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Mississippi College Gears Up for 2018 Hap Hudson Homecoming Race

The 2017 Hap Hudson Road Race attracted more than 130 runners to the MC campus on October 21. It marked the 10th annual event in Clinton.
The 2017 Hap Hudson Road Race attracted more than 130 runners to the MC campus on October 21. It marked the 10th annual event in Clinton.

Coach Hap Hudson’s many admirers live in cities spanning the Magnolia State. It’s the main reason the Hap Hudson Homecoming Road Race is a success from one year to the next at Mississippi College.

The stage is set for the arrival of the 11th annual Hap Hudson 5K run/walk on October 27. It remains one of the signature events of MC’s 2018 Homecoming on the Clinton campus. Last year’s event drew about 130 runners.

The fun-filled salute to legendary MC football coach Joel “Hap” Hudson of Clinton is the place to be seen, and get plenty of exercise along the way. Folks start showing up at registration tables that Saturday at 6:30 a.m. Registration closes one hour later.

“Hap’s family and network of past students, players and friends all make this event so special,” says Suzanne McDonough, the race director. “It’s truly one of the best days of my year.”

Sponsored by the MC Kinesiology Department, the Hap Hudson event begins at Cockroft Hall, winds through Olde Towne Clinton and ends up at the track at Robinson-Hale Stadium.

It takes a village of people – from Mississippi College students to Kinesiology Department faculty and staff – to make the two-hour event go smoothly. The early registration cost is $25, and the fee climbs to $30 on race day.

Runners will receive T-shirts. Food is provided. Medals go to first, second and third-place finishers in each age category. Lace up your running shoes and join the parade of participants!

MC School of Education Dean Cindy Melton ran the course in 36 minutes and 23 seconds at her alma mater last year. She finished in 2nd place in the 45 to 49-year-old women’s category. Lots of MC graduates, current students, family and friends will take part.

Tracey Harrison, the Mississippi College public relations director, and her husband, Jim, are signed up for the 2018 event. “I look forward to running the Hap Hudson race each year,” says Tracey, president of the Clinton Chamber of Commerce. “It’s always a great time with alumni and friends.”

Jim Harrison, an assistant football coach at Pelahatchie High, and his wife, Tracey, are both MC graduates. A former MC Choctaws football player, Jim is eager to see the Hap Hudson Homecoming race roll around.

Leaders of the MC Kinesiology Department in late September are busy doing much of the leg work to ensure a fantastic race again this Fall.

“Our department, led by Dr. Chris Washam, makes this race a priority,” said McDonough, a kinesiology professor. “The students work together to produce a fun race for participants and their families.”

McDonough sees it as a fabulous team effort. Students help get sponsorships, assist with food after the race, and work registration tables. They tackle whatever comes their way.

Last year, McDonough gave a special thanks to co-director Zack Vosen, finish line helpers Carol Barnes, Keith Randazzo and Scot Long, plus food assistant Penny McNair, among others.

“The Hap Hudson 5K race has become a Mississippi College Homecoming tradition,” Washam said. “It is an extremely valuable asset to the Department of Kinesiology.”

Funds generated from the race support a scholarship endowment. Money is used for department activities such as student and faculty travel to academic conferences. Funds also are utilized to purchase new equipment for the kinesiology lab and classrooms on the Clinton campus.

For more information, contact race director Suzanne McDonough at 601-940-8186 or 601-925-7720. She can also be reached at