NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Runners in the Elm City hit the pavement for the Faxon Law New Haven Labor Day Road Race on Monday.
The race took place Monday morning on the New Haven Green, and the route wound past Yale University, East Rock Park, and the Westville neighborhood.
After a pandemic year when just about everyone had to run the race virtually, the Faxon Law New Haven Road Race is back with 3,000 runners attending in-person.
All four races were back this year. That includes the half-mile Fun Run for kids to start the day off. News 8’s Kent Peirce asked 9-year-old Michael Cantu if he was good at running. “Kind of,” was his answer.
His family sure is. His dad ran a marathon just last week, and his grandfather, Inocencio “Ino” Cantu, holds two age-group world records for running the mile.
“World record in 80-year-old at 6:42. Five years later, I ran 7:46,” Cantu said. “My American record in the 800 is 3:06 for the 80 year-olds.”
He will be putting that pace to the test in the 5K, the same race News 8’s own Chief Meteorologist Gil Simmons ran.
There is also a 20K and a half marathon. That 20K is special for a couple of reasons.
For one, there is the streak. Eight men, known as the “Streakers,” have now run all in all 44 New Haven Road Races. Jim McCormack is one of them and says these races are not getting any easier.
“It’s really a pain getting prepared for it when you get to the day, but then you get a little pride and you’re very happy you’re doing it,” McCormack said.
Last year, when the pandemic caused the race to go virtual, it was just the streakers allowed out on the course on Labor Day to keep the streak alive. All eight returned again this year, happy to have the crowds again.
“Oh sure. Oh, sure. It is exciting,” said McCormack. “But I’m also happy when it’s over.”
The other reason the 20K is special is that it is a national championship race that draws the best runners from around the country. This year, that includes a few Olympians and a woman who has been on the podium of the Boston Marathon twice. Monday’s race had a very exciting dash to the finish, right around the one-hour mark. No matter the finishing time, however, everyone said it is just nice to be back doing this in person.
If you live in the area, roads will shut down from 1 a.m. until noon. Click here for a list of streets closing down.
The Faxon Law Road Race is a nonprofit organization and raises money for New Haven’s Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen and the Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS).