The Devils held their “Running with the Devils” 5K and fun walk today at Turtle Back Zoo and the South Mountain Recreation Park in West Orange, New Jersey. The event was to benefit Clara Maass Medical Center. I attended, participating in the walk and it was a nice day for everyone involved.
The day began at 7;30 AM with registration for the runners and walkers. After that, participants milled around waiting for the start of the race and walk. There were games for kids such as cornhole (bean bag toss) and a street hockey net to shoot balls at. There was face painting and the Devils Fan Club was in attendance.
Devils mascot NJ Devil was on hand to meet and greet fans prior to the start and the kids were really enjoying things.
About 8:30 AM, ABC-7 news anchor and master of ceremonies, Ken Rosato, began to introduce the dignitaries on hand. Rosato spoke on the importance of physical fitness and exercising. Devils radio play-by-play man Matt Loughlin spoke and introduced the administration staff of Clara Maass, including Mary Ellen Clyne, PhD and Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. who both said a few words. DiVincenzo was largely responsible for the improvements and upgrades at the Turtle Back Zoo where the walk was held. Devils legend Ken Daneyko was also present and spoke on behalf of the Devils. The president of the Devils’ One Jersey Foundation also spoke about the Devils charitable role in the events.
Matt Loughlin joked that Danekyo began his Jersey odyssey just steps away at the Devils old practice and training facility at South Mountain Arena.
The 5K started at about 8:45 AM when the 150 to 200 or so runners took off. The walk began a few minutes later. It was a nice leisurely walk through the hills that make up the Turtle Back Zoo. Walkers had the option to stop and look at the animals and exhibits if they chose. Once the walk and race were done, you could take in even more of the zoo, as admission was included with the registration fee.
Many families were on hand and stuck around when the zoo officially opened at about 10 AM. It was not a very long day. Everything was wrapped up by about 10:30 AM and all of the inflatable Devils signs and whatnot were taken down, as if nothing had even occurred, but it was a nice day out in the sunshine for many families all for a good cause.