Hundreds Participate in 5K Supporting Petit Family Foundation

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Runners gathered Sunday morning at Plainville High School for the 13th Annual Petit Family Foundation 5K Road Race.

Erik Kastner ran it with his daughter Sophie.

“It’s a 5K, it’s close, it’s a good cause. I remember when the tragedy happened. We live in Southington. Cheshire is right next door,” said Kastner, a runner from Southington.

The tragedy happened in 2007 when Dr. William Petit lost his wife and two daughters in a violent home invasion in Cheshire. He was the only survivor and the following year the inaugural race was held.

“This has evolved into a big community event that involves all facets of the community. People from 5 to 90 [years old] running the race and people have a very pleasant experience and in the end we raise some money that we’re able to share with people all over the state,” said Petit.

This year they had about 450 runners pre-registered plus more people came and signed up. But in years past, when the race wasn’t following the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been upwards of 5,000 runners.

In the crowd this year was a group of people wearing tutus. They are part of the 169 Towns Society and the tutu is to celebrate those running milestone races.

“We run a race in every town in CT as a goal. Once we are completed, you’re either a king, queen or your majesty if you are non-binary. And we have such an incredible group. So many friendships have been made. In fact, I met my fiancé. We’re getting married,” said Kate Vogel, a runner from Middletown.

The proceeds from the race go to the Petit Family Foundation. The board agreed to put out $650,000 in grants this year, according to Petit. The grants benefit education of young women, helping those impacted by violence and helping people with chronic illnesses.

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