MONROE, CT — Runners and walkers will soon lace up their sneakers for the 2022 Victorinox Sprint for Monroe to be held on Sunday, June 5. It’s the 30th anniversary of the annual event, according to the Sprint for Monroe Committee.
The event began as a local Jaycees project in 1993 with a small committee of dedicated volunteers. There were no apps, no cell phones, no GPS, no earbuds … just runners on the road enjoying doing something healthy for their community.
“In 1993 we had just over 200 runners participate in the event,” said Amy Primorac, the current race director. “The event has grown over the years, but the heart of it hasn’t changed: it is a great community event that brings together all ages and abilities to raise funds for charitable groups in our town.”
The race committee has several members who have been with the race from the start, including Kevin Early, Frank Bent and former race director, Dr. Paul Moyse. Dr. Moyse passed those duties onto Primorac in 2013, but still stays involved in the race.
“It’s just such a great event that I can’t stay away from it, no matter how hard I try,” he said with a laugh.
The race committee includes the three originals and Marybeth Zarifian, who has been with the race almost 20 years. “I keep trying to walk away, but there’s just something about the race that I sign back up again each year,” said Zarifian, a local Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway.
She makes sure all participants are well fed and hydrated after the event. “We offer more food and drinks than any other local race,” Zarifian said. “We pride ourselves on it.”
This year’s event will start and end at Wolfe Park as it has for the last 30 years.
While the Race4Chase Kids’ Fun Run has been missing from the event since COVID-19 struck, it will be back this year.
“The committee agreed we wanted to bring the kids’ race back this year,” Primorac said. “It is a fundraiser for the Chase Michael Anthony Kowalski Sandy Hook Memorial Foundation, and obviously is near and dear to our hearts. The Kids’ Race committee, headed by Sue DeGeorge, has been hard at work raising funds and getting ready to welcome the little ones back on June 5.”
“We hope the community will come out and take part in this event that has been part of the fabric of Monroe for so long,” Primorac said. “You don’t have to be an avid runner. You can walk, or you can volunteer to help out on race day. It is such a great event. You won’t want to miss it.”