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Knights Of Columbus Run 4 Hunger & Health A Family (And Friend) Affair



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The Newtown Knights of Columbus Run 4 Hunger & Health 5K to benefit the FAITH Food Pantry and Newtown Youth and Family Services, took place in Fairfield Hills on a cool, 50-ish degree September 24 morning. There was usual competitive spirit not only between participants but also among runners challenging themselves to better their times. On top of this was a family and friends element with parents pushing babies in strollers, siblings running together, and old college teammates bonding on the scenic and, at times, hilly course.

Race winner Nick Conway, 47 and of Albany, N.Y., was visiting former Union College (Schenectady, N.Y.) track and cross country teammate Will Morris of Newtown, who also ran the race. Conway finished in a time of 17:59, holding a pace of 5:47 to pull away from the rest of the field.

“It was chilly but the sun was nice — it made it good for running,” Conway said.

The top female was 11-year-old Kailyn Lahey, of Newtown, who placed tenth overall in a time of 24:38.

“It was fun,” said Lahey, who ran with three siblings: Cian, Kinley, and Kellan.

Not only did these brothers and sisters participate, but their grandfather, Bill Manfredonia, is a Knight and race volunteer who got to cheer them on as they crossed the finish line.

Newtown’s Philip Tisi, 40, was second in 19:55; Colton Collins, 18, of Palm Bay, Fla. came in third in 20:29; Shane Wurtz, 29, of Sandy Hook, was fourth in 22:33; and Claudio Goncalves, 40, of Monroe, placed fifth in 22:56. Others from town in the top ten were seventh-place finisher Rohan Carey, 16, of Sandy Hook (23:30); and ninth-place participant Gary Debrito, 32, of Sandy Hook (24:35).

Newtown Bee Copyeditor Kathy Ronan walked the course with friends Tina Meehan and Grace Avitabile. “I love participating in these events, especially when they’re for a great cause, as this one was,” Ronan said.

Public Address Announcer Jason “J” Edwards provided finish line music and encouraged runners, many of whom he knows.

For complete race results, visit the Rat Race Timing webpage.

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

Participants take off at the start of the Knights of Columbus Run 4 Hunger & Health 5K at Fairfield Hills, on September 24. —Bee Photos, Hutchison
Nick Conway approaches the finish line. He won the race in 17:59.
Phil Tisi was runner-up in the race.
Kailyn Lahey was the top female finisher and placed tenth overall.
Cian Lahey finishes the 5K race.
Kinly and Kellan Lahey had a race within the race as the siblings sprinted to the finish.
Will Morris, left, and Nick Conway were college teammates and ran the race together.
Bill Manfredonia, who is with the Knights of Columbus and a race volunteer, stands with his grandchildren at the end of the event. Pictured are Cian, Kailyn, Kinley, and Kellan Lahey.
Newtown Bee Copyeditor Kathy Ronan, left, enjoys the 5K event with friends Grace Avitabile, and Tina Meehan, right.
Gary Debrito of Sandy Hook was a top-ten finisher.
Bill Smith, 80, completes the 5K race.
A group of runners heads toward the finish line.
Charlotte Scinto completes the 5K.
Public Address Announcer Jason “J” Edwards interacts with race participants.
Shane Wurtz, of Sandy Hook, was among the top finishers.
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