Hats off to ’s own Rick Conte, Steven McLaughlin and William Schaeffer for completing every since the inaugural race in 1978. What's changed for these runners in the 35 years this race has been held? Probably the length of their running shorts and the height of their athletic socks.
These Branford runners are part of an elite group of 19 runners – all men – who have participated in every New Haven Labor Day 20K (see all 20K race results since 1998).
A press release by race organizers states that all 19 participants are expected to run again this year. The race is expected to see 7,000 runners participate – the max allowed – in the 20K race. There is also a 5K race and a kids' race. Those interested in joining the 19 seasoned runners, ; online registration closes today at 12 p.m.; there is no race-day registration.
Branford’s Conte, McLaughlin and Schaeffer each have 34 Labor Day races under their belts and among them is one runner who had to finish the race in a wheelchair twice because of injury. The oldest runners in the group are George Papuga of East Haven and James McCormack Jr., of West Haven – both are 69. The youngest runner is Kurt Tietjen of North Haven who is 51. There are also three cancers survivors among the group.
Do you know one of Branford’s three runners participating? Wish him good luck in the comments or let us know more about your race history. How many New Haven Labor Day races have you run?
Want to root for the 19 veteran racers? Here are the special yellow-colored bib numbers they will be wearing.
Peter HalseyNew Haven
Thomas HolmanNew Haven
Jim KennedyNorth Haven
Charles MatassaNew Haven
James McCormack Jr.West Haven
George PapugaEast Haven
Peter SanchezNew Haven
Kurt TietjenNorth Haven