The 2023 Celebrate! West Hartford FUNd RUNS will support neighbors in need and will include both a 5K and Kids’ K.
By Ronni Newton
Runners of all ages, speeds, and abilities will take to the streets of West Hartford this June, joining the community for the annual Celebrate! West Hartford FUNd RUNS 5K run or walk and Kids’ K non-competitive dash.
The FUNd RUNS, which will be held on Sunday morning, June 11, 2023, are part of West Hartford’s signature Celebrate! West Hartford two-day outdoor festival which will take place this year on June 10 and 11.
The races traditionally draw great crowds and are one of the most eagerly anticipated parts of the weekend.
Online registration is now open at www.CelebrateWestHartford.com.
The races are not only “fun” for people of all ages, but also “fund” activities for local residents. A portion of the event proceeds are donated to West Hartford families in need.
The Kids’ K, which begins at 8 a.m. and is open to children ages 10 and under, is 1.75 loops around Blue Back Square. Medals are awarded to all finishers.
The USATF-certified 5K race is open to participants ages 6 and up, and kicks off at 9 a.m. The course winds through the Webster Hill neighborhood, and features a downhill finish on Burr Street.
Celebrate! West Hartford Event Director Linda Geisler said the 5K attracts many of the region’s elite runners vying for a course record as well as others running to break their own person records, kids who have been participating in spring training programs in West Hartford or neighboring towns, people running to support the town’s camp scholarship funds, and others just running or walking for fun, to be part of the Celebrate! experience.
Prizes are awarded for first through third place in all divisions of the 5K. Age divisions are: 10& under, 11-14, 15-18, 19-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, 80+. A random drawing for 10 raffle prizes for all other 5K participants will also be held after the race.
Online preregistration for all races is now open at www.CelebrateWestHartford.com. and registrants can easily sign up more than one participant at a time. Runners who register by May 31 are guaranteed a race shirt.
Pre-race registration and packet pick-up will be at FUNd Run sponsor Fleet Feet Sports, 1003 Farmington Avenue, West Hartford Center on Friday, June 9, from 3 to 6 p.m. and Saturday, June 10, from 9 a.m. until noon. Runners may register at that time as well, and can pick up their race shirt, race number, and bib tag – and enjoy a discount on purchases.
Race-day registration and packet pick-up will also be available, beginning at 7 a.m. in the Festival Dining Tent that will be located in the Town Hall Parking lot at 50 South Main St. Runners are encouraged to arrive with plenty of time, and free race-day parking is available in Isham Garage, 17 Isham Rd. A post-race reception and awards ceremony will also take place in the Festival Dining Tent and participants are encouraged to attend.
More information about Celebrate! West Hartford, as well as online registration for the races, is available at www.CelebrateWestHartford.com. Registration for the 5K is $30 until May 31. Fees increase to $35 on June 1. The Kids’K is $5.
In addition to the FUNs RUNS, since 1987 Celebrate! West Hartford has featured an award-winning juried arts and crafts show, carnival rides and games, an international food court, free live music, and exhibitor booths from nonprofits and local businesses. In past years, the event has attracted 40,000 visitors over the course of the weekend.
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