O'Hartford A Good-Time Fundraiser For Runners, Walkers, Leprechauns
March 13, 2006
By LARRY SMITH, Courant Staff Writer
They ran dressed in green and orange,
some with shamrocks on their heads and others with MP3 players on
their arms, alongside leprechauns and Dorothy with Toto on Sunday
at the Citizens Bank O'Hartford 5K & Wee Mile for the Arts.
More than 800 people ran and walked
in the second annual event in Hartford, race director Beth Shluger
said. The 3.1-mile course started on Asylum Street and ended on
The event was a fundraiser for 150 arts and heritage organizations
supported by the Greater Hartford Arts Council's United Arts Campaign.
Shluger, a member of the Hartford Marathon
Foundation, said the drizzle was not bothersome compared with last
year's race, when about 12 inches of snow fell in the Hartford area.
"Any other weather would be good
this year," Shluger said.
The runners were cheered on by family
and friends and serenaded by bagpipers and other performers. Coming
one day after the St. Patrick's Day Parade, the event had a distinctive
Joann Demicco of Plainville wore her
"Irish-Italian hippie" garb with a green wig, shamrock-style
glasses and a green skirt. Demicco said she dressed to get in the
spirit of the run, but also because she felt locked in by winter.
"I've got to get the winter blues
out," Demicco said.
Todd Brown of Rocky Hill wore No.1
and was dressed as a leprechaun with a green wig and big ears. Brown
is preparing for the Boston Marathon and ran only a few blocks,
but cheered the runners and walked with children in the Wee Mile
Mindy Finkelstein of Bloomfield was
dressed as Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz," and carried
a stuffed Toto in a basket as she walked along the course in ruby
red sneakers. It was the third time she dressed as Dorothy. The
first was in the Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco, where participants
traditionally dress outlandishly, and the second was at the United
Arts Campaign kickoff in February, she said.
Finkelstein said she liked dressing
as Dorothy because it was so recognizable.
"[It] puts a smile on people's
faces," Finkelstein said.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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