Hats off to North Haven's own Jim Kennedy and Kurt Tietjen for completing every since the inaugural race in 1978. What's changed for these runners in the 35 years this race started? Probably the length of their running shorts and the height of their athletic socks.
These runners are part of an elite group of 19 runners – all men – who have participated in every New Haven Labor Day 20K (see all 20K race results since 1998).
A press release by race organizers states that all 19 participants are expected to run again this year. The race is expected to see 7,000 runners participate – the max allowed – in the 20K race. There is also a 5K race and a kids' race. There is no race-day registration.
The oldest runners in the group are George Papuga of East Haven and James McCormack Jr., of West Haven – both are 69. The youngest runner is North Haven's Tietjen, who is 51. There are also three cancers survivors among the group.
Want to root for the 19 veteran racers? Here are the special yellow-colored bib numbers they will be wearing.
Peter HalseyNew Haven
Thomas HolmanNew Haven
Jim KennedyNorth Haven
Charles MatassaNew Haven
James McCormack Jr.West Haven
George PapugaEast Haven
Peter SanchezNew Haven
Kurt TietjenNorth Haven