Whether you are a seasoned runner who runs in every 5K race in the area or you have been sticking to your New Year’s resolution of walking to get in shape, you can test out your endurance at the ninth annual Run with Aimee in Montgomery, Sunday, April 3, at 10 a.m. Register by Tuesday, March 29. First time runners are especially encouraged to participate in this race, which has become a classic spring event on the calendars of both serious and recreational central New Jersey walkers and runners, with plenty of awards and prizes. The 2004 race drew nearly 1,000 participants.

The race was started in honor of Aimee Eve Polak, a graduate of Montgomery High School, who died on April 8, 1996, at the age of 23, in an automobile accident. Her parents, Joe and Elaine Polak, of Skillman, started a memorial fund in her name just days after the accident. The Aimee Eve Polak Memorial Fund awards substantial yearly scholarships to graduating seniors from Montgomery High School and Hillsborough High School as well as donations to other community project and organizations.

The 5K race (3.1 miles) is a 500 point “New Balance New Jersey Grand Prix” event, part of a prestigious series of races of various lengths held thoughout New Jersey. The route, which is mostly flat, with one small hill in the first mile, is also “walker-friendly,” appropriate for race-walkers and all types of walkers. There is also a “one mile ramble” option, which starts at 10 a.m., one-half hour prior to the 5K race. All events are held rain or shine. A total of 97 awards will be given in 12 age groups and every finisher in the One Mile Ramble will be presented with a special commemorative ribbon. Random drawings at the awards ceremony will include gift certificates for items such as gourmet dinners, masages, runnign shoes, and other prizes, including a mountain bike from sponsor Wheel Life Cycles of Hillsborough and Skillman.

Last year, the run raised almost $27,000 in donations, with scholarships going to three Montgomery High School graduates, two Hillsborough High School graduates, and donations were made to the Food Bank Network of Somerset County, the Resource Center for Women and their Families, the Montgomery Cultural Center/1860 House (children’s programs), Crawford House (a halfway house for women), and the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen. At the race itself, donations of goods are accepted to benefit the Food Bank Network of Somerset County. Needs include personal items (soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, etc.), canned goods, items in plastic or glass jars (peanut butter, jelly, condiments, vegetables, tuna, jams), and boxed foods.

Ninth Annual “Run with Aimee” 5K Race, Sunday, April 3, 10:30 a.m., Montgomery High School, 375 Burnt Hill Road, Skillman. 877-342-4633. 5K race or walk and “one mile ramble” to benefit the Aimee Eve Polak Fund. Awards and prizes. Register online by Tuesday, March 29, at www.runwithaimee.org, where you can also find the complete course description and map, and training tips. $20 ($12 for the one mile ramble) if you pre-register; $25 ($15 for the ramble) on race day.

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