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May 13. 2012 10:24PM

11-year-old wins Mother's Day 3K race

The first mom across the finish line at the Mother's Day 3K was Laurie Laws of Goffstown. She is the mother of two girls. (JAY REITER/UNION LEADER)

MANCHESTER — When 11-year-old Brendan Magee crossed the finish line first and entered into Northeast Delta Dental Stadium as the overall winner of the inaugural Mother's Day 3K race on Sunday, his mind was only on his mother.

“She is very happy and very proud of me,” said the sixth grader at the South Meadow School in Peterborough who bested the approximately 500 runners in a final time of 12:19.02 to win his first-ever 3K race. “She said this was the best Mother's Day present I could give her.”

Melissa Magee was supposed to be run this race and wear No. 78 alongside her husband, George, who also competed and wore No. 79, while Brendan was tagged with No. 80. Instead, she is in Mesa, Ariz., undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

“Brendan and I just got off the phone with her,” said George Magee. “We had planned to run this race together as a family but the she had to go away for treatment. She's doing very well and has another four to six weeks to go. Brendan's win made her so happy and it certainly outdid the big bouquet of flower that I sent to her yesterday.”

Not only is it highly unusual for a boy his age to win a 3K race, but Brendan Magee was victorious on a day when the New Hampshire Fisher Cats wore special pink jerseys in honor of Mother's Day and to support breast cancer awareness as they took on the Binghamton Mets at the stadium after the race. The Fisher Cats and Northeast Delta Dental teamed with John Mortimer of Millennium Running to create this event, and as fate would have it, NEDD Chief Executive Officer Tom Ruffio, competed and finished first in his age category (50-59) in 15:53.17 and was 17th overall.

“We had close to 500 runners today and that is highly unusual for the first year. Inaugural races usually attract about 200 people,” said Ruffio, who planned to take his mother Marguerite to dinner later in the day. “It is so good to see so many moms here among the runners. From a wellness perspective, it is important to be fit and take a holistic approach with the entire family. We at Northeast Delta Dental will continue to grow this race with the Fisher Cats and Millennium and we are all committed to keeping this going.”

That was welcome news to Laurie Laws, who was the first woman and mother to cross the finish line in 14:33.29. The Goffstown resident was greeted by her husband Walter, who ran track at the University of New Hampshire in 1997-99, and daughters Juliet, 2, and Isabella, 4.

“I will definitely be back next year and we will make this race a family tradition,” said Laws, who competed on the volleyball team at Bentley College. “I run because I want to show my girls that exercise is good for your health and whole body. Walter and I are trying to show them the importance of being healthy and fit. My mother, Maryann, is no longer with us and another reason that I ran today was to honor her.”

Brendan Magee said that he aspires to more first place finishes. He's a member of the Granite State Flash Club, which is a USA track and field Junior Olympics club, and said that he'll run cross-country for his elementary school in the fall.

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