Litchfield Hills Road Race to get ‘back to normal’ this weekend – Torrington Register Citizen

Written by Amanda

LITCHFIELD — Nearly 1,000 runners are registered for the Litchfield Hills Road Race, and organizers expect many more by race day on June 12.

“It’s been a weird two years for everyone, and I think people are just excited to get back to normal,” said Beth Murphy, LHRR president. “Along with the online registrations, we generally have anywhere between 150 and 300 people sign up on the day of the race. So we’ll have a full roster for Sunday.”

The road race, first held in 1977, was started by resident and runner Joe Concannon and a group of friends. The 7.1-mile course, which includes the daunting Gallows Hill just before the final stretch of the race, has grown in popularity every year.

“LHRR has seen runners from all over the world, representing Ireland, New Zealand, Kenya, Great Britain, Belgium, Tanzania, Canada, Yugoslavia, Morocco, Poland and more, keeping pace with more famous American runners, including Bill Rodgers, Joan Benoit, Dave Dunham, Randy Thomas, Patti Catalano and Vin Fleming; and “infamous Litchfield runners,” such as Rick Evangelisti, David Driscoll, Father Tucker, the Hound, Paula Brunetto, The Hawk, Bill Sivhra, always several members of the McKenna family,” according to lhrr.com.

“There are a lot of people who return every year, and many come from all over New England,” Murphy said.

The race was not held in 2020 because of the pandemic; in 2021, a smaller race was held with about 500 runners, and a different start and finish area.

This year, the race starts and ends on the Litchfield Green, its traditional home. The main race takes off at 1 p.m. and a 2.3-mile youth race immediately follows, as well as a shorter children’s race and “dashes” for younger children on the Green.

“People have been waiting for this to come back,” Murphy said. “Everything’s falling into place; we’ve got the runners, and we’ve got the activities. And it looks like the weather’s going to be fine.”

On Saturday, race weekend activities include a block party on the Green and a Maker’s Market, orgnized by Michelle Murelli. According to the event’s Facebook page, the market runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature artists, makers, live performances and walking tours.

The market replaces Gallery on the Green, held by the Junior Women’s Club of the Litchfield Hills for decades.

“The market’s kind of like what the Junior Women’s Club used to have, and Michelle’s been working very hard on that,” Murphy said. “The block party is going to be a lot of fun. It’s great to see that come back again.”

The race’s main sponsors include O&G Industries, Union Savings Bank, E.J. Murphy Realty and Litchfield Hills Orthopedic; local restaurants and companies including the Village Restaurant, Litchfield Distillery, Litchfield Bancorp, Torrington Savings Bank, Culligan Water, A. Gallo, Dolphin Pools & Spas and OrthoConnecticut are also providing support.

“Our sponsors are “terrific and so loyal,” she said. “They’ve stood by us, every year; we have a few new ones, but otherwise it’s the same group.”

The race is held rain or shine. Runners can register on race day between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., cash or check only. For information, go to www.lhrr.com .

Source: registercitizen.com

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