The 10th annual Run for the Woods was held on Saturday May 14. The weather was beautiful, the runners were fast, and the volunteers and organizers did a great job. This 5k trail race was organized by the graduate students of the Ecology and Evolution Graduate Student Association (EcoGSA) to raise funds for restoration and care of local woods at the Rutgers University Ecological Preserve (EcoPreserve) and for their Association. Professor Richard Lathrop, faculty director of the EcoPreserve, has also used donations to fund undergraduate projects such as an ecology course focused on natural resource management. The Run was originally held in Helyar Woods, part of Rutgers Gardens. The location was changed in 2014 and now takes place at the EcoPreserve.
This year 44 runners and walkers crossed the finish line. The competitors were mostly local runners, and many come out every year. The fastest male finisher, William Hulbert, crossed the finish line in 18:49 minutes. The fastest female finisher, Amanda Cirillo, finished the run in 25:44 minutes.
Joni Baumgarten, who has headed the organization for 4 years, described the course as a single loop through the EcoPerserve, featuring many spring flowers including spring beauty (claytonia virginica) and Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema Triphyllum). Obstacles included narrow sections, roots, rocks, and—because of the recent rains—mud! Despite this last messy challenge, Natalie Howe, one of the runners who also helped [Read more…]