Maryann Teichman (l), Kathy Keegan (r), and four-legged friend Kona competed at The Devil Made Me Do It road race at Smith Middle School on Halloween
The 10th annual The Devil Made Me Do It road race took place at Smith Middle School on Halloween.
Richard Baber of The First Mile LLC, based in Glastonbury, has been organizing the event dating back to 2012.
“It’s a great spot for a race. The surrounding neighborhood is great,” said Baber, who is the Director of Race Management for The First Mile.
Over 100 participants—many in costume—ran, walked, and strolled distances of 10K, 5K, or a 1-Mile Dog Walk/Run. A portion of the proceeds of the event went to Kenway’s Cause, an animal adoption center in Windsor.
“It was a good turnout. I’ve noticed all of our events since April when the state lifted the ban have trended about where they were a couple of years ago. People are anxious to get out,” said Baber, who modified the race last year to comply with COVID protocols.
Awards and trophies were handed out for the top three finishes in each age and gender group. In addition, a non-binary division was added this year.
Glastonbury’s Eric Stevenson won the 10K race, averaging a 5:57 mile, finishing in 36:56.
“It’s a nice course. The weather was good today. I still ran a lot all through the pandemic but to have something like this and be able to compete and get a bunch of people together has been really fun,” said Stevenson, who was running the event for the first time. “I do Santa’s Run every year and I have three little kids at home, so it’s convenient to keep races local.”
Joshua Pasay, also of Glastonbury, was the runner-up.
Suffield’s Beth Krasemann was the first female to cross the finish line in the 10K.
Howie Breinan of Manchester won the 5K race, averaging 5:56 per mile, finishing with a time of 18:24.
Glastonbury’s Caleb Leon finished second in the 5K.
For the first eight years, in keeping with the Halloween-theme, the race distances were 6.66 miles and 3.33 miles.
Last year’s race was limited to a 5K.
Baber said they made the decision to go traditional distances to bring more runners to the event, “People love this course. You can’t match the scenery here, especially with the multi-use trail, which is a great resource to the town.”
The race started at the Smith Middle School at 216 Addison Road, before weaving through local neighborhoods and finishing back at the school. The 10K runners run the paved path behind the middle school to complete the longer distance.
After nearly two years of limited races due to the pandemic, Baber said popularity is increasing again.
“People are enthusiastic about getting back out there so our numbers are up and we’re happy to see everyone back out here.”
The race was one of about 30 that Baber organizes each year and was the first in a three-part series of three Made Me Do It races. Santa Made Me Do It (also in its 10th year) will take place in Bethlehem on Saturday, Dec 3 and Cupid Made Me Do It will take place in Willimantic on Saturday, Feb 12, 2022.
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin