Sprint for Monroe will not be held this year, future uncertain

Frank Bent organizes runners at the starting line for the Sprint for Monroe last year.

MONROE, CT — Thousands of runners and walkers participated in the annual Sprint for Monroe for nearly three decades, raising money for local charities and organizations and bringing the community together at Wolfe Park. But the popular 5K race will not be held this year.

“With all of the recent challenges with COVID, coupled with declining participation, and the strain on local businesses providing financial support, we’ve decided to pause the event for this year,” said Amy Primorac, Sprint for Monroe’s race director. “It may be that at the end of this year we decide to restart the race, or we may decide that 30 years was the logical ending point.”

Jake Duckworth, 26, was the first to cross the finish line during the 2022 Victorinox Sprint for Monroe at Wolfe Park.

The race began in 1993 as a project for the local Jaycees group with a small group of volunteers and close to 200 runners. The race raised money for the DARE drug awareness program for local students for many years.

After that program was discontinued in local schools, the race continued on as a fundraiser that donated to many different organizations. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised since the race began.

In 2013 the committee rebranded the children’s race to support the Chase Michael Anthony Kowalski Sandy Hook Memorial Foundation, to honor Sandy Hook victim Chase Kowalski. Chase was an alumni of both the Sprint for Monroe 5K as well as the Kids’ Fun Run.

The race is put together by a committee of dedicated volunteers, several of whom have been working on the race since its inception in 1993. It has been held the Sunday after Memorial Day every year since then except for 2020, when it was held virtually, and in 2021, when it was held in August due to concerns with the COVID 19 virus.

In a recent press release, the committee thanked the many people who have supported the race over the years through sponsorships, volunteering and participation. The town of Monroe was also credited for its continued support of the event.

“We could not have had such a wonderful run without the support of this wonderful community and every single person who has shown up for the event throughout the years,” said Dr. Paul Moyse, the former race director. “The money we have been able to raise and the good we’ve been able to do has been amazing. The committee is grateful to everyone who has supported the Sprint for Monroe.”

The 2022 Sprint for Monroe Race Volunteer Race Committee included Frank Bent, Sue DeGeorge, Kevin Early, Darrin Fodor, Helen Lazzaro, Paul Moyse, Amy Primorac, Robin Wall, Fran Welch and Marybeth Zarifian.

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