Watershed Institute completes fifth year of annual Solstice Run

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Runners in the Solstice Run in Hopewell Township at the Watershed Reserve on June 20.PHOTOS COURTESY OF WATERSHED INSTITUTE
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Runners at the Watershed Reserve as they run past onlookers watching the race. PHOTOS COURTESY OF WATERSHED INSTITUTE
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Runners in the Solstice Run in Hopewell Township at the Watershed Reserve on June 20.PHOTOS COURTESY OF WATERSHED INSTITUTE
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Runners at the Watershed Reserve as they run past onlookers watching the race. PHOTOS COURTESY OF WATERSHED INSTITUTE

The Watershed Institute’s 5th Annual 10K and 5K Solstice Run was a success on June 20.

More than 200 in-person racers completed the course on the Watershed Reserve, while another 99 virtual racers did a course of their own choosing, according to information provided by the Watershed Institute.

This is the first year the Watershed has done a hybrid race, offering runners socially distanced starting times for the in-person race after the starting gun went off at 9 a.m. Virtual runners selected a course and distance of their own choosing and ran on a day from June 18-20.    

The runners ranged in age from 4 to 89 years old.

According to the Watershed Institute, the Solstice Run helps support the Watershed’s efforts to keep water clean, safe and healthy in central New Jersey. Founded in 1949, the Watershed works to protect water and the environment through conservation, advocacy, science and education, according to the statement.

The events raised about $25,000 for the Watershed in entry fees, donations and sponsorships.

“Our Solstice Run advances the Watershed’s vital work of protecting and restoring our waterways,” Watershed Executive Director Jim Waltman said in the statement. “We’re grateful for all of our participants, volunteers and sponsors.”

The in-person race included trails and views of portions of the 950-acre Watershed Reserve, including meadows, forests, farmlands and Wargo Pond.

The race attracted runners of all ages, including runner Lennie Libes, 89, of Princeton, and Lorelei Marin, 4, from High Bridge.

The fastest female and male runners in the 10K race were Brian Wiest, 34, of Wallingford, Pennsylvania, and Kristen Heinzel, 21, of Pennington.

Winners of the 5K race were Brandon Carreno, 26, of Cranbury, and Meghan Bruce, 30, of Princeton, according to the Watershed Institute. 

Winners for various age categories for the men’s and women’s divisions also were given awards.

For more information, visit www.thewatershed.org/solstice-run/.