Annual 5K memorializes Waterbury officer

April 2, 2019 | Republican-American

The fourth annual Chris Corbett 5K race, scheduled for Saturday, is only days away, and racers from around the state are expected to strap on their sneakers and hit the streets to raise funds to provide area students with scholarships.

Hundreds are expected to turn out for the event, including area police officers.

Deputy Police Chief Christopher Corbett was 40 when he died in 2015. He served the police department for 18 years, joining the force while he was in his early 20s. In addition to serving as a patrol officer early in his career, he headed the detective bureau and served as the department’s spokesman.

Corbett’s family, friends and fellow officers wanted to memorialize him, as well as his love of running and passion for the city’s schools. Corbett had been a student at the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts and was a track captain at Holy Cross High School. Race organizers, including his family and police, established the 5K and the Christopher D. Corbett Memorial Fund to honor him.

As of Wednesday, a high of 63 degrees was forecast for race day.

So far, more than 500 racers have signed up for the event and sponsors include Sega Ready Mix and O&G Industries. Frankie’s Hot Dogs, Dunkin Donuts, Calli Brothers and Desserts of Watertown are also expected to provide refreshments. Local Catholic schools also will be on hand to answer questions from prospective students and their parents.

Combined with contributions from racers, those sponsors allow for the awarding of scholarships for area students. So far, those contributions have allowed for $30,000 in scholarships to be awarded to more than 40 students.

Student participation will continue to be a focal point, as $1,000 technology grants will be awarded to the Catholic high school and elementary schools that have the most participation in the race.

In 2018, race proceeds helped ease the financial burden of 14 students from elementary schools through high schools.

The race starts at 8:30 a.m. at Holy Cross High School at Oronoke Road and Bradley Avenue. The course will take runners past the high school. It continues through residential streets and includes a tough hill or two.

Only racers who register before noon today can pick up early race bibs and shirts, as well as skip the lines on race day.

Pre-registration for the event, which costs $25, ends on Friday. Walk-ups on race day are welcome and the cost is $30. People can register online at

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