Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to show the correct number of children killed in the Sandy Hook tragedy.

SOUTHINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) – A whopping 550 kids competed in the annual Race4Chase triathlon in honor of 7-year-old Chase Kowalski who was killed in the Sandy Hook tragedy. 

The race was in Southington. For six weeks, kids ages 6 to 12 trained for the triathlon, learning how to be a better runner, swimmer and biker.  

Race4Chase started ten years ago to honor Chase’s legacy. Chase was an athlete at a young age. He taught himself how to swim and was always on his bike. At 6 years old, he won first place in his age group in a kid’s triathlon. 

The next year, his life was cut short. He was one of the 20 children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012. 

To keep his memory alive, his family and hundreds of people across the state put together a training program to teach kids about a healthy lifestyle. The annual Race4Chase is bittersweet for Chase’s mom, Rebecca Kowalski.  

“I wish Chase was here, but we have continued his legacy,” said Kowalski. “His spirit is always here with us. It’s with the kids and they’ve grown to love him.”

The race has grown a lot since it started. 93 runners signed up for the first year. 550 kids competed this year, one of the largest groups they’ve had. In total, 5,000 kids have crossed the finish line. 

“After ten years, we can almost say mission accomplished and that was really to help the family recover from the tragedy,” said Kevin Grimes, the executive director for the Chase Michael-Anthony Kowalski Sandy Hook memorial foundation.