Looking for a different kind of run? Want some excitement and “adventure? The Hunterdon Drug Awareness Program (HDAP) will be staging their Adventure Trail Run on Saturday, October 17, 2015 at Deer Path Park in Readington, New Jersey.
This will be the third year of the event. In two previous years the event was named, “Zombies on the Run”. According to Mary Hanley of HDAP, “other groups were hosting zombie runs in the area at that time during the Halloween season so we decided to change the name. We were getting a large number of families so we felt the name is now more welcoming to all including families and youth.”
The adventure concept of the run is that there are hay and other family friendly non muddy obstacles along the course. The main attraction is that 5k runners can choose a wave to participate in. The first wave wear belts with 3 flags and get a 2 ½ minute head start. The second wave, once they start, gets to catch up and steal a flag from each wave one runner they pass. Walkers and 5 mile runners also get to wear flag belts adding to the fun. Wave one runners try to finish with at least one flag and wave two runners try to collect the most flags.
Saturday, October 17, 5k and 5 Miles, Adventure Trail Run, Deer Path Park, Readington, New Jersey
Awards go to top two runners in age categories and prizes to top flag collectors. Since it is the Halloween season, participants are encouraged to get dressed up and prizes are given for the best costumes. All youth get prizes just for participating in the ½ mile kids run. The first ten walkers to come in also get awards. So everyone has a chance to win.
The Hunterdon Drug Awareness Program(HDAP) is the organizer and beneficiary. It is a non-profit drug and alcohol outpatient treatment facility. According to Mary Hanly, “Many of the treatment facilities in New Jersey are becoming for profit because state funding is low and competing for grants is not fun. We also have in our mission statement that we do not refuse treatment regardless of their ability to pay.” Since addiction leaves many with little ability to pay that leaves the program with a large deficit every year. This event helps close that deficit and offer the much needed services throughout the community.
The concept for the event came about according to Mary who is the prevention director for HDAP because they wanted an event that promoted healthy alternatives. The staff spends a lot of time in schools providing prevention education lessons and meeting with at risk youth. Telling them what not to do is only half of the solution. The run provides a fun and healthy alternative. Seeing families participate together in the run makes all the hard work worth it.
HDAP has partnered with Hunterdon County Division of Recreation in the staging of the event. Deer Path Park is a natural venue for this type of event as it shows off the beauty of Hunterdon County with long rolling hills, a beautiful lake, and both wooded areas and large fields. The hills are not too steep so slower runners can manage but long enough to challenge the stronger runners. The trails are a mix of grass, dirt, and sometimes a little gravel. Runners must cross bridges, homemade obstacles. Many HDAP staff members will be dressed in ridiculous costumes stationed along the course encouraging the runners. The course will only get a little muddy if it downpours that day and should make it a little more interesting for the participants. This year the organizers are introducing a 5 mile trail run option as Deer Path Park is a popular venue for many local runners and hosts several cross country races. This is an event runners should put on their race calendars. More information and registration can be found on the events web site.
More upcoming events can be found on the RunCollege Web Site and race calendar.