Fairfield Half Marathon: Michelle Cotton takes son for a run

Milford's Michelle Cotton first got into running through her involvement with fundraising efforts for rare diseases because her son Michael suffers from SCADD, a rare autosomal recessive genetic disorder of fatty acid catabolism.

Cotton has now completed dozens of half marathons, most recently the Faxon Law Fairfield Road Races Half Marathon on Sunday.

Cotton, 43, did the event’s Lucas Challenge, in which runners compete in the annual Saturday 5K and the half marathon.

Cotton had a challenge in itself by pushing her 85-pound son in a stroller along the course for both the 5K and half marathon.

"We were soaked but we made it," she said of completing the 5K race in the rain.

Of course, thanks to the support runners receive on the half marathon course, there was ample opportunity for runners to get wet and cool off under the hot sun.

"People hosing you off while you're running, giving you water, holding signs, I've never seen so much support," Cotton said.

Cotton, who serves on the state's Rare Disease Council Advisory Committee, says she has lost 80 pounds through running and this lifestyle change has led to alterations in her career path

She is starting a business called Live Lean, which is for weight loss, endurance training, body composition testing and other forms of health management.

Milford Road Runners Club member Paul Miskowicz has done several half marathons, including running the Fairfield Half four times. Many of the races he runs are in cooler weather.

"It's usually a tough one because of the heat but the course is beautiful," Miskowicz said. The hose cool-downs courtesy of spectators is something Miskowicz looks forward to each year. "I think it helps a lot," he said.

"That really helps a lot," Dawn Jenci, secretary of the Milford Road Runners Club, concurs. Jenci has participated in the Fairfield Half about ten times throughout the years.

The half marathon was won by West Hartford's Everett Hackett in 1:07.15. The top female was New Hartford’s Annmarie Tuxbury, who was 13th in 1:20.10.

Top Milford finishers include Kira Ragazzo, who was 138th in 1:38.02, James Heenan, who placed 202nd in 1:40.56, and Nicole Semanchik, who was 252nd in 1:43.18.