Large turnout Sunday for 10th annual Petit charity race

August 7, 2017

By Pete Paguaga, Record-Journal staff

PLAINVILLE — For the 10th straight year over a thousand runners and walkers came together Sunday to run or walk to help raise money for the Petit Family Foundation.

With a new sponsor, Chip’s Family Restaurant, and a new location, Plainville High School, the Family 5K Road Race didn’t skip a beat as runners from all over the region came together.

“It’s great. It shows how people care and how they give. And they know we are a volunteer program and we give to many good projects all around the state,” Dr. William Petit said before the race. “Helping kids with education, especially the STEM programs, helping people affected by violence and helping people with chronic illnesses. So it’s wonderful to see so many people from the community come out, from all over Connecticut and all over the region.”

From this section: Nominations sought for veterans awards Farmington’s Jon Krell took first place overall, for the second year in a row, finishing the 5K race in 15:52. Kassandrah Banks of Wethersfield was the first women to finish the race, 20th overall.

Aidan Marino, of Killingworth, got into running road races this past year and decided that this race was definitely going to be one of the races he would run.

“This one seems like the most important one to go to,” he said. It’s a “community, everyone is close, stays together.”

The race honors Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, Hayley Elizabeth Petit and Michaela Rose Petit, who were killed in a Cheshire home invasion 10 years ago.

Though the main attraction is the 5K, Dr. Petit says he’s a huge fan of the kids’ race that takes place before the big race.

“The kids fun run is the highlight, you know. We had Chompers this year from the Yard Goats and Sonar from the Wolfpack and the kids love it,” he said. “They get into it and I think this is a little shorter than the previous course on Woodford so this was a little easier for the kids this year.”

Over the 10 years that the race has been around, the foundation has raised over a million dollars. B y the end of the year the foundation will have given out $2.5 million.

“This is way better than what we ever thought when Bob (Heslin) and Gary (Heslin) came up with this idea. We thought we may have a couple hundred runners,” Dr. Petit said. “We have had pretty much over a thousand runners every year, 400 or 500 walkers … So it has been a fabulous success.” 203-317-2235 Twitter: @PetePaguaga