An annual 5K started by St. Patrick Parish in 2010 in honor of a beloved pastor had a successful fourth year and organizers hope the tradition continues.
Several hundred people ran through Chatham on Sunday, Oct. 20, for the St. Pat's Community 5k & 1 Mile Fun Run.
Money raised by the event is split three ways, between the parish, St. Patrick School, and community organizations.
Some 250 people finished the 5K, which featured a bagpiper and was started by Mayor Bruce Harris ringing a fire truck bell.
Another 200 people participated in the one-mile fun run, with warm ups led by a parishioner. (See race results here.)
There was face painting, a bounce castle, DJ, and about 12 local vendors. Fruit and water were donated by businesses, and the race has a number of corporate sponsors.
The event is not just about the parish, but coming together as Chatham, said Karen Wittmer, who chairs the race with Jim Connelly. Kevin and Cindy Sullivan, Karen Heflin and Patty Lombardo also are on the race committee.
A new website for the event designed as a Girl Scout project includes a page saying the race is in memory of the Rev. Edward Hinds.
Otherwise, overt references to the pastor, who was murdered in 2009, were not broadcast as part of the race this year. His death is a painful memory for many people, and the focus is on the community event itself, Wittmer said. Hinds had talked with parishioners and friends about starting a community event such as a 5K before he died.
"He really wanted to embrace a race of sorts," Wittmer said. "We like to keep his spirit alive."