Lakewood Resident Joins 125 Mile Jewish Running Group To Help Friend With ALS

jrunners picA Lakewood resident, S.Y., has joined a group of Jewish Runners from Brooklyn who will be running 125 miles to help a man with ALS, an organizer tells TLS. It’s the JRunners 200K Relay Race which will be going from Brooklyn, NY all the way to the Catskill Mountains. The race is being done to raise money for a 39 year old father of five in Brooklyn that was recently diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gerhigs Disease), a progressive degenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord, and eventually leads to death.

The race is the first of its kind for the Jewish community and expects to be 24 hours of non stop fun and entertainment. The race will culminate in a big “finish line extravaganza” with an all day carnival, and free concert featuring Lipa Schmeltzer and a whole host of other singers. The race will begin at 9:00 PM this Wednesday July 28th in Prospect Park, an will end approximately 22 hours later in Sullivan County Community College in Loch Sheldrake, NY.

The race was created by JRunners, the first-ever Jewish runners club, which was recently founded by Shmayie Friedman, Motti Katz and Chezky Rosenblum, all of whom live in Brooklyn. Their goal is to promote health and fitness within the Jewish community, and help raise money for important causes at the same time. So when a friend was diagnosed with ALS, it was an obvious decision to do their inaugural race to raise money for him and his family.

And they didn’t just create a basic race. They hired top notch directors and coaches to assure the races success. The race director is Steve Holmbraker; a well known USATF race planner, and the race coach is Jerry Macari, a 2:24 marathoner, and New York Road Runners 2000 Master Runner of the year. The race is presented by Rosemark Contractors and has notable sponsors such as Gatorade (now OU Kosher), and Garmin amongst many others.

Each runner has committed to raising a minimum of $1,000 in sponsorships towards the ALS cause, and many have raised hire amounts in the $5,000 range. JRunners is a 501 (c) 3 non profit organization, and anyone can sponsor a runner by going to and searching for a runners individual runners page. If you don’t know a specific runner you can also make a general donation on line. Each team has 10 runners, and they will run specific legs of the course, handing off their wristband each time to the next runner that will continue the teams running. There are seven teams of 10 runners a piece, with each runner running around 13 miles in total over a 24 hour period. There are many other cool nuances – like the fact that teams are being provided with RV vehicles, custom race t-shirts, caps, gear, and full glatt kosher meals and snacks. The RV vehicles will transport the team members between the various exchange points and will be equipped with restrooms, beds, and showers. Teams will also use the RV to relax and rest up for their upcoming running. The winning team will receive trophies and a VIP night out in New York City, including dinner at Solo, and a Yankees game. Special awards will also recognize the top fund raisers, and every runner who makes it to the finish line will receive a finisher’s medal.

The race start line will be this Wednesday night in Brooklyn’s famed Prospect Park, and will have many dignitaries including Senator Chuck Schumer, Assemblyman Dov Hikind, Public Advocate Bill de Blassio, Councilman Brad Lander, Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz, and Chief Joseph Fox from the NYPD’s Brooklyn South. The race runs non stop through the night until the finish line at Sullivan County Community College in Loch Sheldrake NY.

The general public is invited to the “Finish Line Extravaganza”- an all day carnival featuring Uncle Moishy, rides, games and Dougies food followed by a free concert, featuring Lipa Schmeltzer, Shloime Dachs, Eitan Katz, Dovid Stein, Shea Rubenstein, Mendy Worsch and Eli Beer. The concert and awards ceremony will kick into high gear as runners start coming through the finish line, and the evening’s excitement just beginning!

There will be food and live music at the various major exchange points along the route (5 of them). The first major exchange in the parking lot of CNBC studios in Fort Lee, New Jersey will feature food from Carlos & Gabby’s Brooklyn, a Kumzits with Eli Beer, and starting at 10:00pm on the night of July 28th. The second major exchange will be the following morning on Thursday July 29 at the Wesley Kosher Shopping Strip in Monsey, with Bubbas Bagels sponsoring breakfast for runners and volunteers. Lunch and Mincha will be taking place at the major exchange in Pine Island NY, and will also feature live music and food from House of Glatt.

The course is a masterfully designed route that will take runners through some of the most scenic areas of the United States. The course goes from Brooklyn to the Catskill mountains, via the Brooklyn Bridge, across Manhattan (passing the Tweed Courthouse and City Hall), down to the West Side and up river. Runners will trace the mighty Hudson to the George Washington Bridge, and cross into Bergen County, NJ, while getting an eyeful of those majestic cliffs, the Palisades. They will clip along Route 9W North through the Tenafly Nature Reserve, Closter, Alpine and then back into New York State at the exclusive tiny town of Palisades. The race continues west along Route 59 through Spring Valley, Monsey, Wesley Hills and into Harriman State Park. The park, the second largest in the State, “has miles of streams and scenic roads, scores of wildlife species, vistas and vantage points covering Rockland and Orange Counties.” Passing Lake Welch, the runners will cross over Route 17, headed for Tuxedo and Warwick, two picturesque towns with deep colonial roots. From there the course winds along Route 1 to Pine Island and up the Pine Island Turnpike to Route 209 and Cold Spring Road, which will bring the runners to Monticello, up Liberty Road and finally, to the finish line event at Sullivan County Community College in Loch Sheldrake.

The general public is invited to participate in all the festivities of the race, including the finish line carnival and concert. For more information go to

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  1. This disease is mamesh shreklech. I know of 2 people in Lakewood that have it r”l. I can NOT imagine anything worse than that. I give these families of the cholim the most credit in the world. Both of the families are holding up beautifully bay”h.
    May HKB”H give the families strength to go on through this horrible disease. Anyone who wants to daven for them can please do so. Their names are Aron ben Liba & Chaim Levi Dovid ben Frumet.
    Besuros Tovos

  2. Rutz Ktzvi Vgiboir Kehahri, to all the runners i wish you speed(zerizus)and strength(endurance). its wonderful to know that you are not only running for a mitzvah but the actual running is a mitzvah.

  3. number 3, those were my exact thoughts while reading thru this post, so many arrangements down to every last detail, really impressive!

  4. Wow what a line up at the “Finish Line Extravaganza” , Lipa and Freiends, but you failed to mention the band. They are the Hot New Rage. Evanal Orchestra. Yasher Coiach to them and ALL the performers. They are doing a true chessed.

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