The fifth annual Cupid Made Me Do It 2 Mile Urban Challenge took place on Saturday, February 11th, in downtown Willimantic. This year, runners dealt with snow, ice, cold temps and windy conditions; in other words the usual. The course, modified to avoid icy bridges, ran the length of Main St on two loops.
Runners lined up on Riverside Dr at 10:00 and were welcomed to town by the reigning Willimantic Cupid and good will ambassador David Wollmer. He then started the race and they took off headed west. They included about forty members of the Run 169 Society and about fifteen young runners from the Rectory School in Pomfret.
The first two runners to cross the finish line neck and neck were Paul Baldini from North Haven in 12:30 and Willimantic Fire Chief Marc Scrivener one second behind. Coming in third was David Radcliffe from Meriden in 12:37. The first female finisher was Amanda White from Windsor Locks in 14:34. Amanda also won the raffle for a complimentary Tattoo from race sponsor Thread City Ink. The second place female runner was Kate McHugh from West Hartford followed by Lori Riley from Mansfield.
And what would a Cupid run be without romance. The highlight of the day was when David Schreiter crossed the finish line, got on one knee, and proposed to Nina Bazinet as she crossed the finish line. She accepted. Now let’s see if we can get them to get married at next year’s race.
After the race, runners and spectators went to the Baptist Church for awards, refreshments, and, of course, chocolate. A check for $1400 was presented to charity partner Windham Area Interfaith Ministry. Most then stayed in town for the Romantic Willimantic Chocolate Festival.
Race Result here
Race Photos here