Run 169 Towns Society

Do Every Blessed Town In Connecticut (DEBTICONN) 

Mission Statement

Do Every Blessed Town In Connecticut (DEBTiConn). This Society of runners has been formed by men and women who aspire racing in every town in the state of Connecticut. 

Realizing that racing successfully in every town in Connecticut is a lifetime accomplishment, the founders of this Society have formulated a set of rules in order to recognize and validate runners attempting to achieve this goal.

There are no fees or dues to become a member of this Society. Runners whether or not affiliated with running clubs are welcome. It is not the intent of this Society to disenfranchise a runner from his or her running club but rather to work harmoniously with any running club to nurture, inform and encourage any candidate who wishes to persevere the goal of running in all 169 towns in Connecticut, as prescribed in the adopted rules.

Minors age 18 and under are welcomed into the Society with written permission from their parents or legal guardians. You can download the Waiver Form by CLICKING HERE.

"All You Have To Do Is Show Up And Run"

​​Rules and Definitions

Town: There are 169 towns in Connecticut.  Naugatuck is a borough, but also a town.  Danielson is a borough, but not a town.  Rather, Danielson is a borough within the town of Killingly.  Most towns contain several villages.  Completion of races within two or more villages of the same town constitutes completion of only one town.  Listings and a map of official Connecticut towns are available from a number of internet sources, as well as from the DEBTiConn website.

Race: In order to be considered a sanctioned, official race, the event or its participant must meet all of the following requirements:

  1. Complete registration.
  2. Meet entry requirements.
  3. Meet race identification requirements.
  4. Supply recorded participant times.
  5. Complete at least 50% of the designated distance, abbreviated only due to injury, illness, or unanticipated emergency as validated by DEBTiConn charter members.

Virtual Race: A virtual race conforms to requirements (1)- (4) of a race, with the course of the virtual race designed by the participant(s).  Virtual races run on officially, nationally sanctioned virtual run days such as World Run Day (WRD, first Sunday of November) and Super Bowl Sunday Virtual Run Day maybe completed by a single runner with race validation by DEBTiConn charter members, or on any other selected day by three or more runners with the race validated by DEBTiConn charter members.

Virtual races cannot provide for completion of a town in which an official race is offered, even if the virtual race has been completed before the availability of an official race in that town.

Virtual races are intended as a means of completing those towns which provide no race to run, not as a way of more rapidly completing towns or of avoiding running actual races in accordance with their specified dates, locations, and distances.

Completion-  A town is considered complete by virtue of one of the following criteria:

  1. Finishing an officially sanctioned race designed for the town. 
  2. Finishing a virtual race on a course designed by DEBTiConn members in which a minimum of three DEBT’ers participate.

Validation: Validation is the process of reinstating complete status for a town by satisfying criterion (1) for a town previously satisfying only criterion (2) (Virtual race)

  1. Race in every town in Connecticut. This is a fun, challenging way to see and learn about every town in this beautiful state.
  2. An official race is a race that starts in one town and is organized/planned by any organization, agency, school, church from the particular town.
  3. An unofficial race is called a virtual run- a DEBTiCONN race- and must be done with two other runners. An unofficial race can also be done on World Run Days or Special Event Days with any amount of people in any town in Connecticut as stated on the web page. The race must be at least a 5k race, 3.1 miles. A virtual run will be considered a race in the selected town until validated with an official race.
  4. This quest is purely by choice and racers race in unofficial races at their own risk.
  5. A person completing this quest must have no more than 10% virtual races or 17 towns as there are some towns that do not have official races and may not have one. Any virtual run must be sanctioned by the King or Queen prior to arrangement.
  6. If a racer is unable to finish a race, virtual or official, due to injury, misdirection, darkness, then the Reigning King and Queen will meet with the Advisory Council and determine if at least 1/2 mile of the said race was completed.
  7. Upon completion of 169 towns, a King and Queen will be selected accordingly from records presented. Prior to the coronation, the King and Queen must be willing to accept the royal responsibilities of sanctioning races and supporting racers whenever possible. If someone completes this quest and chooses not to be royalty and accept the responsibilities then the Reigning King and Queen will remain in those positions until acceptance by a new King or Queen of said responsibilities.


Any revisions, amendments, supplements or modifications to the Bylaws may only be accomplished by way of the following voting procedure:

Whenever an issue arises which directly affects the Bylaws, the Society's Executive Board which consists of the King, Queen, (former & present), Founding Members, Officers, and Vested Members with at least 85 Towns completed with no virtuals will meet to discuss and decide by majority vote its disposition. The King or Queen will ratify the vote.

A plaque will be presented to those who complete races in all 169 towns.


Amendment No. 2013A     Enacted June 18, 2013

This Amendment revises the rules by repealing criterion no. 2 and any language relating to it. 

There will be two criterion only. 

No. 1 An Official Sanctioned race starting/designated by the Race Promoter for a certain Town ( Reg. Race ). No credits will be granted for nearby towns that the race passes over. All other pertinent description in the Bylaws will remain in force. 

No. 2 Virtual Runs - The Criteria as described in the Bylaws remains in force. 

Changes in the Bylaws do not apply to those members that have taken credit under the Multi-Town Rule prior to 6/18/13 since they will be considered "Grandfathered".

Amendment No. 2014A  Approved on October 16, 2014

This amendment to the bylaws allows for current Middle and High School students who are members of their Cross Country Teams to take credit for towns where the Meets occur if they satisfactorily complete those running events.

The maximum credits allowed under those conditions are 10.  If a credit is validated by a regular race another Meet credit may be redeemed but not to exceed 10 at any given time.  The minimum distance for the race event must be at least 1.5 miles which is the norm for Middle School.

XC credits will be redeemed through the Submit Race Page and authenticated by the parent or guardian in the comment section.  If a XC Meet credit is validated by a regular race it must be submitted through the Submit Race Page and so noted in the comment section


Table Below Shows Listing of Towns and Villages in Connecticut 

Karen Rogers has become the ultimate road racing townie

By Joe Wojtas

Publication: The Day

Published 06/03/2011 12:00 AM

Updated 06/03/2011 01:12 AM

One hundred and sixty-three down. Three to go.

For the past 11 years, Karen Rogers of Clinton has been trying to run a race in all of Connecticut's 169 towns and cities.

Her first year, she knocked out 50 as she met her goal of running 50 races in the year she turned 50 years of age.

Since then she has crisscrossed the state, slowly chipping away at her goal. Along the way, several other people have joined her quest although she is the furthest along.

As she got down to the final 10 or so towns, she ran into a problem — they didn't have races. Click here to keep reading.

RANDALL BEACH: These 'driven' runners are on a statewide, 169-town quest

Published: Sunday, September 09, 2012

By Randall Beach, Register Staff / Twitter: @rbeachnhr

There’s a group of people for virtually every cause or endeavor, so why not a society of folks who want to run in a race in every town in Connecticut?

I met one of these people in Prospect seven years ago. Ric Villarreal had made it to about 125 of the state’s 169 towns at that point. And he ran them barefoot.

Recently, I heard about another guy pursing this quest, North Haven’s Steve Mele, and he told me there’s a whole pack of them working on this goal.

When I visited Mele at his condo to find out more, he was all suited up in his running shirt advertising “CT 169 Towns Society.” The front of the shirt said “Running is my happy hour.”

The society also calls itself DEBTiConn: Do Every Blessed Town in Connecticut. Click here to keep reading.

Running A Race In Every Town

Lori Riley

8:37 PM EDT, October 20, 2012

Runners are always looking for new challenges. So before Karen Rogers turned 50, she started thinking about trying to run 50 marathons in 50 states.

But the travel was expensive, the training extensive and Rogers, of Clinton, decided to stick a little closer to home with her goal: How about running a race in all 169 towns in Connecticut?

That was in 1998. She turned 50 in 1999. Her goal was to run 50 races that year and she did.

"That's when I thought, 'This is doable,'" she said. "Connecticut is probably the 'racing-est' state. There is a race almost every single weekend."

She found herself starting one race at 8 in the morning, say, in Durham, and ending up running another in Greenwich that afternoon, just because she "needed" both towns and the races happened to fall on the same day.

Rogers completed her 13-year quest in November of 2011 with a "virtual race" in Ledyard. Like some towns in the state, Ledyard doesn't have a road race. After about six months of checking with town officials and trying to figure out how to get an official race going (to no avail), Rogers and a group of fellow DEBTiConn (Do it in Every Blessed Town in Connecticut) runners descended upon Ledyard and had their own race, and Rogers became the first of the 18-member group to race in Every Blessed Town. Click here to keep reading

Hundreds come to Meriden for Tradition Run

Amanda L. Webster | Posted: Sunday, January 27, 2013 10:17 pm

MERIDEN — Despite the biting cold that has settled over the state during the past week, runners from all over Connecticut showed up for the Bernie Jurale Memorial Tradition Run Sunday morning.

About 275 people gathered at Hubbard Park for the event’s 44th year despite temperatures well below freezing.

“Some like it colder,” said Jane Earnest, administrative facility coordinator for Meriden Parks and Recreation.

Runners are generally a hardy group and weather isn’t an issue most years, but with temperatures not rising much above 20 most of the week, race officials were concerned, Earnest said. The good news was that temperatures were a little warmer Sunday.

“This is probably the coldest year that we’ve ever worked,” said Earnest.

Some participants saw the slight rise in temperature and clear skies as perfect conditions for a run.

First time participant Adam Osmond said he was extremely excited to make his way up the trail.

“I was driving down 691 and I saw the top of the hill and thought, ‘Holy cow! I’ve got to get up there!’ ” he said.

Osmond explained that he dealt with the cold by wearing plenty of layers and expected to do fine.

The trail up to Castle Craig is 3.1 miles long and many of the runners made the journey both up and down.

Vans awaited those at the top who preferred a ride back down.

People came to participate in the run for various reasons.

“This is more like a training run, get ready for half marathons,” said Darrell Netto, of Colchester. Netto said that he usually runs about 50 to 60 races a year and that the Tradition Run was a way to help condition him for an upcoming half marathon in his hometown.

Ken Vestergaard, of Cheshire, showed up with his entire family in tow to run in memory of Ken’s father, Erik Vestergaard, who passed away in December.

“My dad got me into this back in the early 80s,” said Vestergaard. “It was a dad-son challenge. My dad was always here but I wasn’t as faithful until the last 10 years. It’s turned into a family challenge.”

Vestergaard, his wife and four children, along with his brother, all came out to honor the man who made the TraditionRun a family tradition.

“This year it’s a little emptier,” Vestergaard said, remembering his father.

The race began at 10 a.m. for those who wanted to walk and at 10:30 a.m. for those who wanted to run. Runners started arriving at the top about 20 minutes after they started.

Race officials said they never confirmed the name of the man who finished first because he ran back down the hill and left the park before they could speak to him.

Whitney Watts of Cheshire was the second person to finish.

“The hill is killer,” said Watts as he stopped to catch his breath. “It was a little cold but not too bad once you get going. At least it wasn’t snowing.” Click here to keep reading.

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer Coventry - posted Tue., Oct. 8, 2013 Adam Osmond displays a map showing the 44 different Connecticut towns in which he has competed in road races thus far. Osmond is a member of DebtiConn (Do Every Blessed Town in Connecticut), a group whose members aspire to run a race in each of the state's 169 towns. Photos by Adam Osmond displays a map showing the 44 different Connecticut towns in which he has competed in road races thus far. Osmond is a member of DebtiConn (Do Every Blessed Town in Connecticut), a group whose members aspire to run a race in each of the state's 169 towns. Photos by Melanie Savage. Click here to keep reading.
Runners aim to race in all 169 towns By PAT EATON-ROBB Associated Press Publication: The Day Published September 01. 2014 4:00AM Cornwall - Karen Rogers has run a road race in every one of Connecticut's 169 cities and towns, an accomplishment that has given her the title "Queen of the Debticonns." Debticonn - short for Do Every Blessed Town in Connecticut - is a label used by members of the Run 169 Towns Society, a group of recreational runners of all skill levels who travel the state entering road races. Rogers, 63, of Clinton, helped found the organization in 2012 with seven other runners. 

​"Lo and behold, there were like eight of us that were trying to do this, and we kept running into each other at different races," she said. "So we just decided to form a society." The group has grown to 326 members, with 33 people joining in just the last month. Runners record races on the group's website. Races only count if they are official timed events. Members only get credit for the town in which a race starts. So those running the Hartford Marathon, for example, don't get to add South Windsor or East Hartford to their list......
Click here to keep reading.

An Addict Runs To Recover 
Lori Riley 7:28 PM EDT, April 26, 2014 In 2008,
​Adam Osmond hit bottom. He was a gambling addict. He lost his two stores in New Britain, where he used to play thousands of dollars worth of lottery tickets a day. When he told his wife and his family, he was ashamed and depressed. He wasn't healthy. He took a leave of absence from his job as an accountant and ended up leaving the position. "I went through a lot at that point," said Osmond, who lives in Farmington. "I went through hell." He went into a gambling addiction treatment program. That helped. But then he met Charlie Merlis. Merlis wore shirts from road races to meetings. Curious, Osmond asked him about the shirts. Merlis told him that he should come run a race with him. And that's how Osmond, 46, traded one addiction for another. In 2011, he finished his first 5K race in just under 40 minutes, and not only did he think he was going to die that day, he couldn't imagine that people actually ran farther distances than that. On Sunday, he will run an ultramarathon, the Lake Waramaug 50K (approximately 31 miles) in New Preston. He hopes to finish in about 5 hours and 30 minutes, approximately 10 ½ minutes per mile, which is faster than the pace in which he ran his first 5K three years ago. "Running is a great addiction," said Merlis, of West Hartford. "You can throw your heart into it and you know you're not hurting yourself." Click here to keep reading.