Racers Stampede Through City Streets
A chilly forty degrees and sunny, with dry early morning air that burns your lungs as you inhale and creates puffs of smoke as you exhale- the perfect conditions for a run. It was under these conditions that a horde of runners took off from City Hall on Sunday with a crowd of onlookers cheering each racer on for the journey ahead of them: a three-mile trek through the city of Clifton and back.
The annual “5k Stampede through Clifton” takes place each November and often draws in hundreds of people, whether that be through those participating in the race, supporters, or volunteers. This year marked the 25th anniversary of the race’s establishment and featured a variety of perks for competitors such as a goodie bag and free t-shirt upon registration, an awards ceremony with trophies and medals, a police escort along the race course, and a post-race breakfast spread with bagels, coffee, fruit, muffins, and more.
177 people participated in the five-kilometer race this year with ages ranging from nine years old to eighty-three. Each category was separated by age and gender with additional awards given to those who came in first place in a particular profession such as doctor/chiropractor, police officer, firefighter, educator, and active military/veteran. Individuals with special needs and disabilities also received recognition upon completion of the race as the event, which was organized by the Clifton Recreation Department and the Clifton Roadrunners Club, dedicated all of the proceeds to the Clifton Special Needs program to help fund activities such as socials and the Special Olympics. Ultimately, it was Nikko Reyes, a man from Bergenfield, New Jersey who took home the first place prize overall with an outstanding time of seventeen minutes and twenty seconds and Denisse Aguilar from Passaic who came out on top in the women’s category with a time of nineteen minutes and fifty-two seconds. To view the final results and winners of each category, click here.
Even as each runner returned to the finish line with sweat dripping down their necks and ragged breaths escaping their lungs, they all ended the race with a smile, proud of their accomplishment and tickled by the dozens of strangers cheering them on as they ran nearer. Like so many events in Clifton, the stampede brings the community together, providing an opportunity for residents from all walks of life to get involved and help add to the thousands of Clifton Mustang hoof-prints that embed themselves in this town each year.
Make sure to register for the race next year! This can be done next year either on the Clifton Recreation website linked here or in person on the day of the event about an hour or so before the race begins. More details will be available as the date nears.