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There are countless Wellesley runners who can relate John Babington stories; his influence runs far beyond being a coach. “I grew up most of my life without a father,” said Randelle Boots. “John has been the strong mentor I needed. Someone I could turn to. He was always there for me. He’s been more than a running coach.”
Boots, who is from Seekonk, has been named Wellesley’s top senior athlete. “She’s the most decorated athlete in our program,” said Babington. But he never drew a line separating the elite runners from the pedestrian.
Babington, who is 67 and lives in Natick, is retiring after 26 years. It hasn’t been an easy decision.