The 17th Annual Downtown Westfield 5K & Pizza Extravaganza, held on July 25, 2018 was a huge success in spite of a little rain. Organized by Downtown Westfield Corporation, the event was sponsored by many generous community partners and attracted over 2,000 runners and over 5,000 spectators. While there were runners from 202 New Jersey towns and 7 other states, 40% of them were from Westfield. The annual "Pizza Run" takes many months to plan and would not be possible without the help of key people, volunteers, generous sponsors and a gracious business and residential community.
On behalf of the entire Downtown Westfield Corporation Board of Directors, I would like to extend a special thank you to the dedicated DWC staff including: Beth Brenner, Asst. Executive Director, Jamie Lemberg, Website & Social Media Marketing Manager, and Chris Prasek, DWC Summer Intern. Thanks to Meg Mehorter who coordinated over 100 volunteers for the event. The race was directed by Mark Zenobia of On Your Mark Productions and staff with setup and equipment by Ray and Tears Smith of PracticeHard.com and computer scoring by CompuScore.com.
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield was the return Presenting Sponsor of the event. Also, Trinitas Regional Medical Center, the returning Platinum Sponsor for many years and their staff of award winning publication Edge was on hand to lead the race and to distribute runners' awards. Stop & Shop of Westfield returned as a Gold Sponsor & Finish Line Sponsor, and continued to go above and beyond by providing many product donations needed for the race. Members of the store were also on hand to provide goodies, such as fresh fruit and cookies right from their bakery, and graciously donated all of the water, soda and paper products for the runners. Stop & Shop has been an active participant in many community events and activities including gold sponsorship of the Pizza Run for many years.
The Silver Sponsors this year included returning sponsors Overlook Medical Center and UBS. Bronze Sponsors were RWJ Barnabas Health; Columbia Bank; Drew & Rogers; Elizabethtown Gas; Hehl & Hehl; Jack Rabbit, JAG Physical Therapy; Juice House; Kessler Rehabilitation Center; Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook, & Cooper, P.C. Attorneys at Law; Mosquito Sheild; Merrill Lynch; NJ Best; PSE&G; Shop Rite in Garwood; Spencer Savings Bank; Summit Medical Group; Weichert, Realtors; Westfield Braces; Westfield Pediatric Dental Group; and Vine Ripe Markets. Redcom was a contributing sponsor.
In honor of this being the 17th Annual Pizza Run, downtown businesses donated random prizes. Thanks to Ahrre’s Coffee Roastery, Blende Custom Beauty, Casa di Pizza, Cosimo’s Restaurant & Pizzeria, Di Farina Pizzeria, Domino’s, Evalyn Dunn Gallery, Farinolio, The Farmhouse Store, Ferraro‘s Restaurant, Juxtapose Gallery, Kennedy's All American Barber Club, Morano Gelato, New Jersey Festival Orchestra, Outta Hand Pizza, Raritan Valley Gyrotonic, Sole Fine Italian Shoes, Sweet Waters Steak House, Trader Joe’s and Westfield Seafood.
The DWC provided over 5,400 slices of pizza purchased at discounted prices from Casa di Pizza, Cosimo's, Di Farina, Domino’s, Ferraro's and Outta Hand Pizza. As an annual tradition, the Westfield Jaycees distributed all of that pizza to the hungry runners. We also had members of Johanna Foods, Inc., Westfield Area Chinese American Association, Westfield Area Y, Westfield Department of Public Works, Westfield Fire Department, Westfield Police Department, Westfield Rescue Squad, and 100+ Dedicated Volunteers who assisted us with setting up, cleaning up, running water stops on the race route, and serving as a course marshal. We cannot thank them enough for volunteering for the race would not have ran as smoothly without their assistance. The top female finishers were given floral bouquets donated by Trader Joe’s. Even the light rain assisted with keeping the runners cool.
We also would like to thank the Town of Westfield for partnering with us on this event for a night of running, fun, and pizza. Entertainment was provided by the ever-popular Michael Craig’s Band 8 ‘Til When & The Groovesharks and DJ Night Moves. Photos were taken by Ron Ostroff and Paul Mecca. The Westfield Police Department assisted with street closings and volunteer course marshal assignments. The Westfield Fire Department hosed down the runners, and The Westfield Rescue Squad, with assistance from neighboring communities, was on hand to provide medical care if needed. Jackson Dumont, Jordan Sheft-Ason, Chris Prasek, Josh Capistrano, Brandon Capistrano, Nicholas Ramirez, Evan Cronin, Jack Kiely, Courtney Nemec and Daniel Cronin were constantly on their feet from setting up for the race, delivering pizza and assisting The Department of Public Works with cleaning up. The Westfield Department of Public Works was a great help in providing equipment, assistance during the event, and trash disposal.
Thanks to all the runners and everyone else who helped make the Pizza Run so successful!
Downtown Westfield Corporation