By Christian Colon, Andrew Masse
WALLINGFORD, Connecticut (WFSB) — Hundreds of runners crawled through mud and went over fire during the seventh annual Gaylord Gauntlet.
This 5K was held to benefit those with permanent physical and visual impairments.
The plow through the mud, the climb over walls, the walk near flames nor a disability didn’t stop 500 runners from taking on the gauntlet.
“Just to finish and not get hurt. That’s what I want to accomplish today. If I can do that, it’s going to be a good day for me,” David Alejandro of Naugatuck tells us.
“I am trying to beat my time from two years ago, 53 minutes. If I can go faster than that, I will be happy,” Naugatuck resident Mike Tubiak said.
Mike and David have retinitis pigmentosa, which limits their sight, but with the help of a guide, these ultimate warriors ran the 5K and didn’t give up.
“If I can, so can you,” stated Alejandro.
“That’s the idea. That’s what we say. I come here so, hopefully, someone sees me and says, ‘Oh I didn’t think I can do this and that guy is doing it’. That’s what keeps me going,” continued Tubiak.
For seven years, this run has happened, except last year, because of COVID.
That energy held back was released today to raise money for the Gaylord Sports Association, which provides sports and recreation opportunities to those who are adaptive.
The race was limited to 500 and split into waves, because of COVID safety.
One of those waves was Team Otis where Sharon Reynolds sprinted along with sixteen of her loved ones.
“My husband was a patient here years ago. We saw flyers for it was the second year and I grabbed some of my friends, and said we are going to do this, because this place is amazing,” says Reynolds.
The run went through a golf course and ended with a slide down a mountain, and a victorious ending with flames.
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