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Fishawack Race Breaks Record for Most Runners

Brian Hart said nearly 800 people registered for the Fishawack Run, more than ever before.

Despite the threat of rain throughout the morning of June 11, Brian Hart said more people registered for the 2011 Jaycees Fishawack Run than ever before.

"We had 486 [runners] preregistered and another 311 walk-ups [on] day-of registration," Hart said in an email, for a total of 797 runners.

Hart also said in a telephone interview that he believed the numbers might have been higher if the weather had cooperated. "It probably kept our walk-up numbers down a little," he said.

The Chatham Jaycees gave out several awards after the race, including one award to Chatham resident David Gerridge for wearing the oldest Fishawack Run T-shirt. "The shirt was from 1980," Hart said. "We gave him an etched glass mug."

Township resident Steven Scully and borough resident Michael Moran also were given awards for running in the Fishawack Race for 20 and 15 straight years, respectively.

Hart said the race concluded without injury or incident. "We have to file a post-race report every year, and this year we had nothing to report. It threatened to rain, that was the only issue."

All Went Well, Except the Weather

Organizers of the Fishawack Festival said that crowds were between two-thirds and three-fourths what they were in former years.

"Some vendors didn't show because of their product [being affected by the weather]," said Carolyn Cherry. "Some left early, but the ones who stsayed said it was a successful outing for them. Returning vendors said they probably did about two-thirds [the amount of business] they had done in previous years, which they were happy with considering the weather."

The two groups of vendors who were not affected by the rain were the food vendors and the children's play area.

"Children's activities were as busy as it's ever been," said Chris Tomaino. "There was always a line at the rides and the trackless train. There was no downtime at all."

This year was the first time that a food vendor was located in the children's play area. offered pizza, meatballs, sausages, hot dogs and drinks in the children's activities area behind the Library of the Chathams. According to Tomaino, "Arminio's apprently did very well."

Cherry said that because the festival does not monitor admission, "we have no way of knowing how many people attend." However, she did say that 225 children, or about three-fourths of last year's crowd, purchased passes to the children's activities area.

"The Chamber handed out 500 reusable grocery bags filled with over 50 promitional items, and these were all gone within the first two hours of the festival," Cherry said.

Now that Fishawack is over and school is out, Tomaino and Hart have vacations planned before they begin planning the 2012 Fishawack Festival. "We'll start back up again in September," Tomaino said.

The food vendors have already committed to return in 2012, according to Tomaino.

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