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Cheshire family organizes virtual 5K to benefit food pantry

Cheshire family organizes virtual 5K to benefit food pantry

CHESHIRE — Many young athletes were holding out hope they would resume playing this spring after roughly three months of quarantine.

There was talk that, if school returned sometime in the spring, so would sports. Unfortunately, with the exception of golf, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference has decided to end the spring sports season due to COVID-19 concerns.

For Staci Miller’s family, the cancellation of spring sports was upsetting, to say the least. With two of her daughters — Delanini and Bailie — enrolled in Cheshire youth soccer and lacrosse, Miller knew she had to come up with something to do as the weather got warmer.

“Normally at this time of year, we are headed to Cape Cod for a soccer tournament for Memorial Day,” Miller said. “The girls were really holding out hope that they would be able to go, but, when sports got canceled, it was a big let down.”

To ease the pain, Miller decided to do something to help her daughters and other athletes. Miller came up with the idea for a virtual 5K race, which would be used to raise proceeds for the Cheshire Food Pantry.

“The girls attended Quinnipiac’s virtual 5K and they just had so much fun doing it, we thought, ‘Why don’t we do one for Cheshire?’” Miller said.

The logistics for the Virtual 5K were relatively straightforward — participants were asked to run a 5K on May 23, 24 or 25 and track the time on a fitness app. They then emailed a screen shot of the results to Miller.

Miller and a few other residents who helped with the 5K will review the results for the fastest times recorded by participants in various age groups. The winners will be announced and each will receive a free T-shirt from CM crafting crew.

The shirt has the words “We Will Play Again” and the Cheshire Ram logo on the front.

“I really like running, and I had such a fun time doing the Quinnipiac run, I am super excited to do this one and see if I have a faster time,” said Bailie Miller. 

For most, the virtual 5K was a chance for athletes to get some much-needed exercise and perhaps give their parents a break from distance learning. 

“We wanted to get kids out and exercising even if their sports are canceled. We spend so much time talking about how much kids are losing and what is being taken away, we wanted to give them something to look forward to,” Miller added.

According to organizers, the event raised more than $1,400 for the food pantry. More information on the race can be found at “We Will Play Again” Facebook page.