NEWINGTON - Bruno has found his way.
Now in its second year, the road race memorializing the Kowal and Jeffery family’s miniature pinscher will take place on a brand new certified course next weekend.
Bruno’s Way 5K Race and Fitness Walk is set for Saturday, Oct. 23 with a 9 a.m. start, at the intersection of Browning and Hillcrest Avenues.
“Bruno was a rescue from the south that we found online and he was with us for only a year before he passed away,” race founder Andrea Kowal told the Herald Monday. “He was a very special dog.”
Bruno was hit by a car. Despite the fact the family has a fenced in yard he followed someone outside without their knowledge and was struck on the busy road.
“We think he had a tough life before he came to us,” Kowal recalled of the pup’s personality. “He was very skittish and nervous but he was coming out of his shell. We have two other small dogs and all three would cuddle. He just melted right in with our family.”
They came up with the idea for the race in Jan. 2020, shortly before covid-19 hit Connecticut.
The inaugural Bruno’s Way Road Race took place in fall of 2020. Despite it being a difficult time during the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, the event raised over $3,000 for the Connecticut Humane Society (CHS) in Bruno’s honor.
Proceeds from the event go to benefit the rescued animals served by the CHS, who often require urgent surgeries and treatments due to chronic conditions, injuries and illness when they enter the shelter facilities. It also provides spay and neutering services for countless pets who are served at the CHS’ Fox Memorial Clinic in Newington.
CHS Development Manager Priscilla Clark helped Kowal start the first race and the two have been working together to bring it back for a second year.
“Andrea and her Bruno’s Way Leadership Team are bringing so many communities together to support CHS pets,” Clark said. “We greatly appreciate their time and talents to make their second annual event a big success for pets in need. And it’s a beautiful way to honor the memory of her beloved pup, Bruno.”
Because the Lucy Robbins Welles Library 5K did not take place last fall, Bruno’s 5K used the library’s race route.
Organizers finalized their own certified route this year, which also meanders through the quiet residential neighborhood around Mill Pond Park.
Register at cthumane.org/brunosway by this Thursday, Oct. 21. Race day check-in starts at 8:15 a.m. and participants must sign up in advance.
Prizes will be awarded to the morning’s top finishers and all race participants will go home with a free gift as a thank-you for their support. Walkers will have a shortened route which will be presented on race day. The Pet-Friendly Fitness Walk kicks off at 9:30 a.m.
Parking will be available at Newington Town Hall on Garfield St. and at the overflow lot across from the Polish American Club on Wilson Ave.
People who registered for the race by mid-September had the special opportunity to participate in virtual training sessions with professional running coach Debora Warner, founder of the Mile High Run Club in New York City.
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at email@example.com.