thrilled with the turnout. Eighty more runners ran in this year's race as opposed to last year."
Several of the sponsors had kiosks in the back of the high school. Gold Sponsor Barnabas Health, Silver Sponsors MCRC Physical Therapy and Care One of Livingston, as well as other sponsors, Regal Bank and Jag Physical Therapy, all had information about services offered by their entities. MCRC raffled off a scooter to a lucky winner.