The first what is sure to be an annual Tutu 5K was held on Sunday, September 28, 2014 in Wall Township, New Jersey. The first time event attracted a large field of nearly 300 participants on a bright sunny morning with some unseasonable warm temperatures near 80 degrees belying the first fall weekend.
The participants in the race were required to wear a tutu in order to qualify for awards and just about all of them did. Runners were provided a choice of a royal blue, hot pink or rainbow colored tutus as part of their registration. Many of the participants then decorated their tutus making for a colorful display.
Results Photos – More Photos
The event was a fund raiser for Rescue Ridge Animal shelter to help them raise money to buy their own animal shelter for rescued animals. Many volunteers from Rescue Ridge were on hand to either participate in the race or volunteer at aid stations and assist with the race. Other volunteers assisted from the Jersey Shore Running Club.
As the runners lined up for the start Race Director, Karen Charles gave the runners instructions and then introduced 9 year old Ellie Mandleberg who gave a stirring rendition of the National Anthem. Karen then gave the runners the final command to “go”. The traditional “Born to Run” could be heard while the runners made their way at the start across the soccer field and then onto the jogging path that took them around the municipal complex and then back to the finish line.
Ethan Rouen of New York City was first overall in a time of 18:56. He was followed for the men by Robert Jaeger of Marlboro in 21:49 and then Mike Wshakowski of Ocean Township in 21:12 to round out the top three for the men in tutus. For the women it was Kim Martineau of New York City finishing second overall in a time of 19:45. Women also claimed the third and fourth top positions with Kathy Kropke of Avon finishing in a time of 20:53 followed by Erin Weber also of Avon in 21:32. Holding the finish tape for the winners were the Valvo sisters of Wall Township, New Jersey.
For the winners Ethan and Kim it was a true celebration as the husband and wife not only garnered the top positions they were celebrating their wedding anniversary. After all the runners finished Dianne DeOliviera of Brick and a radio personality with 94.3 The Point introduced Mary Beth Tkach the head of Rescue Ridge who thanked all the participants.
Then a contest was held for the best dressed in a tutu for both men and women. As the finalists were presented The Village Peoples, “Mach Man” was played and the crowd selected the best dressed. Then it was the women’ turn and they were presented with Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” playing. The best dressed were then crowned as King and Queen. Then Dianne with the assistance of Race Director, Karen Charles presented the overall and age group awards.
Runners were treated to a variety of refreshments to include yogurt and juice courtesy of Wakefern/Shop Rite. Afterwards many of the participants headed over to the Spring Lake Tap House for a post run celebration. There were raffle for many prizes and an impromptu playing by Dave Demonico on his trumpet of Happy Birthday in honor of Race Director Karen Charles who was also celebrating her birthday.
Next weekend will be really busy one with plenty to choose from to include:
Saturday , October 4, 9:30 a.m., Shillelagh 5K, Lake Como, New Jersey, On Line Registration
Saturday, October 4, 8:30 a.m.5K, Shark Run, Bay Head, New Jersey
Saturday, October 4, 5K, Strides for Scholarships, Bayville, New Jersey
Saturday, October 4, 5k, Purr and Pooch 5k, Long Branch, New Jersey
Sunday, October 5, 9:30 a.m. 5K, Little Silver 5k, Little Silver, New Jersey
Sunday, October 5, 5K, 8:30 a.m. Allaire 5k, Allaire State Park, Wall, New Jersey
Sunday, October 5, Jersey Shore Half Marathon, Sandy Hook, New Jersey
Sunday, October 5, 8:30 a.m. 5K, Run/Walk for Wellness and Recovery, Piscataway, New Jersey
Sunday, October 5, 5K, Colts Neck PBA 5K, Colts Neck, New Jersey
Sunday, October 5, 5k, 9:30 am, Change A Life Uganda 5k Run/Walk for Education, Middletown, New Jersey
More events can be found on the race calendar.