Twelve New Jersey dads and five of their children are attempting to conquer more than 240 miles in a series of overnight trail running events at separate locations in New Jersey and Texas to raise money for Memories Live (www.memorieslive.org), a N.J.-based nonprofit that makes movies for individuals who have terminal illnesses.
The relay team begins its journey Oct. 11 in West Milford, where runners will go more than 125 miles in total at Ragnar, N.J. at Wawayanda State Park. The runners include Millburn locals -- Barry Handwerger, Chris Rusert (plus son Gavin), Neil Glass, Scott Redler (plus son Chase), Jonathan Justice, Craig Leisher (plus son Kai), Steve Cohn (plus son Holden), David Kanarek, Greg Berman, Brian Rost of Livingston and Rich Tomko (plus daughter Isabel) of Summit.
Each runner will tackle three unique trails, between 3.9 miles and 6.7 miles long, running approximately 16 miles each. Runners compete all night, wearing headlamps on the course in darkness, while camping out.
Last year, the two Memories Live teams finished first and second in their age group (men’s masters) and in the top 26 out of nearly 200 teams at the event. They raised more than $7,000 for Memories Live.
Memories Live and its director, Kerry Glass, make movies for individuals facing terminal illnesses as “leave behinds” for their families, allowing them to share their stories, advice and memories. Glass has made more than 190 movies for individuals across the metro area and does so at no cost to her clients. The nonprofit is supported exclusively through donations, grants and fundraisers.
Seven of the runners (including Cliff Wall) will make their way to Flat Rock Ranch in Comfort, Texas, later this month for the Ragnar Texas Trail event (with more than 200 teams expected) and an additional 120 trail running miles.