Thousands laced up for GE 5K Road Race in Plainville on Sunday - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Thousands laced up for GE 5K Road Race in Plainville on Sunday

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Thousands participate in the annual GE 5K Road Race. (WFSB) Thousands participate in the annual GE 5K Road Race. (WFSB)
PLAINVILLE, CT (WFSB) -

About 2,000 runners and walkers laced up for the GE 5K Road Race on Sunday, which benefits the Petit Family Foundation.

The race is in its ninth year, and is the foundation’s largest fundraiser, raising $1 million since 2008.

“I make it a point to come out every year and make sure I make it here,” said race winner Jonathan Krell, of Farmington.

The race took off in 2008 when two high school classmates reached out to Dr. Bill Petit, whose world was shattered in a horrific home invasion in Cheshire.

"When we went over to Central Connecticut, at the eulogy we heard Dr. Petit speak, talking about giving back to the community, friends and family, we said to each other let’s do something for our friend,” said race organizer Robert Heslin

Petit said the race has grown beyond his imagination, with thousands supporting the Petit Family Foundation, with the legacies of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and their daughters touching people around the country.

"This has become a community event and my youngest daughter, Michaela liked the quote 'you must be the change you like to see in the world' and all the people that participate become part of the change,” Petit said.

"Here we are, nine years later, it became and evolved into a large community event as you can see. Thousands of people help out, the whole town of Plainville,” Heslin said.

The foundation funnels the donations into grants that educate young people, support people living with a chronic illness, and those affected by violence.

"We keep the beauty of the mission of this foundation alive, and we just all get together to do our best,” said volunteer Sue Bradley.

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