Posted: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 7:00 am
The fifth annual General Electric 5K Road Race benefitting the Petit Family Foundation, held Sunday in Plainville, had a different feel than did the previous four installments; a more celebratory, lighter feel.
Perhaps it was that the two men responsible for the deaths of Jennifer, Hayley and Michaela Petit now sit on death row.
Or it may be that Dr. William Petit, the lone survivor
For whatever reason, the vibe surrounding the 2012 GE/Petit race was a joyous one, and Dr. Petit had a spring in his step.
Addressing the more than 3,000 runners and walkers before they set out on the 3.1-mile challenge July 15, Dr. Petit said: “I really just want to thank everyone for being here today. This is the biggest crowd ever. I want to let you know that you’re all part of the foundation, just by being here. You showed up to support the community and your fellow man.”
“Long distance isn’t my thing. I’m usually short and sweet,” the two-time Super Bowl participant said, to laughs. “But today I’m going to give it a go. I don’t know when I’m going to finish, but for all the runners; I’ll see you at the finish line.”
Andrew Rottier was the first
Terry Putaski of
“It’s a tragic event that happened to him, and in a small way I wanted to show support every year, to let him know that he’s not forgotten,” Putaski said, adding: “I’m very happy that he has found somebody. It looks like they’re going to get married this year, and I’ll tell you, I couldn’t be happier for him.”
Sara Dill, of
“Good for him,” said Dill, who at seven months pregnant, walked the course. “There comes a point when you do have to move on. With an event like this, he’s always going to remember, but he needs to be happy.”
Dill’s husband, Steve, ran the 5K.
“It’s really encouraging to see everyone get together to support the cause,” he said. “It was touching a few years ago to see the event put together.”
Ken Oberhausen of
“It’s a great cause for a great family,” said
All proceeds from the GE/Petit race go to the Petit Family Foundation, which honors the memories of the Petit women by benefiting causes close to their heart.
“July 23 will be the fifth anniversary of a very tragic event when we lost Jennifer, Hayley and Michaela,” Dr. Petit said in his pre-race comments. “I know they’re looking down upon you and thankful for everything you all do.”