5K Memorial Tribute Run
Saturday May 18th - 8:00am
Starting At: Bethel Cycle & American Legion Post 100 - 5 Depot Place & Elizabeth St, Bethel CT 06801
Throughout our nation's history brave men and women have fought against the threat of oppression and tyranny
so that we may reap the benefits of freedom and liberty. Join us as we pay tribute to those who gave all.
Race and Course Information
Bethel’s Operation Vet-Fit is hosting what is becoming an annual and emotional 5K (3.1mile) Tribute Run in memory of all of America’s War Dead.
The 2nd annual run will begin with a the National Anthem, and an emotional bag-pipe playing of Amazing Grace a bugle playing of Taps, followed by a ceremonial Firing Squad gun shot to send the runners off on a grueling course.
Right from the start at Bethel Cycle and directly in front of the Bethel American Legion Post 100, runners will be motivated and observed by several Color Guard details from Korean War Vets, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion members and include World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq War Veterans.
Just after passing the delegation of veterans, runners will be cheered along by the rumbling of over 30 Harley Davidson Motorcycles, complements of the Danbury Harley Owners Group.
The runners will need all the motivation they can get prior to the steep and grueling first mile hill climb that takes them up Hoyts Hill and Governors Lane.
Other methods of motivational support will be present along the route during the hill climb and will serve as reminders of the sacrifices of those who died in defense of our nation.
Upon their arrival atop Governors Lane each brave and exhausted runner will be handed a POW/MIA flag which will be carried for the remaining duration of the event.
Runner will make their way back down Hoyts Hill, down Greenwood Ave and take a left onto Nashville Road, a quick right onto South Street and then for the next emotional trek, into and through the Center Cemetery, passing the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Monument while continuing around the entire perimeter of the cemetery returning onto and continuing down South Street, making a right onto Blackman Ave and a right again onto Elizabeth Street where runners will finish where they started in front of the American Legion, across from Bethel Cycle
In additional to paying tribute to Americas war dead, the event also serves as a fundraiser for Operation Vet-Fit, a combat veteran owned non-profit that provides free fitness club memberships, personal training and motivational veterans group fitness programs for our returning combat veterans.
Last years event raised nearly $11,000 for the Bethel American Legion Scholarshipthanks in large part to local businesses for their generous donations of everything from flags, tents, photographers, promotions, website, posters, banners, signage, bananas, bagels, water, and music.
“All the contributing businesses and volunteers understand the gravity of this event and they have stepped up in a big way to help us make it a success” said Dan Gaita, local veteran and event coordinator.
What adds to the significance of this tribute run says Gaita is that there is no “1st Place”, nor an “Official Time”, no runners will wear race numbers, no prizes will be awarded, and no water stations will be provided throughout the course.
“This is but one way to pay tribute to those brave men and women that never came home from the battlefields. It is the very least we can do, and I commend the many runners that have already registered to take part in this honorable event. It will certainly be one that they will not soon forget” added Gaita
In addition to the above, Bethel’s Billy Michael and the J&B Band will be providing music and entertainment while the runners are along the race course.
The S.P.O.R.T.S Safety Mobile in conjunction with The EDGE Performance Training and Greenwood Physical Therapy will be providing on-site medical care for all runners before, during and after the race. Any athletes that would like to be stretched prior to the race or have an injury assessed after the race by certified athletic trainers will be able to do so at no cost.
Bethel Marine Veteran Richard Godfrey, who generously provided all of the POW/MIA flags to each runner is owner of Bethel based business American Pride an will be on hand with patriotic memorabilia.
Bethel based Private Studio Fitness is this years event sponsor and organizer. Currently Private Studio Fitness provides free memberships, personal training and group fitness programs to combat veterans. If you are or know a combat veterans that would like to join Private Studio for no charge, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Day-of registration will be $20, registration opens at 7:00 am, and pre-run ceremonial events begin at 7:49am (after train goes by) . Run starts at 8:00am.
Pics and press from last years inaugural event: