Montclair, NJ – Fleet Feet Montclair in partnership with Susan and Jason Andersen kicked off the Best Day Ever Race this past weekend. The virtual event is currently taking place April 23-30 and
benefits the Kaija Jung Andersen Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to
outstanding college-bound Montclair High School seniors based on financial need through the Montclair Scholarship Fund.
The event reflects a true show of community effort. On kickoff day, the Fleet Feet 5K, 10K, and 10-mile training programs ran their respective Best Day Ever goal races together. Girl Scout troop 22774 honored their friend and fellow Scout, Kaija, with a $500 donation from their cookie sales and completed a 1-mile fun run.
Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill made a special appearance to meet the Andersens, give the troop a pep talk beforehand, and help bring awareness to the Kaija Jung Andersen Memorial Scholarship. The Essex Running Club ran the Race on Sunday, and another Girl Scout troop, Hillside Troop 20986, and other school friends of Kaija met at Glenfield Park to run the 1 mile and 5K distances. Others throughout the Montclair area, across New Jersey, and many other states- including Alaska, California, and Michigan- participated, running and walking their own local routes.
“We really wanted this event to be not just another race, but a true reflection and celebration of our daughter. And it really was. Seeing people of all walks of life, backgrounds, ages, and abilities come together, support one another, accomplish their goals, and most importantly, enjoy themselves, while also helping to raise funds for the memorial scholarship was incredibly meaningful and uplifting,” shares Susan Andersen.
The virtual race continues until the end of this week. To date, there are over 380 runners and walkers registered, and close to $10,000 has been raised. Registration is open until 4/29 and participants have until Friday 4/30 to submit their results from their run or walk. There are 4 choices of distances: 1 mile, 5K, 10K, and 10 miles. Fleet Feet has created suggested routes, or participants can create their own. Those who are not able to participate in the Race can support the Kaija Jung Memorial Scholarship by donating. More information and links for the Best Day Ever race are here. Information about the Scholarship and the Montclair Scholarship Fund, which is administering the Kaija Jung Andersen Memorial Scholarship can be found here.
Photos: Madeline Fabbro