STRATFORD - Organizers spent much of Friday preparing for Saturday's first annual 5K race in honor of slain Newtown teacher Victoria Soto.

The race will begin on Main Street in Stratford to honor the 27-year-old Sandy Hook Elementary School educator who died shielding her students from gunfire last December.

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Those planning the event say Soto's favorite bird was the flamingo, which has become a symbol of the race. Volunteers have lined the course with 300 of the birds in her remembrance.

Jim Wiltsie, Soto's cousin, says he never thought the race would get as much support as it has in its first year. 

Thousands of runners are expected to participate in the event, the proceeds from which will go to the Vicki Soto Memorial Fund.

The race is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. A separate children's run is set to begin at 9:30 a.m.