Borough man organizes race to benefit Relay

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BETHANY — Mike Cook of Naugatuck had two grandparents who died of cancer and many friends who have battled the disease.

So he’s merging his passion for running with his desire to help in the fight against cancer with a road race he is organizing for this weekend in Bethany.

“I thought this was the best way to have fun and help a good cause,” he said.

The “1st Annual Bethany Fight Back 5K” will be Sunday, March 29, starting at Bethany Town Hall, 40 Peck Road. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. The 5K run starts at 10 a.m. A one-mile walk will also begin at 10 a.m. A Kids Fun Run will start at 11:15 a.m. and the awards ceremony starts at 11:30 a.m.

Cook, a former Naugatuck track and cross country coach during the mid-to-late-1990s, said his wife, Peggy, is a member of the Relay for Life organization. Together, they want to help the organization as much as possible.

The entry fee is $20 for pre-registration, which closes Friday. It is $15 for Club 169 members and cancer survivors who register by Friday. It is $15 for people 18 and under and the kids fun run is $5, even for those who register on the day of the event. The fee for anyone else who registers on the day of the event is $25. Several vendors will be there as well. There will also be a clown and other fun events for children.

All money raised will be donated to the Greater Waterbury Relay for Life.

Chris Herb of Naugatuck, a cancer survivor, former burgess and local youth sports coach, will lead the opening prayer. Fred Scheithe, a longtime Naugatuck educator, high school coach and current girls’ basketball coach at City Hill Middle School, will be starting the race. He, too, is a cancer survivor.

Search the title of the event on Facebook for information and to register.