Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
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Run for the Wheaton Fund

Registration open for third annual John Mitchell Memorial 5K Race/Walk

Runners and walkers can now register for the third annual John Mitchell Memorial 5K Race/Walk to benefit the Wheaton Fund.

The event, set for Sunday, April 27, is held in memory of Wheaton College staffer John Mitchell, who worked in the college’s Building Services Department for 18 years and received the President’s Award for Outstanding Performance in 1999. Mitchell passed away in 2011 of cancer.

As the college's supervisor of materials management, Mitchell often introduced himself as “John Mitchell, Tables and Chairs"—a fact that is fondly noted in the event logo of a folding chair wearing running shoes.

While Mitchell wasn’t a runner, friend and colleague Dave Macedo is. Wanting to honor Mitchell in some away, Macedo decided to turn his passion into a memorial event that would also benefit the college.

“For most people, there isn’t a clear connection. John was not a runner,” said Kristen Turcotte, director of conference and event services. “We joke every year about how he’s laughing at us.”

The 3.1-mile race starts and ends on Filmore Drive, with a celebration afterward held by the nearby volleyball and basketball courts. The course is pretty simple; participants take a right down Pine Street, reach a halfway point, and then turn around and head back.

“It’s a straight out-and-back course through the country roads of Norton,” Turcotte said. “The whole family is welcome, including strollers.”

Though the event is mostly casual and is open to walkers as well as runners, it will be timed, and the top male and female finishers will be recognized. All participants will be eligible for raffle drawings.

Following the race, there will be music and refreshments. In addition this year, Wheaton staff members will hold a ceremony dedicating a small patio area outside the physical plant building in Mitchell’s name. The patio was installed over the summer, and landscaping was recently completed.

The John Mitchell Memorial 5K Race/Walk traditionally draws a good mix of Wheaton staff, students and people from the surrounding community. This year, Turcotte said she hopes to pass the 150 participants mark.

Registration for the event up until the preceding Friday costs $20 for adults, $10 for youths and $10 for Wheaton College students. Race day registration costs $25 for adults, $15 for youth and $10 for Wheaton students. The first 150 registrants will receive a T-shirt.

All proceeds will benefit the Wheaton Fund, which supports Wheaton academics, athletics, scholarships and more.

2013 photos by Keith Nordstrom