Branford holds 34th Father’s Day Road Race

BRANFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– One of the ways families celebrated Dad Sunday was by taking part in the 34th annual Father’s Day Road Race in Branford. For many runners, the race is about tradition.

“It’s Father’s Day. It’s a family gathering. It’s tradition now,” said George Papuga, East Haven.

With that said, runners take your mark, get set and well you know the rest…

The annual Father’s Day Road Race kicked off Sunday morning in Branford. An event that was first started 34 years ago.

“So I patterned this road race after the Falmouth road race which I used to run down in Falmouth, MA in 1977, 78,” said Ray Figlewski, Road Race Founder.

“It’s a good day. Everybody is out here kind of a festive day. Father’s Day,” said Lawrence Hally, volunteer.

What began back then as a race with roughly 500 people has now grown to 3,500 participants.

“I’ve been running now close to 40 years myself. I don’t know it started out, there wasn’t even racing when we started,” said  Papuga.

And make no mistake, the kids get in on the action as well.

“I run like 5k’s and one miles. I like doing it because it’s fun to run,” said Luke Volpe, Branford.

Some of the money raised from Sunday’s run goes to the American Parkinson’s Disease Association, which is near and dear to the event’s founder.

“I was diagnosed 8 years ago. I had surgery 3 years ago. I’m a lot better now than I was 4 years ago,” said Figlewski. “In my opinion, we have the best 5 mile race in the country.”

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