'Feet Beats 5K' race to benefit heart association

The "Feet Beats 5k" benefit road race will be hosted March 22 in Washington by resident Kelsey Hall as part of her Shepaug Valley High School senior project.

Net proceeds will be donated to the American Heart Association.

"This project was inspired by my oldest nephew," said Kelsey, who comes from a running family. "who was born with a congenital heart defect, called TAPVR."

Gabriel Hall was born in September 2011 with a rare congenital heart disease.

"It was a nearly fatal diagnosis if not for immediate open heart surgery," explained Kelsey. "This sudden and unexpected turn of events sent shock waves through our family. Luckily, Gabe was able to get the surgery he needed in time."

"For me, it certainly put many things in life into perspective," she added. "Due to the emotional nature of this event and his inspirational recovery, I decided to incorporate Gabe's story into my senior project."

The race's noon start will be from near the RiverWalk Pavilion adjacent to Washington Primary School.

The course is a flat out-and-back with a turn around at the entrance to Steep Rock Reservation along River Road.

Online pre-registration is open at http://register.fasttracktiming.com.

If a person is unable to run yet wants to contribute, a "virtual runner" option is available on the online registration.

Race-day registration will begin at 10 a.m. at the Washington Primary School at 11 School Street.

Cost will be $15 for students aged 18 and younger and $20 for all others. The first 75 to register will receive a T-shirt.

Awards will be given to the top overall male and female, and to the top three in male and female age groups 18 and younger, 19-29, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 and 60 and older.

"I want to raise awareness about different heart defects, specifically what my nephew was diagnosed with," said Kelsey, "as well as fundraise for the American Heart Association."

"A 5k road race seemed like a great fit," she concluded, "for it also ties in my interest in running and brings together a sense of community."

For more information, email Kelsey Hall at feetbeats5k@fasttracktiming.com or call 860-499-0569.