A road race to benefit the families of Sandy Hook shooting victims is receiving both national and international attention after maxing out at 15,000 registered runners and drawing an outpouring of support from around the country.
The Sandy Hook Run for the Families has been recognized by Running USA as the world’s largest inaugural 5K and awarded Best Amateur Single-Sport Event by SportsTravel Magazine, according to the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau.
The Sandy Hook Run for the Families, held March 23, included 9,479 timed finishers and 897 additional Kids’ Run participants.
Proceeds totaled $450,143, including money raised and registration fees, and were donated to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund. The fund is managed by the United Way of Western Connecticut in conjunction with the Newtown Savings Bank, and a team of community leaders was designated to decide how the money would be spent.
“It was an honor for the Foundation to produce the Sandy Hook Run for the Families and provide an opportunity for thousands to come together in an emotional outpouring of support for our neighbors in Newtown,” said Beth Shluger, founder and executive director of the Hartford Marathon Foundation.
Shluger said on race day that donations had poured in from around in the country and “virtual runners” from places like Omaha, Austin and San Francisco signed up to show their support.
The run began with a moment of slice and 26 bell tolls, one for each of the shooting victims.