EAST BRUNSWICK — More than 300 runners participated in the first “Inspire 5K” sponsored by East Brunswick Tech.
The April 28 race was held in memory of Paul Chrzaszcz, a 2006 graduate of the school who drowned last June at the age of 24. About $6,000 was raised for a scholarship fund in his honor.
A lifelong South Amboy resident, Chrzaszcz was a member of Mechanicsville Hose Company in South Amboy and Melrose Hose Company in Sayreville. He had attended Monmouth University, which was represented at the race by a number of students and members of his fraternity.
Runners received T-shirts bearing a drawing by Chrzaszcz, who had developed an interest in art, and the No. 7, which was his number as a baseball player at East Brunswick Tech. His number has been retired by the school.
Sponsors of the race, which began at Crystal Springs Aquatic Center on Dunhams Corner Road in East Brunswick, included Empower Somerset, which is administering a state Healthy Schools grant program for the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical School District.
Medals were awarded to the top three male and female finishers in 14 age groups. The first three males were Ryan Temple, 17, of South Plainfield, with a time of 19:23.22; Sean Regan, 16, of South Amboy, and Eugene Campbell, 17, of Carteret, a senior at East Brunswick Tech. The top three females were Stephanie Nawracaj, 20, of Monroe, with a time of 21:16.22; Melissa De Cesare, 39, of East Brunswick, and Ruth Prothero, 42, of Somerville.
“We had great weather and that contributed to about 100 same-day registrations,” said Jeffrey Bicsko, principal of East Brunswick Tech. “And all of our campuses were represented, which was nice.”
Bicsko was referring to the five campuses of the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical School District, East Brunswick, Edison, Piscataway, Perth Amboy and Woodbridge. He said about 30 MCVTS students and about 15 staff members competed.
“We got a lot of compliments on how smoothly it went for the first time,” said Stephanie Pegues, a physical education teacher at East Brunswick Tech, who ran in the race and medaled in her age category.
Bicsko said that plans are for the 5K to become an annual event.
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