NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. - "If this had been a golf tournament, no one would have showed up,'' said Northbridge Education Foundation President Larry Brown this morning as he walked back into the warmth of Northbridge High School.
He had just released 114 runners and walkers to the streets in a 5K Run and Walk fundraiser for the Foundation which awards grants to Northbridge teachers for enrichment programs.
Would there have been a better turnout if it hadn't been so cold? If it hadn't been snowing? There's no way to know, Brown said. "This is an inaugural event,'' so there was nothing to compare it too, he said.
The hope is to make enough to pay expenses with a little left over for grants.
But 100 runners/walkers signed up in advance, and another 14 signed up despite the weather, and Brown was satisfied. "Runners are a hardy bunch,'' said a Foundation member who helped with registration.
Michael Szkutka, 2008 graduate of Northbridge High School, was first to cross the finish line with a time of 18:56:3, a 6.03 mile. He was followed by Michael Bresnahan, 20:33.4; Peter McNeil, 20.53.3, and Noah Thomas, 21:08.7.
McNeil wore pink, the name Malia emblazoned on the front of his shirt.
He is a member of Bandits for Malia, a group running the Boston Marathon this year to raise money for 3-year-old Malia Dakota Jusczyk.
Malia, the only child of Glen and Meghan (Lytle) Jusczyk, was diagnosed on April 1, 2011 with stage IV neuroblastoma, an aggressive cancer that had spread into her bones and bone marrow.
The hot-pink shirts printed with Malia's name available to them through the donation of $1 or more a mile to a “Bandit.” For more information on Malia and the “Bandits,” visit www.maliacrushescancer.com. To read Malia's story, visit http://www.thedailynorthbridge.com/news/boston-marathon-2012-join-bandits-malia
For complete race results, visit https://racewire.com/results.php?id=242