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Racing Fun (And Competition) For All As Rooster Run Makes Return

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It had been a long time since a non-virtual race took place in Newtown. On Saturday, June 5, the Rooster Run returned and made for a fun, yet competitive, morning of races for all ages at Fairfield Hills.

“I’m very, very pleased. I’m so happy we’re all together again and able to race live,” said Rose Ann Reggiano, assistant director of Newtown Parks & Recreation, which hosted the event with proceeds benefitting the Newtown Scholarship Association.

Last year’s race, along with all of the other runs in town, had been on hold since March of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. This race was initially set to be virtual and the live event was to include waves of smaller groups of runners until mask-wearing and social distancing mandates eased this spring.

There were 96 finishers in the 5K race, 41 in the 10K, and a couple dozen children to participate in the Little Chicks Dash runs/walks.

Runners at the start of the 5K and 10K races were asked to wear masks due to the large starting point crowd and were permitted to emove them once underway and there was room to spread out on the course.

Eric Migiano, of Wilton, won the 5L race in a time of 19:04, edging out the top female competitor and first from town as Sandy Hook’s Taylor Smith came across the line in 19:11.

Sandy Hook’s Paul Freitas was third in 21:48 and Sandy Hook’s Derek Bobowick came in fourth in 22:40. Also among the top ten from town were Deb Bossio in seventh place with a time of 24:46 and Brian Comstock in ninth, clocking in with a time of 24:42.

Chase Smith, of Norwalk, won the 10K run in a time of 36:48. Smith’s grandparents live in Newtown and he frequents the Fairfield Hills grounds for runs.

“It wasn’t the time I was striving for but it was a hot day,” said Smith, who was happy to run his first race in a long time.

Jack Reinert, of Sandy Hook, was second in the 10K with a time of 42:47. Rounding out the top five were Jeffrey Gebert of Stamford in 42:56, top female Anna Weissenberg of Shelton in 43:26, and Philip Tisi, of Newtown, in 43:58. Sandy Hook’s D.J. Bobowick was among the top ten, placing eighth in 47:05.

Newtown’s Gary MacRae, 71, was the only male participant 70 or over in the 5K race, and was proud of his accomplishment, and has run each of the last five or so Rooster Run 5Ks, he said.

“My secret is — be careful of the balance on the downhills and take some water,” MacRae said.

The races featured some runners with baby strollers, including Ally Mazella, of Brewster, N.Y., who pushed her children Lillian and Madison on the 5K course. Her husband, Joe, ran the race and was more than willing to push the tandem stroller, but Ally said she wanted the extra workout.

Ally said one of the nice things about the Rooster Run is that strollers are permitted, unlike in many other races, allowing for the whole family to participate. That allows both parents to run and for their young children to be a part of it.

“We’re trying to promote running with them, and health,” Ally said. “We’re trying to involve them in everything we do.”

“It was refreshing having the community together again enjoying a healthy activity on the beautiful campus. It felt like the start of a fun and healthy summer,” Newtown Recreation Director Amy Mangold said.

Because Newtown Prevention Council is a sponsor, any middle school or high school students who ran will be entered into a raffle for one of five carnival bracelets for the Newtown Parks & Recreation Carnival, set to be held at Fairfield Hills, June 24-27, Mangold said.

Sponsors of the Rooster Run include: Pleasant Paws Pet Center, Mt Pleasant Hospital For Animals, Red Rooster Pub, Newtown Veterinary Specialists, David Nowacki. DMD LLC, Dental Associates of Connecticut, The Newtown Bee, Men’s Barber Shop – Rooster's Men’s Grooming, Holy Cow Ice Cream Shop, Cover Two Sports Café, Caraluzzi’s Markets, Blue Steed Embroidery, and Franco’s Pizza and Café.

Complete race results may be found through the results tab on the Rooster Run webpage https://runsignup.com/Race/CT/Newtown/47thAnnualRoosterRun.

Sports Editor Andy Hutchison can be reached at andyh@thebee.com.

Runners and walkers take off at the start of the Rooster Run, at Fairfield Hills, on June 5. —Bee Photos, Hutchison
Young running enthusiasts participate in the Little Chicks Dash.
Eric Migiano was first to finish the Rooster Run 5K.
Taylor Smith was second overall and the top female in the 5K race.
Chase Smith was tops in the 10K race.
Gary MacRae was the only male competitor 70 or over to do the 5K event.
Kelise Hutchison, daughter of Bee Sports Editor Andy Hutchison, enjoyed her first race.
Ally Mazzella pushes children Madison and Lillian at the Rooster Run.
Joe Mazzella runs the course.
D.J. Bobowick was among the top race finishers. —Photo courtesy Amy Mangold
Rita Kelley walks the scenic Fairfield Hills course. —Photo courtesy Amy Mangold
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