A beautiful sunny day brought over 620 runners and walkers out at YWCA Princeton’s 14th annual ETS Firecracker 5K on Tuesday, June 26. The race was sponsored by more than 20 local businesses and supported by over 40 volunteers.
First place for men went to Reid Kovacs who completed the 5K in 16 minutes and 23 seconds. Kerry Dyke, finished in 18 minutes obtaining the first place for women. Awards were presented in more than a dozen categories, including for the top three teams.
Since 2004, the ETS Firecracker 5K has raised funds for YWCA Princeton’s Bilingual Nursery School of The Young Wonders Child Development Center. “We are deeply grateful for the generosity of our sponsors, volunteers, the ETS Firecracker 5K committee members and everyone else who turned out today to make the 14th annual ETS Firecracker 5K such a grand success,” said YWCA Princeton CEO, Judith Hutton. “It is this support that helps us provide non-English speaking preschoolers the tools they need to enter kindergarten on par with their English-speaking peers.”
The ETS Firecracker 5K has long been a popular Princeton-area event for families and runners alike. Participants enjoyed lively music by Dave Hoeffel of Sound Choice Disc Jockeys, Inc., as they waited for the race to begin. A pre-race warmup and stretching session was led by Shanti Manifase and Linda Fan of Princeton Fitness and Wellness. The beat of the drums played by Charles Madden, David Eural and Cliff Hochberg drew the crowd to the start line for the race to begin. Local singer Michael Small, delighted the crowd with his rendition of the National Anthem at the start line.
Judith Hutton welcomed everyone to the event, and introduced ETS Chief Marketing Officer, Scott Nelson. Mayor Christopher Bobbitt of Lawrence Township was also in attendance, and ETS Vice President Jack Hayon lead the race as the pace cyclist.
The 2018 race sponsors included Title Sponsor: ETS; Silver Level Sponsor: Bracco Diagnostics; Bronze Level Sponsor: Novo Nordisk, The Enrollment Management Association, IRIS Software and Princeton Computer Support, Inc.; and Sprinter Level Sponsors: The Bank of Princeton, Saker ShopRites, Mercadien Group, NJM Insurance Group, and Northfield Bank.