Mayor Mark Lauretti had been selected as honorary starter for the 13th annual Commodore Hull Thanksgiving Day 5K Road Race to be held Nov. 27.
The race committee names an individual to the position annually to recognize their community work in Shelton and Derby.
Race committee members noted Lauretti’s support has been a critical reason for the race’s success from the first year.
“Without the support of the cities, this race would not be possible,” committee members said. “The logistics are very tricky, but [Lauretti] has always offered his advice and support as this grew from a simple idea to a Thanksgiving tradition.”
Lauretti also happens to be one of only 23 people who have run in every one of the previous 12 races on Thanksgiving Day, and he also brings along other members of his family to run.
For many runners, Lauretti has become their own benchmark for a successful race — as they target him as their person to beat.
Attracts runners from many places
The Commodore Hull Race brings people from all over the country to the streets of Shelton and Derby and memorializes one of this country’s greatest naval heroes. Commodore Isaac Hull commanded the U.S.S. Constitution (Old Ironsides) in the War of 1812 and grew up in Derby and Shelton.
In the previous 12 years, the race has raised over $100,000 for the benefit of the Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley.
For information about the race, go to www.electronicvalley.org/derby/HullRace/.
Mark Lauretti’s background
Lauretti has been mayor of Shelton since 1991, being re-elected to a 12th term in 2013. During his time in office, Shelton has experienced an unprecedented period of economic growth and also taken steps to preserve open space.
The mayor has a bachelor’s degree in pre-environmental zoology from Ohio University and a master’s degree in science education from Syracuse University.
He has worked as teacher and track and basketball coach at Shelton High School, Syracuse University and Central High School in Bridgeport. In 1979, he played in a professional basketball league in Italy.
Lauretti is involved in many local and regional governmental and nonprofit organizations, such as the Metropolitan Planning Organization in Bridgeport, State Nutmeg Games, Housatonic Council of Boy Scouts of America, Fairfield County Sports Commission and Valley Transit District.
He and his wife Anndee have four children — Alexa, Nicholas, Anthony and Joseph.