Remembering a Son, Celebrating Fathers at Record-Setting Brendan’s Home Run

Photo: Brighton’s Rosa Moriello smashes the existing female record to win the 16th Annual Brendan’s Home Run 5K road race held Sunday, June 18.

A new course record was set on the streets of Belmont as nearly 500 participants took part in the 16th Annual Brendan’s Home Run 5K road race that started and finished at Belmont’s Harris Field on Father’s Day, June 18.

“There’s no place I’d rather be on Father’s Day than here,” said Casey Grant, whose son, Brendan, died tragically during a baseball game in June 2001. Money raised by the race supports the Brendan Grant Foundation, created to honor the memory of a multi-sports athlete – wrestling, baseball, and football – who exhibited a true passion for life.

As for the race, Brighton’s Rosa Moriello took apart the previous women’s course record of 17 minutes and 15 seconds set last year by Laura Nagel, finishing in 16:32. 

The 2015 Boston University grad who was recently named to a US national cross country squad said her goal was to “hang tough and see what I could do and try to be close to my road PR.” While she didn’t match her 5K personal best, “I did chase down some boys which is always nice and exciting,” as she prepares for the USTrack and Field-New England 10K Championship in July.

Mitchell Klingler was visiting the Boston-area from Michigan to see his girlfriend when he came across the race on Facebook. Despite having done a great deal of walking while sightseeing in the past few days, “I asked my girlfriend, ‘You care if I run this 5K?’ and she said ‘Go for it,'” said Klingler.

The Albion College graduate put in a surge sometime after the second mile, finishing in 15:10 to take the victory over a strong field.

 “It was definitely a fun race, hot day but fast course,” said Klingler.

“He lucked out and made $500,” said Brian Rogers, the long-time race director.

Complete results can be found here at Cool Running.

The race attracted more than 350 runners and more than a hundred walkers on a warm and humid Sunday morning. The field not only attracted those seeking a fast time going into the summer, but parents and children, residents who make this a yearly Father’s Day tradition and a hoard of children who ran their own quarter mile race.

“This race works on a lot of levels, and that’s the beauty of it,” said Rogers. Saying there is a special glow about the foundation, Rogers said countless people give their time, provide contributions and make contacts all of “which keeps the memory of Brendan alive today.”

Funds raised by the race and other events have provided scholarships to 41 Belmont High School student athletes, said Grant.

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