CRESSKILL, N.J. — A Cresskill High School photography teacher is giving the gift of running to novice and elite runners for Christmas.
Jason Timochko, of Haworth, is encouraging everyone to join him and members of the Northern Valley Running Group for an 5.5-mile loop beginning at 8 a.m. at the Palisades Interstate Parkway Police Station in Alpine.
"It's about spending time with people," said Timochko, who's built family of running buddies since picking up the sport to get in shape in 2012.
Timochko has continued to hone his skills and came in first place at the 2014 Haworth 5K in 18:27.
At the time he was unsure if his time was "good or bad," but the long runs with his new friends are not about the competition, he said.
"It wasn't easy at first," Timochko recalled. "One to 2 miles were difficult but for some reason, I kept running."
Almost every day until eventually, the work became fun, he said.
Timochko's journey pounding pavement is far from over and he hopes others will join him for the ride.
"So many veteran runners took me under their wings, taught me the ropes and gave me advice," Timochko said. "These were people I didn't even know, but they were kind enough to help. I try to do the same."
Anyone who wants to join the run can come at 8 a.m. Dec. 24 to the Haworth Police Station, located on Haworth Avenue.