EAST NORRITON — Even though the 18th annual Walk & 5K Run Through the Park will be a mask-wearing, socially distanced in-person event on June 5, organizers are confident they can recapture at least part of that pre-pandemic feeling for everyone involved.

“I’ve been involved with the Walk for six or seven years, We’re remembering that pre-COVID time when we were running and walking with the kids and the dogs out there and this year it looks like we’re going to get back to that, which is pretty exciting,” noted Ben Altman of Altman Management Company, which manages the Residences at Bentwood and is co-sponsoring the Walk & 5K Run.

Along with his wife Rebecca, Altman is serving as co-chair of The Walk & 5K Run Through the Park 7-Day Challenge 2021, presented by The Friends of Einstein Montgomery,

For many, the pre-coronavirus spirit of the event that has raised tens of thousands of dollars for Einstein Medical Center Montgomery’s cancer programs brings back memories of late founder Hank Cisco, whose life and involvement with the run will be celebrated this year, as things return to being an in-person experience after going all virtual in 2020.

“Hank’s family has put together Team Cisco to support the event, and his daughter will speak on June 5,” Altman said. “Last year was all virtual and this year there will be the in-person Run and Walk on June 5, but for those who aren’t comfortable with that yet but would still like to participate, there is a virtual part that starts on May 30, where people can participate in any fitness that they enjoy … if they want to play tennis, go for a walk or a run, cycling, it’s all welcome.”

In 2019, the last time the in-person Walk was held, the event raised $60,000. In the past 18 years, participants and sponsors of the Walk have collaborated to raise almost half a million dollars to support cancer care to benefit the Montgomery County community.

“It just goes to show how much support there is in the community for Einstein and the cancer care programs,” Altman pointed out.

This year the Walk is raising donations specifically for breast cancer awareness and advocacy, Altman noted.

“We’re hoping we have a beautiful day this year and we can all get out and enjoy it the way it was in years past,” he said.

The perennial favorite of runners and walkers alike will kick off this year on the Einstein Montgomery property, 559 West Germantown Pike, East Norriton and continue through Norristown Farm Park.

Safety protocols for June 5 were created with the assistance of several groups, noted Einstein Montgomery Communications Director Lisa Borowski.

“This is an outdoor event and we’re following all of the safety protocols. We’re also working with a disease specialist on how we can keep things safe. So we have a lot of resources at our disposal on how to make sure we keep people safe,” she said.

“There’s always a chance that if something changes we will cancel the in-person part. But the way things are looking right now we’re looking forward to being able to do it in a safe manner on June 5 for those that choose to come and participate in person. We just had a golf outing, Small Miracles Golf Tournament at the Philadelphia Cricket Club,” Borowski added, “and we made a lot of changes for safety so that people weren’t arriving all at the same time. It was very successful, so we’re looking forward to something similar on June 5.”

Registration on June 5 at Einstein Medical Center Montgomery begins at 7:30 a.m. with the Run starting at 9 a.m.

The Walk kicks of at 9:30 a.m.

Register in advance for the Run or Walk at bit.ly/3rYrAPc

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