The First Annual “Bring on the Heat” 5K took place on Sunday, April 23rd, on the nicest day for running to date; sunny in the high fifties. Sponsored by the Bethlehem, CT Park and Recreation Department, this race benefited the town Fuel Bank, helping those in need with fuel assistance.
The day started out with a Kid’s Run, with a dozen future Olympians covering the ¼ mile course. Next up was a moving rendition of the National Anthem sung by an 8 year old with a voice like Aretha Franklin’s. Then the main race started, a 5K Run and 5K Walk through the pastoral (if somewhat hilly) countryside of beautiful Bethlehem.
The first person to cross the finish line was local runner Emily Medonis in a time of 22:30. The first male finisher was Ted Crawford, also from Bethlehem. As the overall winners, each received gift certificates for running shoes from Sportmen’s of Litchfield. The second and third place female finishers were Stephanie Therrien from Oakville, CT and 13 year old Stella Oldakowski from Bethlehem. The second and third place male finishers were Tom Brayton and Bruce Goulart. Robert Waldron, also from Bethlehem, celebrated both his 70th birthday and coming in first place for the first time in the 70-79 age group.
The awards were followed by a fun raffle. Throughout the day, the action was kept moving by Kareem, a professional comedian and DJ from Blue Boy Comedy. All in all it was a successful first time race and a significant amount was raised for the Fuel Bank in a time of great need.