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Thousands Participate in New Haven Road Race on Labor Day

NBC Universal, Inc.

Thousands of people came together for the New Haven Faxon Law Road Race on Labor Day.

The road race is a 45-year tradition in New Haven. It is also home to the USA Track and Field 20K Championship with a prize purse of more than $40,000.

Runners from all over the country raced in a half marathon, 5K or the signature 20K.

"It's my first race, but I run all the time," said Renzo Ortelli, of Ridgefield.

Ortelli ran a half mile in the Kids Fun Run and he wasn't alone on race day. His mother ran the half marathon.

"I'm training for the New York City Marathon. It's my first time since 2008. First in-person race since I've been a mom."

It was also a first for the country's fastest female marathoner Keira D'Amato who came to the Elm City for an elite competition.

"This is actually the US Championships for the 20K here, so you see the top U.S. runners here competing," D'Amato said.

D'Amato was in good company, racing alongside a few U.S. Olympians and two past USATF 20K champions.

When asked how long it takes for him to run a 20k, Leonard Korir responded, "just under an hour. Korir is a three-time USATF 20K champion.

His times put him in first place in 2016, 2018 and 2019.

It was the same for Erika Kemp last year.

"I didn't know what to expect. Like I said it was my first time here. First time racing in anything that long, and it ended up being a great day," Kemp said.About 4,000 runners registered to race and a little more than 100 competitors were over the age of 70.

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker was at the race to run his 12th 20K.

"The runners encourage each other, it's not about competing against each other, but it's about pushing yourself and pushing each other, and it showcases the best parts of New Haven," Elicker said.

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