Essex Running Club Reaches 30-Year Marker

'Northern New Jersey’s Friendliest Running Club' was founded in 1983.

The Essex Running Club in its early days. Photo credit: Courtesy of John DeHart
The Essex Running Club in its early days. Photo credit: Courtesy of John DeHart
Written by Teresa Akersten. 

Essex Running Club Vice President and longtime member Desmond Duncker told the Montclair Council Tuesday the group is really less of a sports club and more of a social club, with members creating lasting friendships.

Duncker attended the council meeting to accept proclamations from the township and the county marking the 30th anniversary of "Northern New Jersey’s Friendliest Running Club." 

The town's proclamation, read by Deputy Mayor Bob Russo, a 20-plus year member, congratulates the group for its longevity and for its work assisting "runners in developing their potential."

The Essex Running Club was founded in 1983 and initially had about a dozen members. Thirty years later, the club is 244 members strong and offers group runs and other activities for avid runners several times a week. 

Members hail from Montclair and surrounding towns, but all are welcome to join in weekly training runs which start at Verona High School, Yanticaw Park in Nutley and Montclair's Fleet Feet Sports.

A run for 7- and 8-minute-mile runners originates on Sunday mornings from Grove Street Pharmacy, whose owner Larry Hollander is credited with helping grow the group. 

The club was started by John DeHart, a manager at the Essex Health & Racquet Club in West Orange. DeHart, who quit smoking and lost 60 pounds when he became a runner, told Keeping Track in 2003 that the sport saved his life.

Learn more at www.essexrunning.org.


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