PLAINVILLE — Runners will again line up at Plainville High School on July 22 for the annual Chip’s Family Restaurant 5k Road Race, organized by the Petit Family Foundation.
“People are happy to be out on a nice day, going for a run and doing something positive for themselves, they're doing something positive for the community, they're doing something positive for the foundation," said foundation president and state Rep. William Petit. He estimated that each year the race attracts approximately 1,000 to 1,200 runners and 600 to 800 walkers.
Over past ten years, it has given out over $1 million in grants to causes such as educational projects at the Beardsley Zoo, the Network Against Domestic Violence and the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center’s Injury Prevention Program.
Petit said the race is ideal for runners of all experience levels, with no hills to slow competitive runners down and separate fun runs and walking segments for children and more relaxed participants.
“The course is a runner’s dream,” said Race Director Bob Heslin. The fun run for children begins at 8:30 a.m., while the 5k and fitness walk launch from East Street, near the high school, at 9 a.m.
From East Street., the race will take Stillwell Drive to Rosemont Drive, where it will turn east. When the road ends at Pickney Avenue, runners will turn north, continuing on Arcadia Avenue and turning west on Higgins Avenue. Upon reaching Woodford Avenue, it will turn west to reach Woodland Street, taking that south to Locust Street and returning to the high school.
It’s not all about the running, though, with sponsors such as Chip’s Restaurant bringing pancakes, fruit and ice cream to the high school grounds. Heslin said there will be approximately 20 food vendors.
“The atmosphere is very positive, there’s a lot of energy there. You can feel the emotion in the air,” he said.
"It's a big race, it's become a community event,” Petit said, likening it to other town celebrations like the Plainville Hot Air Balloon Festival. "It's a great race because it's a good crowd.”
The Petit family foundation was started to honor the memories of Jennifer, Hayley and Michaela Petit, who were killed during a home invasion in Cheshire in 2007.