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Cupid’s Chase 5K returns to Lake Como streets

February 14, 2024 | Online Article

LAKE COMO — For the second year in a row, Lake Como hosted a Cupid’s Chase 5K race, giving runners from near and far a chance to try their hand at both love and ever-faster personal best times.

According to the race’s webpage, the 16th annual Cupid’s Chase 5K benefited Community Options Inc., a national nonprofit that provides “residential and employment support to people with disabilities,” specifically intellectual and developmental disabilities.

As of Wednesday, the 2024 Cupid’s Chase raised $18,567 in Lake Como alone, according to the race’s donation page.

Runners from all over the state and beyond participated, with 203 registrants; at the same time, dozens of similar Cupid’s Chase 5Ks were occurring throughout the country. During these races, runners labeled both “Unavailable” and “Available” take to the streets for a good cause, with the added bonus of a chance at love. According to Community Options, Inc. Managing Director Dina Casalaspro, the “Cupid’s Chase” race is so-named because of its proximity to Valentine’s Day each year.

“Today, across 12 states, we have about 10,000 runners, and it all kicks off around the same time at 10 o’ clock,” Ms. Casalaspro said. “[We] have it around Valentine’s Day every year…All the shirts on the back either have ‘available’ or ‘unavailable…’ whether you’re in a relationship or not.”

Community Options’ Chief Financial Officer David Sweeney explained that the organization’s anniversary roughly coincides with the Cupid’s Chase each year.

“We’re celebrating our 16th year [of the Cupid’s Chase] and yesterday was our 35th anniversary of Community Options,” he said. “It’s exciting. Last year we had 11,900 runners…we have 44-plus races going on, so this is just one of them…I joined this company 10 years ago and we only had a few races at the time, and I can tell you that just hearing about wedding proposals…a lot of people running around and they get engaged.”

While no known proposals happened during this year’s Lake Como Cupid’s Chase, the winners of the race were announced at Bar Anticipation — the race’s home base — some time after the starting gun, which went off at 10 a.m.

The overall female winner was Grace Sommers, 25, of Bridgewater, who finished handily with a time of 19 minutes and 40 seconds.

The overall male winner — and overall race winner — was Pierce Gomez, 22, of Marlboro, with a lightning-fast time of 18 minutes and 36 seconds.

Cupid’s Chase 5K returns to Lake Como streets -
Cupid’s Chase 5K returns to Lake Como streets –