HOLMDEL – Nearly 500 women runners and walkers are expected to join together at Holmdel Park Saturday, Aug. 30, to raise funds for and promote awareness of organizations that provide essential services to women and their children in Monmouth and Ocean counties.
Presented by the Jersey Shore Running Club, the 21st annual Saturday in the Park 5K “Women Taking Steps to Help Women” will be a fun-filled, rain or shine event featuring a women’s 5K run and scenic 3-mile walk at 9 a.m. Children’s races will start at about 10 a.m.
Race day registration begins at 8 a.m. Entry entrance fees are $25 before Friday, Aug. 22, $30 after that date and $5 for children’s races. Participants who raise $75 or more in pledges receive free entry.
All women in this year’s will receive a women’s-style wicking tank top, and finishers will get a gift.
“We are very excited to be celebrating our 21st year,” said Penny Hinck, race director of the Jersey Shore Running Club. “The main reason for celebration is knowing that this race annually supports programs dedicated to providing shelter, counseling, advocacy and education for women and their families in both Monmouth and Ocean counties.”
Past participants of Saturday in the Park have consistently said how touched they have been by the ceremony at the start of the race. That’s when runners and walkers join hands and realize the need for all of us to come together to support these “safe harbors” for women and their families.
“For 2014 we have the beneficiary organizations of Manna House of Cliffwood Beach, and Providence House of Catholic Charities in Ocean County,” Hinck said.
Since its inception, Saturday in the Park has raised more than $208,600 and has created greater public awareness of options and services available to women.
The Saturday in the Park event was first staged at Bodman Park in Middletown, and was then held at Monmouth University and Brookdale Community College, before finding its home at Holmdel Park in 1999.
For this 21st year, organizers are extending free entry to any previous-year champion, and are reaching out to past participants to see how many years they may have participated. Those have runner walk in the event most frequently will be recognized and are asked to send their information to firstname.lastname@example.org.