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Born to Run?

These races around the area in April have legs.

If you're like me, the beautiful weekend weather inspired you to run a little further and faster than you have in some time. And, if you're like me, you found that there was a little more of yourself to lug around on your run.

There are four local races fast approaching this April that can help relieve us of the extra pounds — while helping to raise funds for two good causes. Read on.

  • The 35th Annual Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival 10K and 1-Mile fun run takes place on Sunday, April 10 in in Newark/Belleville. You can download the registration forms from the website. Cost is $18 for pre-registrants, $16 for USATF member pre-registrants and $20 day-of registration. The take place on a USATF-sanctioned course and include a 10k, a 1-mile Children's Fun Run and a Race for the Disabled.

The 10k course is beautiful, taking you through this 19th Century, Olmsted-designed park, 4,300 blooming cherry trees and the amazing Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the southern end (I've run it — you'll love it!). A portion of the race proceeds benefit the Special Olympics. Same-day registration begins at 8 a.m. Fun Run starts at 9 a.m. The 10k race starts at 10 a.m. Disabled Run starts at 10:10 a.m.

  • The American Red Cross of Montclair-Glen Ridge-Nutley will participate in the 5th Annual “Essential2life” 5K run/walk on Saturday, April 9 at Liberty State Park in Jersey City. This race takes place along the backdrop of the Liberty Walk, boasting views of the Statue of Liberty and the New York City skyline.

Registration starts at 7:45 a.m. The run will begin at 9:30 a.m. and Kid’s Sprints will take place at 10:15 a.m. The awards ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. From 8:30 a.m. until noon, the “Essential2life” fair will be held, featuring a DJ, a band, giveaways, prizes, refreshments and goodie bags.

Proceeds from this event will benefit the local Montclair-Glen Ridge-Nutley Red Cross chapter. By participating in this race, residents can help sustain services offered at this chapter including transportation, health and safety classes, disaster assistance, blood drives, and service to military families. Entry fees are $23 by Saturday, April 2 and $25 thereafter. For more information call (908) 902.8587.

Need more time to train?

  • The second annual Caldwell College 5K Run/Walk for Autism will take place on Saturday, April 16. The USATF-certified starts and ends on campus and traverses through the scenic rolling hills of Essex Fells. Proceeds from the run/walk help support the newly opened Center for Autism and ABA at the college. If a 5K is too far, join the one-mile fun run/walk around campus.

Awards will be presented to the top three 5K finishers overall, in 5-year age groups. Registration is $30 for adults and children 10 and up; $10 for children under 10; and $18 for USATF members.

For more information and to download a registration form or donate, visit here.

  • The First Annual Seth Boyden PTA 5K will take place Saturday, April 30, on a certified 5k loop in the South Mountain Reservation (Crest Drive, just off of South Orange Avenue in South Orange). There will be a Kids Fun Run as well for children ages 3-10.

Pre-race registration is available until Friday, April 22. The early bird fee is $20 vs. $30 on race day. Proceeds benefit the Seth Boyden PTA. For information, email sethboyden5k@gmail.com or call (973) 996-8062. Pre-race packet pick up will be on April 28 and April 29 at the Sneaker Factory, 308 Millburn Ave, Millburn (10 a.m. -5 p.m.). 

And coming in May:

  • Our House Foundation holds its 12th Annual 5 Miler Run/2 Mile Walk on Sunday, May 1 at 1 p.m. on the Village Green in Summit.  It's a fundraiser to support developmentally disabled adults.
  • Livingston's event, isSunday, May 22.
  • The is set for May 15.

Know of other local races that we should add to this list? Tell us in the comments or email laura.griffin@patch.com

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