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Lyme Disease Race Draws Crowd in Westport

WESTPORT, Conn. – Runners and walkers from Fairfield County and beyond turned out Sunday at Sherwood Island State Park for the fourth annual Walk/Run to Turn the Corner on Lyme.

Jeff Townsend won the men’s race in the 5K, and Corky Sturtevant won the women’s division. In the 10K, Kevin Robertson and Jessica LeBoeuf, both of Norwalk, were the men’s and women’s winners.

The race was hosted by Westport resident Orna Grand . Assisting her were Westport resident Stacia Jacobs and Kimberly Weigle and Norwalk resident Wendy Leahy and many more.

The goal of the event was to raise awareness for Lyme disease and other tick- borne diseases on behalf of Turn the Corner Foundation , a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and funds for research and education.

The event included 1.5- and 3-mile walks, in addition to the races. There were 137 walkers and 186 runners at the event. Approximately $26,000 has been raised thus far from donations. Contributions can still be made at www.turnthecorner.org/walks.

Residents of Virginia, Vermont, Massachusetts and New York participated in the event. Sturtevant, the women’s 5K winner, visited from Springfield, Va. Complete results are available on clubct.org. The winners received awards from Russell Athletics and Patagonia of Westport.

Speakers included Westport’s Grand, Stacy Grodin, founder and president of Turn the Corner Foundation, and Stacey Sobel, executive director of Turn the Corner Foundation. Sobel announced the formation of the Tick Borne Disease Alliance (TBDA). TBDA was formed when Turn the Corner joined with the Tick-Borne Disease Initiative. TBDA's mission remains raising awareness, educational programs and research for a reliable test for Lyme.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who has been a long-time supporter of the Lyme Community, attended and spoke about his dedication to fighting the epidemic of tick-borne diseases and the tick-borne disease legislation he has co-sponsored in the Senate.

Also present were representatives of the Westport Weston Health District, Ridgefield Health District and Lyme Literate Physicians, massage therapists and other Lyme resources.

The national anthem was sung by Staples High School senior Jaimee Yarmoff, followed by a stretching session led by personal trainer Ellen Burg from New York. Participants were treated to massages by Carissa Guylass, Tony Trujillo and Emily Volpintesta. Music played by Andre Kerr and his band That Truth helped the runners and the walkers find their pace.

Community sponsors included Connecticut Tick Control, Healing Hearts of Wilton, Patagonia of Westport, Honda of Westport, Party City, Whole Foods of Westport, Gold’s Deli, Igenex, Crystal Rock, Andre Kerr of Bridgeport, Westport Weston Health District, Ridgefield Task Force BLAST program, Ridgefield Support Group, Fairfield Lyme Resource, Lena Minervino – University of Bridgeport Clinic, Mike Guylass Xocai Healthy Chocolates, Organic Massage Therapy of Trumbull, Emily Volpintesta, Tony Trujillo, Skinner Photography, 95.9 the Fox, Deni Weber – Inner Change Holistic Counseling, Lena Minervino – UB Clinics, Tony Spero – A Touch of Magic, and Joyce Rogalin and Heather Johnson from Juice Plus.

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