With Tucker's blessing, road race celebration begins
The crowd gathered for a blessing at Road Race Park in Litchfield on Wednesday. ~ Photos by W. Scott Petersen
The lengthy celebration that is the Litchfield Hills Road Race kicked into high gear on Wednesday when race officials and supporters gathered at Road Race Park along the race course for a blessing by the Rev. Robert F. Tucker, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Church.
The 42nd annual LHRR will be held Sunday at 1 p.m. But first, there is much to celebrate regarding what the race means to the community.
It all started at Road Race Park, the small grassy area at the base of Plumb Hill that serves as a memorial to longtime race supporters Roberta Coffill Healy and George Dwan. Coffill Healy and Dwan stationed themselves at the spot on the course for many years to cheer on runners.
The ceremony at the park saw Tucker bless the grounds and race officials honor race numbers that have been retired. The numbers belonged to individuals who have passed away or no longer run, like Tucker, whose number 75 (his age) was among the numbers honored.
At one time, Tucker was the fastest priest in the Archdiocese of Hartford.
Father Tucker conducts his blessing.
Father Tucker, with LHRR co-founder Billy Neller, holds the race number bearing his age. Below, Father Tucker with LHRRPresident Beth Murphy.