They’re little, but they’re pretty fast and cute, too.
Thousands of children and parents joined the 33rd Annual Branford Father’s Day Road Race. The mile-long fun run, which kicked off at the Branford Green Sunday morning, was a chance for some to run with dad from some and run to dad for others.
“Every day is Father’s Day,” said Paul Wirtz.
Wirtz waited at the finish line to congratulated his children Andrew and Bridgette. They finished their mile in just about seven minutes. Bridgette’s time was nearly 6 minutes and 30 seconds.
“These guys are great, and I just love having them,” said Wirtz before helping his posterity re-hydrate with a drink of water.
“It makes me feel really great. It makes me feel real good,” said Ray Figlewski.
Figlewski has been the founder and director of the race for its entire 33 years of existence. He and a friend, who has since moved, started it as a way for the community to show how close they are.
“I want [them] to take away that they had a great day – a great Father’s Day and a great finish,” Figlewski said. “Branford’s a great town. And [they should] remember that everybody should be together.”
From start to finish this race is all about the community. The funds raised will support local charities. They include the Branford Counseling Center Basic Needs Program, Branford Education Foundation, The Community Dining Room, Lisa Pelosi- American Heart Association, Nicole DeFilippo Scholarship Fund, Sandra Ciccone Scholarship and New Haven Home Recovery.
“It’s unbelievable. It makes you fall in love with him all over again,” said Ally Adinolfi about her husband Ryan.
Ryan sported a royal blue shirt with large, capital letters that read, “LEVI’S DAD.”
The mom and dad walked the mile pushing Levi, who had fallen asleep, the whole way. Levi was most likely the littlest race participant.
“It’s my first Father’s Day,” said Ryan. “We’re blessed to have this guy. And we’re excited to be out here for a great day.”
Organizers estimate nearly 3,000 people participated in the races – the one-mile fun run, two-mile health walk and five-mile race, which also served as the state championship. Live music was played at seven stops along the five-mile race to encourage and keep the runners pumped up.
In all it was a great day for fathers who deserve all the love their children can give.