Runners Remember Victoria Soto

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    Thousands of people will strap on their running shoes tomorrow for a 5K road race to remember a Stratford hero.

    It's been 10 months since 27-year-old Vicki Soto shielded her Sandy Hook Elementary School from the gunman who killed her.

    On Saturday, Soto's cousin, James Wiltsie, and thousands of others will remember and honor her final act of kindness with the Vicki Soto 5K. The race takes place two days before Soto's birthday.

    "[It's about] coming together and supporting a cause, to pay it forward, to keep Vicki's name alive and her passion for teaching," said Wiltsie, who organized the event.

    "It makes you feel good," said race volunteer leader Grant Dalling. "People need to do this more often for tragic things that happen."

    Dalling, Wiltsie's partner in the Fairfield police force, is heading up the volunteer effort. On Friday night, volunteers brought out more than 300 plastic flamingos to line the race route.

    "The flamingo was Vicki's favorite bird, favorite animal, so that has kind of become our logo," said Wiltsie.

    Wiltsie said support from the community has been so overwhelming that race registration was forced to close.

    Wiltsie said he expects to donate $50,000 in race proceeds to the Vicki Soto Memorial Fund in support of future teachers.

    "The family is going to turn around and give a scholarship to a Stratford High student and a Bunnell student for $5,026," Wiltsie said.

    And even after every runner has crossed the finish line, Wiltsie and many others have no plans to slow down.

    You can donate online to the Vicki Soto Memorial Fund.