Running with the Devils to Be Virtual This Year

For the last three or so years, the Devils have been teaming up with RWJBarnabas Health to present the Running with the Devils 5K run and walk. The event has been held at or near Turtle Back Zoo and the South Mountain Reservoir.

This year, due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 global pandemic, the event will be virtual.

According to the registration page for the race, the festivities will be held through the RunGo app between October 1 and 25, 2020.

RWJBarnabas Health and the New Jersey Devils will be teaming “up to honor RWJBarnabas Health’s 35,000 healthcare workers and the countless essential workers across New Jersey who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in response to this unprecedented global health crisis.” Due to this, 100-percent “of proceeds from the event will benefit RWJBarnabas Health’s Emergency Response Fund, which will help us continue the work of treating our most critical patients while preparing to protect our communities for any potential resurgence of the virus or other emergencies.” Therefore, the event will “safeguard the health of New Jersey.”

To participate, go to to register by searching for “Running with the Devils.” Next, you will have to download the RunGo app for iPhone or Android. Once that is done and you have created an account on RunGo, you will open the race course in app. You can then run the course either on a treadmill or Virtual Outdoor Mode. From there, you will submit your run by going to “Share Your Run” and then “Submit to Virtual Race.” You will then appear on the leaderboard assuming you chose the correct race on the app.

After that, the Devils and RWJBarnabas encourage you to share the story of your run, photos and videos on social media by mentioning @RWJBH, @NJDevils or #RWTD5K.

There are three courses available to run from October 1 to 25th: “Run with the Devils,” “Run with Our Heroes” and “Run with the Animals.”

The first race, “Run with the Devils,” is the same course as was used in last year’s race, if you got to participate. It is USA Track & Field certified and will feature “messages of encouragement from New Jersey Devils players and interesting information about the team’s history from Devils Radio Announcer Matt Loughlin.” It begins on Cherry Lane through the South Mountain Recreation Complex around Orange Reservoir and then finish back on Cherry Lane.

“Run with the Animals” goes through the Turtle Back Zoo “with the animals cheering you on.” You will hear facts about the animals and exhibits you pass as narrated by Loughlin.

“Run with Our Heroes” will see you run the same USA Track & Field certified course as “Run with the Devils” but instead of Loughlin reading you facts about the Devils, you will hear motivation and stories of inspiration from frontline workers.

You can run or walk any of the courses as many times as you want from October 1 to 25, 2020. You can run anywhere you would like on your treadmill or in real life (i.e. you do not have to be at the Reservoir or Turtle Back Zoo), but you MUST be registered on the RunGo app in order to be considered for any prizes won in the race. No cellular data will be used by the app, as the app works offline while you are running according to the FAQ’s put out by RWJBarnabas Health.

As for fundraising, the site says if you raise $100 as an individual, you can win a 30-percent discount on Fanatics merchandise (the Devils Den Team Store at Prudential Center is run by Fanatics), with some exclusions. You will also have a chance at an RWJBarnabas Health Running with the Devils prize pack which is valued at $200.

Raising $250 will get an individual runner a personalized “shou-out” from a Devil on social media. By raising $500, you will get a customized Devils jersey. One-thousand dollars raised will net you a 30-minute virtual group training video conference call with the Devils trainer – it does note that schedule is subject to their availability.

The top individual fundraiser will get a signed Devils jersey and a family season pass to Essex County Turtle Back Zoo. Top fundraising team will get a 30-minute conference call with Devils players and coaches (the same condition is noted here as for the conference call with the trainer, as players and coaches will be subject to their availability) as well as a behind-the-scenes tour for up to ten people at Turtle Back Zoo. This is dependent on the zoo’s availability, of course, as the site notes. The top team and individual fundraisers are based on what is raised by midnight of October 25.

You can register as a virtual runner or walker (ages 12-plus) – $20 for a walker, $25 for a runner, a child runner or walker (11 and younger) – both being free, or an RWJBarnabas Health Employee runner ($25) or walker ($20). All registration fees are 100-percent tax deductible and go to RWJBarnabas Health to support their work.

Registration for all runners include a custom printable bib, access to training tips from RWJBarnabas Health training coaches and dieticians, access to special virtual Turtle Back Zoo animal presentations and are eligible for additional Devils prizes as well as finisher medals for the first 900 registered runners (12 and up) once your time is submitted to RunGo. Runners 12 and up will also be eligible for race and fundraising prizes.

Walkers will get the bib, the tips from coaches and dieticians and be eligible for any prizes in their age group. RWJBarnabas Health workers can enter their promo code at checkout for free registration.

This is always one of my favorite Devils events of the year and it is great to see that it will not be canceled due to the pandemic. On a personal note, my sister and my father both work for RWJBarnabas and have been on the frontlines since the pandemic began. It is wonderful that the Devils and RWJBarnabas are working for them just as much as they work for us.

“Running with the Devils” Event a Fun Day for All

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.