Medfield Foundation hosts annual Angel Run

Aspiring Medfield track runners lead the race wearing Santa hats and Angel Run shirts. Photos by Laura Drinan

By Laura Drinan
Hometown Weekly Reporter

Medfield’s Angel Run is the perfect example of how a community comes together after a tragic loss.

In 2002, third grader Natasha Domeshek passed away. With her birthday on December 17 and Christmas just a week afterwards, December was Natasha’s favorite time of year. In 2006, Natasha’s family and friends organized the first Angel Run, a 5K race, in memory of the eight-year-old.

Decorated angels are displayed along the Angel Run course in memory of Natasha Domeshek.

Decorated angels are displayed along the Angel Run course in memory of Natasha Domeshek.

Medfield’s Angel Run is the perfect example of how a community comes together after a tragic loss.

In 2002, third grader Natasha Domeshek passed away. With her birthday on December 17 and Christmas just a week afterwards, December was Natasha’s favorite time of year. In 2006, Natasha’s family and friends organized the first Angel Run, a 5K race, in memory of the eight-year-old.

The Angel Run invites all runners and walkers to participate and welcomes dogs and strollers to join. This year, over 1,300 people preregistered for the race, with just over 100 more signing up the morning of the race.

In the early years of the race, the money raised from registration went to the Natasha Domeshek Kindness Scholarship, which was given to several members of Medfield’s Class of 2012, to which Natasha belonged. Now, the Medfield Foundation donates the proceeds to local charities to support town residents in need.

Adults, children, and dogs are welcome at the annual Angel Run to kickoff the holiday season.

Adults, children, and dogs are welcome at the annual Angel Run to kickoff the holiday season.

On December 3, the day of the race, the runners and walkers congregated at Medfield High School in their white Angel Run shirts. Mary Salamone, who works in Medfield Public Schools, offered bells to the runners and walkers to pin to their clothes.

“The Domesheks started this race to raise money and such, just in her memory, but it’s become this huge thing,” said Mary. “They have it every year, and it’s a big kickoff to the holiday season.”

Number 821 excitedly skips across the finish line with his dog at Medfield’s annual Angel Run.

Number 821 excitedly skips across the finish line with his dog at Medfield’s annual Angel Run.

Even the weather was in support of the run and provided ideal December running conditions; it even permitted the more festive runners and walkers to wear ugly holiday sweaters and festive patterned leggings.

At the starting line, the Angel Run’s elite runners wore more serious running attire. They were quickly off, expecting to reach the finish line about 15 minutes later. A group of aspiring track runners assumed their spots on the starting line, and the youths led the remaining runners and walkers.

Many of those along the course decorated their houses to add to the race’s holiday spirit, and Angel Run volunteers’ hand-painted signs encouraged the runners to continue strong.

The elite runners at Medfield’s Angel Run aim to be the first to finish the 5K race.

The elite runners at Medfield’s Angel Run aim to be the first to finish the 5K race.

Volunteers prepared the cafeteria for the after-party, as Medfield High School senior John Churchill became the first to pass the finish line. Shortly after Churchill, Westwood’s Luke Devin reached the end of the race.

As more runners and walkers passed the finish line, they congratulated one another with their words and high fives, displaying the very same kindness for which Natasha Domeshek is remembered.

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