By Lauren Schiavone
Hometown Weekly Reporter
Before Saint Patrick’s Day officially begins, Walpole extends the celebration in numerous ways. A crowd rallied behind the annual HESSCO 5k at Mick Morgan’s Irish pub and restaurant in Sharon. This Irish event is in its 12th iteration this year. 5k veterans and beginners alike banned together for the community.
The Saturday morning gifted runners mild weather with ideal conditions. Registration ran through 8:30 am. Plenty of volunteers guided runners and supporters, and there was no shortage of spirit.
Lisa Boockoff, community relations manager at HESSCO, was glad to attend her first Mick Morgan’s 5k. “We raise money to provide services to older adults in our communities, including ‘Meals on Wheels’ and organizing homecare and protective services,” she said of the organization. All proceeds from the event will directly benefit HESSCO and the elders in the community. Boockoff took note of the environment. Coordinating outfits, runners stretching, and families on the sidelines all stood proof that “people are really excited about it. I think they’re excited to get back to a big 5k post-Covid and I think they love running for a cause.”
The route follows up Baker Street, to Alton, through Old Post, and loops back to Baker. Sponsors backed runners with tables outdoors on the sidelines. Vocalist, Wrentham native, and former American Idol finalist Ayla Brown sang the national anthem prior to the 9 am start. Pat Patriot was happy to pose for photos and led over four hundred participants to the start line.
After the race, the morning was off to an excellent start and the festivities had just begun. Post-run, many were looking forward to taking a well-deserved rest and indulging in Mick Morgan’s fare. The funds raised
Results: Third place- Luke Devin of Westwood with a 17:47 finish and a 5:44 pace
Second place Christian Alley of Castle Rock, CO with a 17:34 finish and a 5:40 pace.
First place, Tyler Sullivan of East Walpole with a 17:00 finish and 5:29 pace.
For more information on HESSCO, visit https://hessco.org/