Why would people go out in mid-February with the thermometer at minus 5 to run 2 miles through howling winds over ice and snow? The answer is simple: Cupid made them do it. The third running of the Cupid Made Me Do It Urban Challenge in Willimantic went off on schedule and 105 dedicated runners and walkers braved conditions to cross the finish line. They came in all shapes, sizes, and ages from throughout the state to test their mettle. They represented all eight Connecticut counties and parts of Massachusetts. The award for traveling the farthest went to Erin Gionet from Stratham, New Hampshire. Hester Maisfehlt of Chester was the youngest finisher at age 5 who crossed the finish line just ahead of her dad William. And the most senior finisher was Thomas McIntosh, Jr; 77 and going strong. As usual, the members of the 169 Society were well represented, with 35+ members making the most noise cheering on their fellow competitors.
After the race, most participants continued to celebrate Valentine’s Day by taking part in Willimantic’s Chocolate Festival. If you missed out on this year’s event, don’t worry, plans are already underway for next year’s Cupid Made Me Do It, which will be held on February 13, 2016. Online registration will open tomorrow (Monday, February 16) and anyone registering between now and the end of February can do so for $19 or a $6 discount, and be guaranteed of a T-Shirt. Hope to see you next year.
The overall winner was Charlie Grillo from Cromwell in a blistering 5:46 pace, followed by Steven Pellerin from Dayville and Edward Guimant from Vernon. The top three female finishers Lauren Stanley from Stafford Springs with a 6:59 pace, followed by Breanna Cubilla of Norwich and Shannon Kievman of Manchester. Awards were presented to the top three finishers in eight age groups with the age group winners receiving gourmet cupcakes from A Cupcake For Later. Complete results can be found here.
Check out more photos from the race at the FirstMile Flickr Page!