This latest Mishmash story puts small-town fifth-grader Pete up against two typical small problems: His team must beat neighbor Wanda's in the school's Healthy Heart Runathon, but Pete's best runner Jules is called away to a grandmother's funeral; and Mishmash, the troublesome but lovable mutt, has taken to stealing folks' groceries and gown fat. As expressed when the story gets under way, Pete ""couldn't replace Jules and he couldn't keep Mishmash from overeating."" Actually the problems are related, as Mishmash's vet diagnoses his problem as boredom, and it began when Pete started training for the Runathon after school instead of playing with Mishmash. Well, the solutions are related too; in fact, one fix does double duty: Pete puts Mishmash on his team. And Mishmash, chasing other runners who are carrying their snacks, puts in more laps than any other contestant. Thus, though Wanda's team gets the fifth-grade prize, the principal gives Mishmash a special individual award. As a story, though, this entry just coasts. Old Mishmash fans will feel right at home, but it probably won't make new ones.