- FUN FEATURES
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Halloween is a busy day every year. People across the country are buying candy, searching for a costume, or carving a pumpkin last minute. Cheshire teenager Brian Higgins, along with his parents John and Margaret, chose to fill up their morning with a different sort of activity in New Haven.
Higgins won his division (male age 13–19) of The Connection’s Wicked Good 5K Run at Lighthouse Point Park, finishing in 18 minutes and 11 seconds. More than 500 people participated in the 5K and half-mile fun run. Kids games and activities, such as pumpkin bowling, “toy in the haystack,” pumpkin and gourd coloring, and best costume contest, stuck to the Halloween theme. Competitors received free face-painting, food, and beverages after the race.
“It was pretty cool,” reflected Higgins, a junior on the Cheshire High School boys’ cross country team. “I’ve never been in the top 10 of a road race with that many people.”
He didn’t learn of the event’s purpose until arrival. Registration proceeds went back to The Connection Incorporated, a statewide human service agency that creates programs to address behavioral health, supportive housing, and community health. The agency represents over 4,000 people. According to organizers, $20,000 was raised this year.
“I heard it was helping people overcome addiction. They were sponsoring a halfway house,” said Higgins. “It was a good cause.”
His parents got him interested in distance running. His sister, Meg, also runs at CHS.
“It’s a fun sport that keeps you in shape. It gives you an adrenaline rush at the start of the race and to see you are ahead,” explained Higgins.
Higgins has run the New Haven Road Race every year since joining the cross country program as a freshman. He enjoyed the Hot Cocoa 5K and Kid’s Fun Run in Cheshire. Two years ago, he did the General Electric (GE) 5K Road Race benefiting the Petit Family Foundation. Age-diverse races are different from running in high school.
“Most of the people were adults. It was definitely different having older people around me,” stated Higgins of his Halloween experience. “During the race, I didn’t see any 13- to 19-year-olds. It was pretty cool to win and get a trophy.”
He hadn’t previously visited Lighthouse Point Park, a spot that he found scenic for a race. John (25:00) and Margaret (34:53) Higgins ran behind him.
“It wasn’t that difficult of a course,” explained Higgins. “It’s still easier to run a course that you know. It is always tough seeing a hill.”
Higgins is still learning to pace himself.
“Some people have a natural pace,” Higgins said. “I think, in that race, I went out too fast. My first mile was 5:37. After you run a lot of races, you get a feel for your pace.”
While he enjoyed the experience, Higgins doesn’t plan on participating next year. The race falls on the same weekend as the Class LL Championship for the CHS Rams. Cheshire didn’t qualify for the State Open this fall, so Higgins was free to sign up for a road race.
“Hopefully, our season will still be going next year,” stated Higgins.