HIGHLAND PARK, NJ—A 5k race now in its seventh annual year will kick-off a day of family fun on Sunday morning, May 3, starting behind Highland Park High School.
Now in his second year as race director, local runner and certified running coach Neil Hume, a Highland Park resident, told New Brunswick Today about a few changes the "Run in the Park 5k" race committee hopes will be good for the runners and their families.
“The start has been moved to North 5th Avenue so we can have registration, music, warm ups, and the finish area all in the same place, behind the high school,” said Hume.
For the last six years the start was on Route 27, but the finish line was on the Highland Park High School track, and always has been. Hume explained that the Route 27 start, with more restricted access, necessitated a later start.
“Other than the start, the only other change to the course is in the section from River Road heading up to North 2nd which is now a slightly easier hill to manage,” Hume told NBToday
The course heads downhill towards the Hub City “for a fast first mile,” according to the event website, “then winds its way through the historic streets of Highland Park” before the finish.
The 5k starts at 9:00 a.m. Following the race, the "Superhero" kids races get underway at 10:15 a.m. at the 5k finish area.
Last year, more than 420 people finished the 5k, and this year, more than 350 people have already pre-registered online.
“Last year's Superhero kids races were a huge success and we're lucky to have Yellow Brick Road preschool involved again this year, with free comic books for the kids and superhero guests making an appearance,” said Hume.
“The 5k and kids races are always followed by the Highland Park Street Fair so there's a lot going on in town that day.”
The Annual Highland Park Spring Street Fair is one of the town's most popular events.
"It has crafters, vendors, artists, music, food, games, pony rides, a petting zoo, and inflatable rides. Admission is free!" reads the Main Street Highland Park website.
It will take place on Raritan Avenue between 2nd Avenue and 6th from 11:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.
Other 5k's coming up in Highland Park include the Raritan Valley Road Runners Club (RVRR) annual Cross-Country Summer Series, four 5k's now back in Donaldson Park, after enjoying a six-year stint in New Brunswick.
In fact, NBToday has learned that RVRR helped sponsor tomorrow’s 5k, as it did last year as well, and the running club will have a table at the start/finish area to speak with people about its upcoming local events and benefits of membership.
Highland Park 5k website is here.