PLAINVILLE, CT (WFSB) -- Thousands of runners braved the high temps and humidity to participate in the 12th Annual Petit Family 5K Road Race and Fun Run in Plainville on Saturday morning.

Channel 3 chatted with President of the Petit Family Foundation, Dr. William A. Petit Jr. on the importance of bringing the community together.

In July of 2007, Dr. William Petit Jr.’s wife Jennifer and their two daughters, Hayley and Michaela were brutally killed. During his eulogy, he asked the community to do something good.

Always a runner, Petit held a race to benefit the Petit Family Foundation which supports education, particularly women in sciences, improves the lives of those with chronic illnesses, and those affected by violence.

“They said, we'll have a race and they thought they’d have a race with a couple hundred people and call it a day, but we've had upward of 1500 runner, some years,” said Dr. Petit.

“It’s very therapeutic, you try to take something that's terrible and try to make something good come of it.”

The high temps were taxing for runners, but clouds shaded runners along all 3 miles.

“And I just said, thank you God for putting the clouds over the sun so hopefully it stays like that,” said Plainville resident, Barbara Taylor.

Dr. Petit told Channel 3 he lives by three words – kindness, hope, and perseverance.

“A lot of times you fall, obstacles get in your way, and things don't go your way and you really have to push,” said Dr. Petit.

Dr. Petit said he found that by understanding there are good days, bad days, but most importantly, always a tomorrow.

For more information on the Petit Family Foundation, click here.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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