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    NECC to host 5K Saturday

    Susan Bonenfant of Plais­tow, N.H., was a runner until 2008, when she fell during an after-dark jog. She switched to hiking.

    But when Bonenfant, a member of the Northern Essex Community College alumni board, recently heard about the inaugural Campus Classic 5K and Fun Run on Saturday, she got fired up.

    “I thought what a great way to get back into running and have a goal,” the 55-year-old said.


    She started training and registered to run the 5K with her daughter, Nina Gilbert, 34, and granddaughter, Grace Gilbert, 9.

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    “I feel very fortunate that three generations are here and want to do it together,” Bonenfant said, adding they plan to run side-by-side throughout the 3.2-mile race.

    Nina Gilbert, of Windham, N.H., has run 5K races before. But, she said, “I am casual about it and try to keep it fun.”

    The race will be the first for the younger Gilbert, who plays softball, field hockey, and soccer. “I’m excited,” she said. “I think it is pretty cool.”

    The 5K race begins at 10 a.m. and winds through the Haverhill campus and surrounding residential neighborhood.


    All levels — competitive runners, novices, and walkers — are invited to participate.

    Registration for the 5K is $25 until Monday, the deadline for online sign-ups; and then becomes $30 . Participants can also register on the morning of the event.

    The first leg of the Fun Run, which is organized by age group, begins at 9 a.m. Registration is $10.

    Following the race, there are children’s activities, including face painting and an obstacle course.

    Participants are encouraged to wear apparel from their own colleges.


    Proceeds from the race will benefit the NECC Annual Fund, which provides support for student scholarships and academic programs, and One Fund Boston, established to help the people affected by the Boston Marathon bombing.

    To register, go online to, or call Lindsey Mayo, director of alumni and donor relations, at 978-556-3621, or e-mail .

    Wendy Killeen

    Wendy Killeen can be reached at