05 Apr Running strong in Brockton — Mark Creedon Memorial race set
BROCKTON – Brockton’s Mark Creedon would have been 40 this year. Creedon, who was a law student at the time, died tragically on Feb. 12, 2011, from a bacterial infection called necrotizing fasciitis and the consequent septic shock it caused in his body.
But his memory lives – and runs – on.
Each year, hundreds of runners gather to sprint, scamper, and jog at race in Brockton held in his name.
“We appreciate that the community supports us in a way that we like to remember him,” said Elizabeth Joyce, Creedon’s younger sister. “I love that we have it every year. I love that we get to celebrate him. We get to talk about him. It’s a hard and awful thing. It makes it easier to talk about with others.”
The seventh annual Mark Creedon Memorial Run is taking place on Saturday at D.W. Field Park in Brockton. Proceeds from the event go to support a scholarship fund, providing tuition for seniors at Cardinal Spellman High School, along with funding for students at Trinity Catholic Academy and UMass School of Law, which recently reached a full endowment through the fund.
Since the program started seven years ago, some of the first Cardinal Spellman students to receive a full year of high school tuition have moved on to graduate from college.
“I think it’s an amazing opportunity on our part to create a legacy for Mark that continues on,” Joyce said. “It goes into these families and allows these students to achieve success in the areas they want to. It makes us feel blessed to do this.”
Joyce also said that the students who receive scholarships continue to support the race, and the year after they receive them, they come to shoot off the gun to start the race.
Joyce said her entire family works together to select students to receive the scholarship, and they are not all straight A students, but rather hard-working, inquisitive students in Creedon’s mold.
“He was the kid you wanted to have in your class because he asked all the questions,” said Joyce, who is a teacher in New York City. “He was an eager learner. He had a passion for debate.”
Joyce, who was Creedon’s youngest sibling in a family of five children, said the character of the scholarship applicant is also important.
“One year, we asked a student how he helped, and he said that at lunch he went and sat with someone different, so they had someone to talk to,” Joyce said. “That kind of person is representative of who my brother is. That’s the kind of person we want to recognize and really help their family.”
In its seven years of existence, the Mark Creedon Memorial Run has raised more than $150,000, with $85,000 distributed thus far through the scholarship fund, for a total of over 25 scholarships.
Joyce said there are already 300 pre-registered participants for this year’s race, which has a 54 percent loyalty rate, in terms of the amount of runners who have taken part in years past. To sign up, go to www.markcreedonmemorialrace.org to pre-register by Thursday night, or register in person at the race, she said. The race begins near the Oak Street entrance to D.W. Field Park.
Joyce said that, if weather conditions are right, there could be between 500 to 600 runners, based on participation during previous years.
In addition to different age divisions, which all have prizes for the winners, there is also a popular “stroller division” for moms and dads with very young children.
Joyce said she appreciates the support the Mark Creedon Memorial Run has received throughout the years since her brother died.
“Our community rallied around us, and even on really cold race days, they still show up,” she said. “That speaks volumes to us about the support we feel.”
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