Monday morning was brisk in more ways than one, as upward of 300 runners participated in the inaugural Healing Little Hearts 5K in Mattapoisett. And it was fitting that the two big winners are both younger than 14.
The organization, founded by the Weglowski family as son and brother Brady, 8 years old, battles a congenital heart defect, helps raise funds for medical research. The Columbus Day event raised thousands of dollars for the cause, as competitors included athletes and exercise buffs from toddlers to teenagers to senior citizens.
“It’s an awesome event,” said organizer Kathleen LeClair, a close friend of the Weglowski family. “The weather is great. Mattapoisett has just been wonderful. We’re really happy with the turnout. A huge thank you to sponsors, volunteers, the community, police, and the school.”
Adam Sylvia of Rochester, 13, emerged as the overall winner of the race, dispatching of the course in 20:48. The student-athlete in cross country at Old Rochester Regional Junior High School will next run in a 10K. He can only hope the conditions will be as friendly.”
“It was perfect,” he said. “I never came close to getting tired.”
Meanwhile, 11-year-old Meg Hughes, also of Rochester, continued to build upon her elite status as a runner, finishing first in the Female Division with a time of 21:40.
“It wasn’t my best race,” Hughes said. “But it was good.”
As the runners lined up for the course, which began and ended at Center School, Kelly Weglowski delivered an inspiring speech invoking the courage of her son.
“From my family and the families you’re helping, thank you,” she said.
For the full results from the Healing Little Hearts 5K, visit www.racewire.com. For more on the organization, see www.healinglittlehearts.com.
By Shawn Badgley