John Tartaglio will ride in this year’s Folks on Spokes

Annual bike ride will be September 14

File Photo: John Tartaglio will ride in this year's Folks on Spokes event, which is Sept. 14.

File Photo: John Tartaglio will ride in this year’s Folks on Spokes event, which is Sept. 14.

Local triathlete, motivational speaker and author John Tartaglio will serve as the honorary ride chairperson for this year’s Folks on Spokes, which raises money for Milford’s mental health agency.

Bridges, the Milford area community based mental health services provider, will hold its 23rd Annual Folks on Spokes-Folks on Foot Ride, Run, Walk for Mental Health on Sunday, Sept. 14. The event includes a 5K race that will benefit home-based psychiatric and support services for children and adolescents.

The event raises awareness of mental health and proceeds support Bridges’ programs and services for children, adults and families with mental illnesses and addictions. Top sponsor of the event is The Milford Bank.

“We are so pleased to partner with John Tartaglio,” said Bridges’ CEO and President Barbara DiMauro. “He is an advocate for good overall health and a tremendous example of a young man who has met and overcome major challenges in his life. We believe his motivational message will be meaningful to our participants.”

Tartaglio contracted a rare and serious infection at the age of 17 and both of his legs and a portion of one arm were amputated to save his life. He has since gone on to earn his bachelors and masters degrees, all the while competing in triathlons and marathons.

Tartaglio is the first person without legs to ever complete the New York City Marathon. He now crosses the country sharing his inspirational story and motivating others to set and meet goals that align with their personal values.

Tartaglio will ride the 20-mile Folks on Spokes route and speak to the group when they return to the finish line at Fowler Field.

“I am really excited to take part in Folks on Spokes and hope my participation will encourage more people to sign up and enjoy this terrific day,” said Tartaglio. “Local non-profits like Bridges are in great need of funding so they can offer services to so many of our friends and loved ones in need.”

Other sponsors include Tony’s Bikes and Sports, Barrett Outdoor Communications, Napoli Deli and The Fitness Edge.

The 5K race will be timed by RatRace Timing and there will be awards for the first place male and female finishers. It will follow a new route to Fort Trumbull Beach and back. The 5K walk will follow the same route. There is one rest stop.

The non-competitive bicycle tour along the scenic coast of south central Connecticut allows riders to choose route distances of 5, 10, 20, 40, 50 or 66 miles. The routes are marked with the familiar blue and white FOS road signs and include several rest stops with water, fruit and energy bars. Tony’s Bike & Sports Shop of Milford offers help to cyclists with repairs.

Registration fees are $50 for adult cyclists and $40 for walkers. Children under 12 accompanied by an adult are $10 for both events. Online registration is found at bridgesct.org.

For more details or information or to sponsor or volunteer call Marcy Hotchkiss, 203-878-6365, ext. 359 or email mhotchkiss@bridgesmilford.org.

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