Plainville To Have 1,000 Runners In Town July 19

By Bill Leukhardt

PLAINVILLE — More than 1,000 people are expected to run or walk in the 8th annual 5K road race here to benefit the Petit Family Foundation, founded by the sole survivor of a home invasion in Cheshire that ended with the murders of his wife and two daughters.

The charity race, set for July 19, raises money for the foundation's support for science education for women, helping people with chronic illness and to aid and protect people affected by violence.

The foundation was begun in 2007 by Plainville native Dr. William Petit in memory of his late wife Jennifer Hawke-Petit and their daughters Hayley Elizabeth Petit and Michaela Rose Petit. Two men caught at the scene and convicted are on death row, awaiting execution.

Dr. Petit was nearly beaten to death by the invaders but survived.

Since the race started eight years ago, its main sponsor has been General Electric, a multinational corporation with a facility in Plainville and its headquarters in Fairfield. GE's chairman, Jeffrey Immelt, was a college friend of Petit at Dartmouth, in New Hampshire.

"GE is proud to have been the title sponsor of the race since its inception eight years ago," said Gia Oei, a communications executive for GE's Plainville-based Industrial Solutions business.

More than 1,000 people are expected to take part in the 5K event, Oei said Thursday. The exact number isn't clear as race registration will be held July 19 from 7-8:30 a.m. at the parking lot of the GE Industrial Solutions, 41 Woodford Ave., Plainville. The race will start at 9 a.m. on the corner of Route 10 and East Street. In addition to the race, there will be a fitness walk, which also starts at 9 a.m. A kids' fun run will be held at 8:30 a.m., for children 8-years-old and younger.

Walk-up registration and pre-registration forms will be available at the GE facility on July 18 from noon to 4 p.m. Entry fee for the race and fitness walk is $30 until noon on Friday, July 17, and $35 on race day. The kids' fun run is free.

On July 18, the night before the race, GE will host a pasta dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. to benefit the foundation. Tickets for the dinner are $8 for adults; $5 for kids 8-12; and free for kids age 7 and under.