Runners celebrate Halloween at MxCC’s 5K by Middletown Press

The Middletown Press

Runners celebrate Halloween at MxCC’s 5K

Published: Sunday, November 1, 2009 9:59 PM EST, By Leslie Parsons, Press staff

MIDDLETOWN — Onlookers stood on either side of Training Hill Road, cheering and straining to recognize the face of Brendan Atkins, 24, of Old Lyme, who would be the first to cross the finish line of the sixth annual Middlesex Community College Scholarship 5K Run and Walk Saturday.”

Atkins, who also won last year’s race, completed the 5K course in 17:37 and finished more than 30 seconds before the second-place runner.”

Lindsay Krysiak, 20, of Coventry, was the first female to finish the race, coming in at 21:53. Both Atkins and Krysiak were named the overall champions of the race and received a trophy and an apple pie from Lyman Orchards in Middlefield as their prize.”

According to Trent Wright, one of the race’s directors, there were more runners this year than in previous years, despite drizzling that persisted throughout the race. He said that approximately 88 runners and 12 walkers participated, coming from across the central Connecticut area.”

Hannah Robinson, 20, a Wesleyan University junior from Pawcatuck, who finished 33rd in the race with a time of 23:22, said that a fellow student suggested that they participate in the race with their research lab.

“We are doing a team-bonding activity,” she said.”

Barrie Robbins-Pianka, 63, of Middletown, came running across the finish line with a time of 26:07. “It’s a good day to run with company,” she said. “I had always heard it’s a very nice race.””

Robbins-Pianka finished the race barefoot after having run half of the race without her shoes. Her father often ran barefoot and Robbins-Pianka continued the tradition.”

“I think I get better results,” she said. “It feels very natural.” She said that she wanted to “do something different,” but admitted that it was a challenge to run barefoot because the course included many gravel roads. ”

Runners started on Training Hill Road, and then ran down Brooks Road and Cedar Lane before turning around on Cedar past Reservoir Road and running back to where they began the race.”

“We’re creating it into more than a race,” said Greg Kline, director of institutional advancement for Middlesex Community College, who considered the 5K event a “community day.” Beyond the race itself, those in attendance were treated to a performance by the Pratt & Whitney Screamin’ Eagles Band, as well as the All American Military Vehicle Show, courtesy of the Connecticut Military Vehicle Collectors Club of Portland.”

The Middlesex Community College Foundation hosts the event every year in order to raise money primarily for student scholarships, but also for academic programs that need funding.”

This year, funding was collected through donations from sponsors, a steamed cheeseburger event hosted earlier in the fall for students, a raffle drawing and registration from runners.”

“We hope that we will come really close to $10,000,” Kline said. “It’s certainly the most we’ve raised at this event.””

Prizes were awarded to the winners in each of eight different age categories. According to Kline, this year was the first that included a race category for runners 12 and under. This year’s participants ranged in age from 9 to 73.

As the event was held on Halloween, a costume contest was also held for participants who ran in costume. According to Kline, there were three costumed runners dressed as a bumble bee, a dog and a cat.”

Shannon Jezek, 24, of Moodus, a student at Middlesex”

Community College in human services, won a $50 gift card to Wal-Mart for her cat costume based on voting by audience applause.”

For more information on the Middlesex Community College Foundation, visit ”

For a complete list of race results, visit”


The following are comments from the readers. In no way do they represent the view of

Geen time to get in shape wrote on Nov 2, 2009 8:54 AM: ”

” What a great event and a great turn out. I do believe that it’s time the mayor’s assistant get’s in shape. Watching him run was “painful”

“Keep up the good work Geen LOL… “