Plainville residents show support at annual Petit 5K


Sunday, July 14, 2013 10:40 PM EDT





PLAINVILLE — Plainville runners turned out to be some of the fastest Sunday morning among participants of the 6th Annual General Electric 5K Road Race, to benefit the Petit Family Foundation.


Fittingly, Dr. William Petit Jr. happens to be a Plainville native and the race also took place in town, finishing up at GE on Rt. 10 with a raffle and announcement of winners.


“It’s just a wonderful community event; we really appreciate the outpouring of support,” said Dr. Petit, whose wife, Christine, sang the National Anthem at the start of the race.


Although Emily D’Addario and Jon Krell — the morning’s two overall winners — were from Farmington, the youngest racers to come out on top in the 12 and younger category were Kayla DiTolla, 12, and Cole McNamara, 12, who both live in Plainville.


Robert Logan, 84, also a town resident, took second place in the 80+ group last year, and despite being one year older he came in first place Sunday.


A total of more than 1,500 people ran and about 1,400 more chose to walk. An opportunity for free massage therapy followed their treks, as volunteers from the Connecticut chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association were on hand.


“Sports massage has been around for a long time; it can help muscles recover faster and keep muscles from cramping,” explained Deby Van Ohlen, coordinator.


“It’s a wonderful event; we’re happy to provide this kind of support,” she added.


People geared up for the race the night before at a pasta dinner, also attended by the Petit family. Their foundation has awarded nearly $900,000 in grant funding over the last six years in honor of Jennifer, Hayley and Michaela Petit, who lost their lives in a tragic home invasion in Cheshire back in 2007.


Their spirits live on through these charitable efforts, which foster the education of young women in the sciences, improve the lives of people with chronic illnesses and protect those affected by violence. Among beneficiaries is The Connecticut Science Center, which earlier this year launched a two-year initiative to encourage female participation in science, technology, engineering and math.


Sunday’s corporate sponsors, GE and Stanley Black & Decker, provided for the giveaway of six raffles prizes — ranging from a pool to a $500 gift card to Gnazzo’s.


The next Petit Family Foundation fundraiser is a golf tournament Saturday, July 22 at the Farmington Country Club. For more information or to see a complete list of race winners, visit .