This week’s Downtown Westfield 5K & Pizza Extravaganza was a smooth one. Run through a charming town settled in 1720, (and 99th wealthiest in the United States, according to Bloomberg), this New Jersey enclave is easily accessible to the Tri-State area. Post-race I can only confirm their slogan: The Downtown Westfield 5K- 18 Years Running and the Pizza’s still hot!
As a BibRave Ambassador, I received a free race entry to this race. All impressions (footprints included) are always my own.
Downtown Westfield 5K & Pizza Extravaganza
On July 24th, 2019, approximately 1,700 racers assembled for 3.1 miles through a looped course.
Clocks at each mile; multiple water stops.
USATF NBNJ 500-point Grand Prix Event on rolling and flat streets past well-groomed neighborhoods and upscale shops and restaurants.
Schedule: 5:00-6:45 p.m. – Tech-Shirt and B-Tag Pick-Up
7:00 p.m. – 5K Race start
7:45 p.m.- Awards and Pizza Party
Parking was FREE at the North and South Avenue Train Station Parking Lots in the non-numbered permit spaces.
Thanks to multiple check-in points, bib and pre-race packet pickup was seamless. (The BEST I have ever encountered anywhere!) We received a tech shirt, embroidered cap, and cinch bag along with our personalized bibs.
An ample supply of water, bananas, and energy bars were available. Typically, I would only see this spread after a race. We were very impressed!
Multiple health providers and vendors were on premise. Their own health expo of sorts! Included were Trinitas Regional Medical Center, Summit Medical Group, Jag-One Physical Therapy, Kessler Rehabilitation Center, Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Atlantic Health System, EXCEL Orthopedic Physical Therapy, RWJBarnabas Health, and Osteo Strong. Well done!
The neighborhood was out in force. The ongoing cheers and encouragement was so appreciated! Winding through their mostly-shaded streets, past the beautifully-kept homes was a joy. (You can view the course map HERE.)
Multiple water stops were provided; each mile marker as well as two others were very welcome on this hot day.
Runners of all abilities and multiple families filled the course. Absolutely a community affair.
Post-Race Pizza Extravaganza
The pizza! yes, I run for pizza. Lots, and lots of pizza.
Though initially I saw folks (with bibs and without) walking around with entire boxes of pizza, towards the end of the race they were limiting one slice to runners only. We waited about ten minutes for the pizza to restock. Therefore, my suggestion going forward would be to have one policy throughout and stick to it.
And the band played on… From an hour before the race until an hour after, the live music did not stop. It made for the perfect “block party” atmosphere.
So, would I run the Downtown Westfield 5K and Pizza Extravaganza again? In a heartbeat. The small town vibe (though a short thirty minute commute into New York City) was charming, the residents very welcoming, and the after party very generous. I was especially pleased to learn that any net proceeds from the event are targeted for downtown Westfield enhancements, such as street lighting, sidewalk improvements, and landscaping.
Do I wish this could be a morning race so that we weren’t melting during this warm July evening? YES. However, I am sure the businesses in town could not shut down during business hours. All in all, Downtown Westfield were incredible hosts. I would absolutely visit again, race or not!