Fleet-footed raise funds for memorial scholarships

JOANNE DEGNAN/The Robbinsville Sun

JOANNE DEGNAN/The Robbinsville Sun

Hundreds of runners and walkers turned out for the 4th Annual Qasim and Ahad Muzaffar Memorial 5K Run, a community event and scholarship fundraiser for the Robbinsville High School senior class that celebrates the lives of two township boys who died in 2010.

The access road between Robbinsville High School and Pond Road Middle School was packed with runners in orange Qasim & Ahad 5K T-shirts on Saturday morning, June 8 as the boys’ father, Basit Muzaffar, used a megaphone to thank the runners and wish them luck.

With the pop of the starter pistol the runners were off on the timed sanctioned course that wound through Foxmoor and Town Center and then circled back to the high school where runners entered the athletic stadium track to finish the race.

Those who signed up for the shorter 1-mile fitness walk trailed behind the runners at a more leisurely pace, with some parents pushing strollers in case the littlest ones grew tired and were unable to walk the entire mile.

JOANNE DEGNAN/The Robbinsville Sun Jamie Dubuque and her aptly named 5-year-old, Chase, cross the finish line in 31 minutes and 40 seconds at the Q&A 5k race on June 8. The pair were actually registered for the 1-mile fun walk, but Chase had other ideas, following the runners on the longer 5K route through Town Center all the way back to the high school.

JOANNE DEGNAN/The Robbinsville Sun
Jamie Dubuque and her aptly named 5-year-old, Chase, cross the finish line in 31 minutes and 40 seconds at the Q&A 5k race on June 8. The pair were actually registered for the 1-mile fun walk, but Chase had other ideas, following the runners on the longer 5K route.

Five-year-old Chase Dubuque had no use for a stroller or for strolling. Although he and his mom, Jaime, had signed up for the shorter fitness walk he took off at a sprint when the gun sounded and continued following the runners the entire 3.1 miles until he reached the finish line at the high school. With his mom trailing a few steps behind he completed the race in 31:40.

“He just kept running and following the other runners,” his mom said. “He didn’t want to stop.”

The race’s top three finishers were all Robbinsville residents. James Seyffert, 19, was the winner, crossing the finish line in 16:44:77.

Two RHS athletes finished second and third overall, but first in each of their respective age divisions. Richie Kasper’s time was 16:47:43 to win first place in the male 14 and under division and Christian Roberts’ time was 17:10:79 to win the male 15-19 division.

The race raises money for two scholarships created in memory of Qasim and Ahad Muzaffar who died of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in 2010 while on an overseas trip with their family. Qasim, known as ‘Q’ to his classmates, was a gregarious RHS freshman and talented athlete who loved to run. Q’s passion for the sport provided the inspiration for the annual fundraising race that honors both him and his 12-year-old brother, Ahad, who was a gifted artist and a student at The  Lewis School of Princeton.

JOANNE DEGNAN/The Robbinsville Sun Julio Garcia and RHS alum Megan Flynn sprint toward the finish line in the Q&A 5K race. Flynn finished first in the women’s age 20-29 division, with a time of 19:38:72. Garcia was first in the men’s age 30-39 division, with at time of 19:39:09.

JOANNE DEGNAN/The Robbinsville Sun
Julio Garcia and RHS alum Megan Flynn sprint toward the finish line in the Q&A 5K race. Flynn finished first in the women’s age 20-29 division, with a time of 19:38:72. Garcia was first in the men’s age 30-39 division, with at time of 19:39:09.

Financial support for the fundraiser went beyond the money raised through runners’ registration fees. Teachers and staff at Pond Road Middle School and Robbinsville High School contributed to  the scholarships by holding a “Blue for Q” week in which they wore blue jeans in exchange for donations to the fund. Teachers and staff at Sharon School have pledged money from a planned  flea market this fall. Many local businesses also contributed as event sponsors and by donating race day medals and souvenirs that included drawstring bags, water bottles, pens, lip balm and T-shirts.

“The support from the community, and the sponsors, has been absolutely tremendous,” said RHS Assistant Principal Nicole Rossi, who taught Qasim when she was a first-grade teacher at Sharon School and has helped to put the memorial race every year since 2010.

Organizers had not finished tallying the fundraiser’s proceeds as of press time because the event draws many walk-on participants, who pay their registration fees the morning of the event instead of pre-registering.

JOANNE DEGNAN/The Robbinsville Sun TJ and Sara Bruzek ran the race with their Labrador retrievers, Coors and Miller and finished with a time of 30:38:09. All four runners celebrated with lots of water afterward.

JOANNE DEGNAN/The Robbinsville Sun
TJ and Sara Bruzek ran the race with their Labrador retrievers, Coors and Miller and finished with a time of 30:38:09. All four runners celebrated with lots of water afterward.


Warning: file_get_contents(http://graph.facebook.com/comments/?ids=http%3A%2F%2Frobbinsvillesun.com%2F2013%2F06%2F12%2Ffleet-footed-raise-funds-for-memorial-scholarships-2%2F) [function.file-get-contents]: failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.1 400 Bad Request in /home/content/85/10397585/html/wp-content/themes/robbinsvillesun/functions.php on line 524

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/content/85/10397585/html/wp-content/themes/robbinsvillesun/functions.php on line 529

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/content/85/10397585/html/wp-content/themes/robbinsvillesun/functions.php on line 534

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/content/85/10397585/html/wp-content/themes/robbinsvillesun/single.php on line 277