On behalf of the New Milford Parks and Recreation Department, we would like to thank all of those involved with the 40th Annual 8-Mile and 5th Annual 5K Road Races.

These events were held July 28 with 570 registered runners. The races were a huge success, with the greatest number of entries to date.

The tremendous support from our wonderful community, along with the hard-working staff at Parks Recreation, is the reason we are able to continue to offer elite and recreational runners the opportunity to compete against their peers on a challenging and picturesque course.

Let me "warm-up" by thanking Eleanor Covelli, Parks Recreation assistant director. Eleanor is an invaluable resource and is always willing to help in any aspect of the races, including hammering in signs and checking the course at 5 a.m. race day.

We would also like to thank the entire staff at the Parks Recreation Department who ensures that the race will "run" smoothly.

Thanks to Lorraine McEntee and Kim Fitch for their organizational skills, wealth of knowledge and incredible efficiency with registration, race numbers and runners' packets; Blaze Tuz, Curtis Thompson, Ryan Laurentus and Jonathan Gasiewski of the park maintenance staff for their hours of help with the delivery and set up of needed equipment, along with all their help on race day; and the Public Works Department, including Wayne Rogers, Al Russo, Don McSaveny, Jerry Hollins.

Of course, the race would not be possible without the support of our many sponsors and volunteers who combine teamwork with community spirit.

My thanks to the Village Fair Days Committee and chairpersons Fran and Bill Babbino for their assistance and friendly cooperation; and to Wallie Jahn of Road Track Sports for timing the race and for his continued expertise, advice, support and for also painting our mile markers along the course.

Special thanks to Henry Pennell of Washington for his continued help and inspirational support of the New Milford Road Races.

We were honored to have New Milford High School Girl's Cross Country Coach Tom Marks shoot the start gun for us.

We would like to thank our major sponsors: Circle Asphalt, Circle Stoneworks, Union Savings Bank, the medical and dental Staff of New Milford Hospital and O G Industries for their financial support.

As always, the pre-race and race publicity provided by the Greater New Milford Spectrum and the New Milford Times makes the race a huge success, and our thanks for all the press coverage and wonderful photos.

Thank you also to New Milford Hospital for providing the medical tent and to New Milford Community Ambulance for providing relief for our runners, if needed.

Our special thanks to Police Chief Colin McCormack and the outstanding officers of the New Milford Police Department for their support. These generous professionals ensure that the race is not only successful, but is also safe for our runners.

Additionally, we would like to thank the Peter Mullen family and the Kamp family and their outstanding group of volunteers who manage the finish line where the runners "cool down" and enjoy refreshments and water.

Special thanks to Sergio Lugori for building a "finish line shower" that provided relief to many of our athletes and which will be a welcome addition to our races for years to come.

We would also like to thank Vinny Van Wattum, Emily Covelli, along with Eleanor Covelli, for a great job with staffing the 5K race course.

Many thanks also to our other financial sponsors: the Village Center Organization (formerly the New Milford Downtown Business Alliance), Webster Bank, Drs. Phillips and Lambert, New Milford Foundry and Machine, Lillis Funeral Home, Attorney Cecilia Buck-Taylor, Candlewood Valley Pediatrics and Pineman Signs.

We would also like to thank the following businesses for their valuable contributions: Road ID, Wal-Mart, Big Y, The Cookhouse, All Aboard Restaurant, Italia Mia, and Three Brother's Restaurant who provided gift certificates as door prizes.

Our non-monetary sponsors who provided needed items for our runners include The Peanut Board, California Raisin Board, California Walnut Commission, Hazelnut Marketing Board, Triple Springs Water, Kimberly Clark, Stop Shop, Northville Market, H.H. Taylor Son, Tommy's Cleaners and Stew Leonard's.

We would like to recognize the fine services rendered by Glenn at Nitch to Stitch, Marty Carlson Sound System, Announcer Brent Hawkins and Mike at Road Track Sports.

We would like to thank the band, Last Place Victory, from Norwalk for getting up very early and volunteering their time to entertain the runners and volunteers before the race. They also performed along the 8-mile course at a water stop. Their music was certainly enjoyed by all.

Also, thanks to the New Milford High School cheerleaders for their cheers and support both at the start and finish line.

And to our many, volunteers who have given generously of their time and effort at registration, the finish line, refreshments, water stops, timing, entertainment and traffic and safety, our heartfelt thanks. If there is anyone who so generously helped us in this event and who I inadvertently omitted, please accept my apology and gratitude.

Thank you Christopher Gasiewski, Erin Stolz, Carly Gasiewski, Samantha Franze, Walt Gasiewski, Lisa Franze, Alexa LoRusso, JoAnn LoRusso, Maggie Murphy, Jimmy Lorusso, Frank McEntee, Laura Stewart, Patty Lau, Rich Lau, Andrea Baker, Chris McEntee, Henry Pennell Billy Levay, Jim Lorusso, and Steven Zielilnski

Also, Brooke McGrath, Sarah McGrath, Meeghan Doris, Glenda Ryning, Bill Kamp, Peter Mullen, Brad Kamp, Jeanne DiGiacomo, Oscar Rasmussin, Carol Sutton, John Dunne, Rufus deRham, Jack Bucinsky, Karen DeRienzo, Gary Scribner, Stephanie Taylor, Sean Dwyer, Jack Dwyer, Eddie Dwyer, Maggie Mullen, and Hannah Mullen.

Also, Jay Lewin, Nicholas Scribner, Zach Khoury, Roberta Baker, Jimmy Lau, Sean Dwyer, Nancy Rubino, Kurt Steiger, Carol Hoose, Robin Viklund, Bill Granada, Donna Ramsey, Barry Ramsey, Cheryl Caridad, Beth Falder, Rebecca Willet, Jen Lawson, Rachel Waldman, Bryan Rosselle, Gene Schilling, Paul Haley, Chris Burns, Chris Haylon, Connor Trafton and PJ Jamieson.

Also, the Brown family and volunteers at water stop 1: Bryon, Yvonne, Darrell Brown, Micah Lamb, Rob Wojciechowski, Emily Davis and Emily Dalmeyer; New Milford Swim Tennis Club at water stop 2: Dan Dolton, Haley Carey and Katie VanBuskirk; the Gelardi Family at water stop 3: Steven, Jenna, Anthony and Mary Gelardi; Debra Anderson and volunteer Jody at water stop 4; and the students from the Youth Leadership Group at Merryall Kennels at water stop 5: Mile Bellagamba, Sara Kelly, Shawn Childs, Ryan Firmender and Giles Vaughn.

Also, the volunteers at Fieldstone Nursery at water stop 6: Lexi Lorusso, Maggie Murphy, Sammie Franze and Lisa Franze; the volunteers from Stop Shop at water stop 7: Tom King, Bill Weinheimer, Laurie Wells, Donna Covill, Dottie Lynch and Rachael Lynch; the Labet Family at water stop 8: Laurel, Linda, Michael Matthew Labet, Kristy Cognetta, Katie Roffe andCam Roffe; and the volunteers from the Connecticut Titans Baseball Team at water stop 9: AJ Morrissey, BJ Nimer, Bryson Herr, CJ Sousa and Chris Haylon.

We would also like to thank all the fans who cheered for all the runners and those people along the route who provided hoses, water, music and encouragement.

As we approach the "finish line," I want to once again express my heartfelt thanks to all of you who made Race Day such a success.

And finally, to the runners, who were so inspirational and made our races so exciting and worthwhile, many thanks. See you all on July 26, 2008!

Michele Gasiewski

Race Coordinator

Dan Calhoun

Director, Parks Recreation

New Milford