by Abby Epstein
Shalom New Haven Staff Writer
Community, family and fitness. It’s what makes the Bagel Run more than just a race. This year, the Bagel Run’s 10th anniversary, is bound to be special. “It takes everything that is special about the JCC and brings it all together on one day,” said Jessica Scott, who serves as the race director. “The whole spirit of the day is about the community.
”The Covid-19 pandemic forced cancellation of last year’s race. With this being the first race back and the 10th anniversary, it is going to be bigger than ever. There will be a DJ, a bagel breakfast and kids are encouraged to wear a costume while competing in the kids run.
“We’re trying to do more of a block party atmosphere, kind of like ‘welcome back’ and ‘we all survived quarantine’,” said Scott. The event has gained more traction with each and every race, attracting athletes from all over Connecticut. While the first Bagel Run had about 70 participants, recent years have had as many as 400. “We get so many people from outside the JCC community coming to our run that it gives us nice exposure,” said Bob Felice, fitness committee volunteer chair and former JCC president.
The race takes place at the JCC campus in Woodbridge. The children run one lap around the facility while adults participate in a 5K that wraps around the neighborhood and finishes at the JCC. The course is designed so that new athletes can feel just as successful upon completion of the race as a veteran athlete. The medals awarded to those who finish are mini bagels that are left to dry and spray painted. “People seem to enjoy it, it just gives it a little different twist,” said Felice. “Everyone who finishes gets one.” Awards will be handed out for the top three males and females in each age group. Prizes will be given for ‘best costume’ and ‘best stroller design.’
“It’s just a fun day,” said Felice. “I’m proud of the fact that it’s lasted 10 years and keeps growing.”
The Bagel Run is on Sunday, Sept. 19. Registration can be competed on jccnh.org/bagel-run.