By: Russell Swanson, Exec. Dir., VDID, Main Street Vineland
Where do I begin in describing my feelings for our first Running The Ave 5K last week? The weather was made to order, and the 145-running field exceeded our expectations, especially for a first-time run. It brought attention to The Ave and our beautiful city, as runners came from throughout the region. Across the finish line, some dynamic winners emerged:
First Place: Eric Bofinger, age 34, of Pittsgrove, with a time of 16 min. 52 sec.
Second Place: Marco Cardoso, age 46, of Sayreville, with a time of 16 min. 59 sec.
Third Place: Estevan Barreras, age 29, Millville, with a time of 18 min. 18 sec.
First Female Finisher: Rachel Pereddy, age 28, of Little Egg Harbor, with a time of 21 min. 4 sec.
Second Female Finisher: Kimberly Zarate, age 16, of Vineland, with a time of 22 min. 22 sec.
Third Female Finisher: Katie Chillari, age 24, of Vineland, with a time of 24 min. 8 sec.
Vineland’s Fastest Finisher: Sergio Custodio, age 31, with a time of 18 min. 46 sec.
True Grit Award (last place finisher—“to celebrate the spirit of never giving up”): Lauren Davenport, age 38, of Millville and Susanna Philippouss, age 48, of Vineland.
Event coordinator Andre Rivera, of Second Capital Running which teamed with us for this event, was truly a tower of strength all during this entire project, from very beginning to the realization of the event itself,” Swanson said. Our major sponsor, Premier Orthopaedic Associates, couldn’t have been more supportive.
I have some other sponsors and service providers to thank—Lidl, TWM, Brass Frog Photography, DRK & Associates, Inc., The Spot, Peace Love Yoga, Ploch Farms. IDrive Vineland, Bottino’s ShopRite, Hot Gospel, UA Auto, and Ace Plumbing Supply.
I also want to thank, as usual the Main Street Vineland staff and volunteers—always there and ready when needed. It’s not easy get people out early on a Sunday morning to roll up their sleeves and get the job done, but our volunteers answered the call.
Thanks must also go to the various Vineland City departments, including the Police Department, Public Works, and Emergency Medical Services, for their cooperation in preparing the street for the event.
The event, however, wouldn’t have been what is was without the runners. The winners listed above were only a fraction of all those recognized after the race and—when it came down to it—all the runners were winners, whether they crossed the finish line first, last, or somewhere in between. Andre and all those who participated really showed that Vineland is truly a running town. This event will surely be back next year—and in years to come.
Don’t forget to come down this Friday, July 5, for the second week of Play Streets, which returns to Vineland for the second consecutive year. This is a collaboration with the Vineland Community Policing, as well as many other civic and non-profit organizations, along with Main Street Vineland. It will continue on Friday, July 12, 19, and 26. One block of Sixth Street—from Landis Avenue to Elmer Street—will be closed off to traffic and will provide a place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Among the participating organizations are the Vineland Health Department, Vineland Municipal/City of Vineland, Daniel’s Den, and the Vineland Police Department.