Westfield race held in honor of fallen police officer - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Westfield race held in honor of fallen police officer

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WESTFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Thousands made their way to Downtown on Saturday, not only to celebrate the city, but to pay tribute to a fallen police officer.

Elm Street was the site of the finish line for the inaugural Run Westfield Flat-Fast 5K.

Runners took part from across Western Massachusetts and beyond, with the first ones finishing the course in just over 13 minutes.

Race organizers said the event is a chance to celebrate the city.

"We started planning for this last April," said race organizer Bob Delisle. "We sat down and made the decision that we wanted to do something for the community. As it turned out, the community has bought in. Our Downtown merchants have come through and [there has been] surprisingly a very overwhelming response."

Of the 2,500 runners taking part, there was a team of 70 consisting of members from the Westfield Police Department.

The group, along with many others involved, paid tribute to fallen police Officer Jose Torres.

Torres died while on traffic detail at a construction site last year.

Part of the race proceeds will benefit the Officer Jose Torres Memorial Fund.

"It is just as cool as it gets," said Capt. Mike McCabe, who ran in the race. "Kara Torres has been thrust in the spotlight and now she will have a little revenue to give out to favorite charities of Jose, which are basically educational incentives. 'How to' youth programs like youth sports programs. It will have a huge impact."

Once the 5K was completed, a block party continued in the downtown area until 4 p.m.

Organizers expected more than 5,000 people, including the runners, to take part in Saturday's festivities.

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