Giving back to the community, enlightening the public about good health practices, and raising money for a good cause are the three goals behind the Meadowlands Hospital and Medical Center’s third Annual 5 Kilometer Run/Walk on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 9 a.m. on the health care center grounds.
“As the region’s leading community hospital, we take the responsibility to keep our community healthy very seriously, and our annual 5K run/walk is a part of that commitment,” said Lynn McVey, acting president and chief executive officer of Meadowlands Hospital. “Over the years, we’ve partnered with our friends from the American Heart Association on a number of occasions.”
When runners and walkers from throughout the tri-state area converge at the Secaucus health care facility for the event, they will be benefitting the American Heart Association and its ongoing mission of research and awareness of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
“We take the responsibility to keep our community healthy very seriously.” – Lynn McVey
McVey said her hospital’s commitment to public health awareness – and to the race in particular – is so strong, that many of the hospital and medical center’s administration and medical staff take part in the event. And this follows the race’s establishment originally as an employee endeavor. So the commitment is there throughout the organization.
“We have 500 employees, and 100 will run,” McVey said. “The leadership team is very represented. So is the medical staff.”
The commitment from the town of Secaucus is also there, according to the hospital executive.
“The mayor and council will be here,” McVey said. “Some of them will run, some of them will cheer us on.”
The acting president and CEO said that aside from heart health, there are other reasons for people to run or walk. Studies have shown that it helps thwart other diseases.
“One hundred and fifty minutes of exercise a week is being attributed to reducing Alzheimer’s [disease],” McVey said. “And you know, that’s do-able. I think that’s incentive. My mother died of Alzheimer’s. If there's a simple way to ward it off, running’s it. Diet, exercise, it’s no secret.”
The run commences with the appearances of two “local celebrities,” according to McVey. One is Mayor Michael Gonnelli, and the other, Meadowlands Hospital Board Chairman Richard Lipsky, M.D., who launches the run.
“He starts with an inspirational message before he shoots off the gun,” she said. “And he’ll run in the race as well.”
McVey will also be donning her sneakers, feeling that leading the area’s community hospital is one that should be taken seriously.
“The role is certainly a role model by example,” she said. “So I absolutely have to run. It’s a privilege to work in a hospital. I feel it’s the most revered profession. We work to keep people healthy. We take care of the sick and save lives.”
Hospital officials say the race continues to grow, attracting 150 last year, and are hopeful they get 200 participants this year.
Registration and check-in
The entry fee is $30. Registration is available at: https://runsignup.com/Race/NJ/Secaucus/MeadowlandsHospitalMedicalCenter5KRunWalk or early morning the day of the run.
The event will begin with registration and check-in at the hospital’s campus at 55 Meadowlands Parkway in Secaucus at 7:30 a.m., with the run/walk beginning at 9 a.m.
The 5K (3.1-mile) course will proceed out Meadowlands Parkway toward Harmon Meadows Plaza to the halfway point, where runners and walkers will head back toward the hospital via the same route. The course is USATF-certified and sanctioned and considered “fast and flat” for running enthusiasts. Water stations for participants will be located at the start/finish line and halfway point of the race.
Refreshments and awards will finish the morning’s activities around 10 a.m. Trophies will be awarded for the overall top three competitors. Medals will be awarded for the top three finishers in the nine age divisions: 10 and under, 11-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, and 80 or older.
Sponsorship opportunities are available for business and commercial organizations, groups and individuals. Event sponsorships begin at $500 for a Bronze Sponsorship, minimum of $1,000 for a Silver Sponsorship, and a minimum of $2,000 for a Gold Sponsorship. Sponsorships include corporate signs and free registrations for runners/walkers. For more information, contact Sabina Sanchez at (201) 392-3397 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Silver sponsors are North American Partners in Anesthesia of Secaucus and Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey. Bronze sponsors are: Crothall Healthcare, Inc., Meadowlands Hospital Medical Staff, Menco Business Products, MinuteMan Press of Secaucus, Robert Mulligan, Esq., Pegasus Emergency Group, MHMC’s emergency doctors group, and Tichenor Electric LLC.
Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center (MHMC) is an acute care, 230-bed hospital, located between the shores of the Hackensack River and overlooking the Meadowlands and NYC skyline. The hospital is located near Routes 3 and 17, and the New Jersey Turnpike.
Joseph Passantino may be reached at JoePass@hudsonreporter.com.