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Cherry Blossom Run at Branch Brook Park Was A Success


Both WEARC members, and non-member Hams, turned out under the banner of Essex County ARES/RACES EmComm to provide logistical communications to the organizers of the 2009 Cherry Blossom Run, which is one of several events held during Essex County's week-long Cherry Blossom Festival.


Essex County, NJ was the first county in the United States to organize a park system,  and Branch Brook Park is the oldest park within that system.  Branch Brook Park is also known throughout the world as having the largest collection of Japanese flowering trees in the United States.  The County is currently working on adding even more of these famed trees to the park.


The Cherry Blossom 10K Run kicked off at around 10:00 am on April 5th, 2009.  The EmComm team was transported to each mile post by County van along with non-Ham volunteer split-timers to aid the runners pacing their run-times.  Net Control took a position near the starting line for the beginning of the race, and then relocated to the finish line from which most of net operations were managed.  The 1st and 2nd place male and female runners were tracked mile post to mile post, with each post reporting in to Net Control on the runner's progress.  The Hams stationed at each mile post also kept an eye out for trouble, such as distressed runners and non-event participants who might interfere with the race.


Communication operations went off without a hitch.  Once again the Hams who volunteered to staff this event demonstrated to the County that Amateur Radio can successfully provide effective, well organized communications.


Our thanks to all who participated.