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. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.
Lenny Megliola can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.