5k race to remember a fellow Huskie takes place Sunday

By Shelby Devitt

Donning track suits and running shoes, Huskies will gather near the Convo this weekend to remember one of their own.

The Will McDermott Huskie Hustle 5K will take place at 9:45 a.m. on Sunday near the NIU Convocation Center.

The race is in the memory of Will McDermott, NIU alum and NIU police officer, who died last March.

“Pretty immediately, we knew we wanted to do something in his memory,” said Lydia McDermott, Will’s widow and race coordinator.

Proceeds from the race will go toward a scholarship set up by Will’s family to benefit NIU athletics, Lydia said. Preference will be given to wrestlers, Will’s former sport, but all NIU athletes can apply.

Will was also an active runner, as he once ran in the Chicago Marathon. The Huskie Hustle course, which predominantly circles the Convocation Center, located at 1525 W. Lincoln Highway, was chosen partly by the NIU police department, Lydia said. The course also passes several Huskie athletics practice fields.

The NIU police department helped organize the race, and several members of the force will participate, said NIU Police Sgt. Alan Smith.

“Will was a great person, very kind,” Smith said. “Everyone liked him. He was hard working and helpful. He was one of those people who you won’t find anyone who would say anything bad about him. He had a good heart, a good nature.”

DeKalb Mayor Kris Povlsen said an event like this reinforces civic ties.

“It’s another example of how our community pays tribute to people who have served our community,” Povlsen said.

As of Monday, over 200 participants have signed up. Those who have not can sign up from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Sunday. Race time is 9:45 and registration is $30. Registration and donation checks can be made out to the Will McDermott Memorial Fund.

Lydia said she hopes students will come out and remember a former Huskie.

“Will loved NIU,” Lydia said. “He loved being a Huskie. We hope students come out to show support and school spirit and to honor an exceptional person.”