My running story is a little bit different from the other Central Maine Striders members I have read. I never actually set out intentionally to run in the first place.
My story begins 2 and half years ago when I turned 35. I was overweight, had been for about 15 years, and was generally unhappy with my body and health. I always felt tired and never put much thought into exercising and changing my lifestyle habits. The one week a year I felt my best was when I took my family to Florida to visit my parents who spend their winters there. It was coming back from the trip of my 35th birthday that changed me. Without realizing it, I had managed to lose 15 lbs. just in that week! Wow, I thought that’s incredible, how can I keep this momentum going?
Well I've always been a very competitive person (for better or for worse) and the key for me was to find a weight loss competition. My wife had done a "chub club" group on facebook in the past and really found inspiration from other peoples' journey's and friendly competition. Lucky for me there were some friends of ours who were also feeling the pressure of growing older and wanting to make a change. My wife set up a new "chub club" and sent out the invitations. One by one friends from all over the country started joining and before I knew it we were up to almost 50 participants! The only catch was that on the first day everybody had to post a picture of themselves standing on a scale for the group to see, THE HORROR! I really didn’t want my friends to see how much weight I had packed on since high school, but in the end I knew that would only make the payoff that much sweeter! Did it ever, I started by just changing my diet, no more fast food runs for lunch and extra sugary coffee and donuts every morning.
The first week, BOOM 7 lbs. down. Then I thought hey I'm really onto something, why not add in some exercise? So I would use my lunch to walk around town and get some miles in, BOOM another 10 lbs. down! Then I thought why not walk when I get home from work with the wife and kids? Add in good meal choices and portion control and by the end of the month I had lost 34 lbs and was tied for 1st place in the competition.
At this point I was feeling so great that I knew I had to keep the momentum going so I walked faster and further every week. It was on one of my walks that I felt I couldn’t walk fast enough and broke into a jog, it wasn’t for very long but I was hooked, it felt euphoric so from then on it was jog/walk/jog every time I went out. Before I knew it was jogging almost a mile at a time before I had to walk again and catch my breath. I slowly increased that to a mile and half, then two or more.
This went on for 9 months, and with a continued change to healthy eating I had lost 85 lbs. total! Winter was upon us again at this point and it was getting uncomfortable to continue exercising outside, so I joined a gym and started using the treadmill everyday on my lunch hour. A few months later I had lost 100 lbs., and that’s where my weight loss journey has concluded. Since then I have slowly increased my running speed and distance to where I am now.
Finding the Central Maine Striders group on facebook has taken my running to the next level. I have run my only 2 races this year thanks to following this group and their passion for running. The Quarry Road Trails Racing series opened my eyes to trail running as I had never run any trails prior to my first race. The Doc and Mardie 5K race recently was my first in person race and now I am hooked!
I love what running continues to do for me physically and mentally and I am so thankful the members of the Central Maine Striders have accepted me into the fold. I look up to so many runners from the group and really enjoy the friendships I have made so far with hopefully many more to come.
Kate Scott moved to Maine 11 years ago and lives in Waterville with her daughter, Julia (14), and son, Ben (12). She is an epidemiologist (and, thanks to the pandemic, can now say that without having to explain it!) and works from home as a Director of Informatics for the Medicaid division of a large health insurance company.
I quit running, focused on school, and didn’t run regularly for a long time. Life happened. A cross country move, graduate school, a career, a marriage, a baby, another move, another baby, another move (to Maine) and eventually a divorce. I ran the occasional 5K or beach run while on vacation, but rarely much else. Then, in 2018, while watching my daughter run at a junior high school track meet, I was reminded of how fun running can be. The excitement of a track meet woke up my inner 16 year old and inspired me to train for a marathon!
A marathon had always been a goal of mine, but I never quite got past the initial planning stages. This time was different. I joined the Central Maine Striders, made a pact with my friend Cynthia to run the Twin Cities Marathon in October, printed out a marathon training plan and promptly set about planning my life around my weekly long run. It was a great summer and I enjoyed the journey of slowly adding more mileage, planning new running routes across bridges and over multiple town lines, and running the Quarry Road Summer Race Series. My fitness improved and running all those hills prepared me well for keeping up with my big sister during an allegedly non-competitive family reunion group run. (After which she ran another 10 miles – true story!) I also ran my first half marathon, the beautiful, but hilly, Triple Threat half marathon in Rockport, Massachusetts, which I finished in 1:53.
I continued to ease back into running with a few Striders pre-pandemic social runs and then, this summer the Quarry Road race series. I recruited my daughter’s friend, budding runner Beatrice Beale-Tate, to join me and we eventually met up with a few other Striders to run the staggered-start time trial races each week. Having a regular social event (and donuts!) to look forward to was a true bright spot in an otherwise uneventful summer. My race times were faster than two years ago, but I’ll admit it felt much harder! I was happy to complete the series without injury, and now also glad to cut back on the running a bit and take time to recover. I’m learning to listen to my aging body and while I may never run that marathon, I hope to continue to run as long as I am able.
Luckily, being part of the Central Maine Striders doesn’t require being able to run the farthest or the fastest. Recently, I’ve been participating in monthly Zoom meetings and helping to plan the Central Maine Striders first Fall Classic 10K on October 11th. We are putting the final touches on our race day plans and look forward to seeing many of you at the starting line!
In this edition of Running Backwards, we're taking a jog down memory lane to 1984.
All the issues of The Interval newsletter in 1984 featured the same masthead which showed the club's association with Road Runners Club of America and The Athletics Congress, our familiar PO Box 1177 address, and a list of the officers. [Anybody out there want to run for "Data Processor" in 2021?]
In the January-February issue, President Dean Rasmussen was happy to ring in the new year and perhaps even happier to hand over the position of President to another (un)lucky soul.
Central Maine Striders t-shirts were available for $12 each. [Speaking of t-shirts, we're working at getting some new Striders shirts made here in 2020. Stayed tuned for more details.]
The president elect had a few comments in which he names the other new officers (including current Strider Jim Moore), but fails to name himself. Who is this mystery president elect?
Amongst the race results, were some results leftover from the end of 1983. In the Veterans Day Half Marathon, Donnajean Pohlman seems to have dashed across the finish line one second faster than Ron Paquette.
Also in November 1983, several Striders ran in a cross-country race at UMaine-Augusta. Striders teams nabbed the first and second place team prizes. Current Strider Gene Roy placed 4th overall with a time of 17:27 in the 3-mile race. Other current Striders that raced in Augusta that day included Dean Rasmussen and Sarah Roy.
And yet another November 1983 race that featured a ton of Striders was the Gasping Gobbler 10k. Gerry Clapper set the course record with a time of 31:09. Also there were current Striders Geoff Hill, Jerry Allanach, Dean Rasmussen, Jim Moore, Ron Paquette, and Sarah Roy.
Outgoing president Dean Rasmussen had one last word and shared the newly ratified Central Maine Striders Constitution (only partially reprinted here).
Thanks to the April 1984 Interval masthead, we find out that the mystery president elect is none other than Fred Judkins II. Also, it seems that the "Data Processor" position that he held previously was eliminated and/or absorbed into the position of President. Club Presidents are very accustomed to absorbing all the miscellaneous duties that no one else wants to do.
Some of President Fred Judkins' first words in newsletter were to congratulate Super Strider Gene Roy with the Presidents Award.
Speaking of Gene, there was also a nice profile written up about the entire Roy family in that newsletter. We're proud to say that most of the Roys are still members in our club.
Race results that were "In The News" in April 1984 included the January Thaw, where Ron Paquette, Jim Moore, Donnajean Pohlman and Sarah Roy were amongst the finishers.
The St Pat 10k in Waterville was also "In The News". Current Striders that ran that day included Jerry Allanach, Ron Paquette, Jim Moore, and Donnajean Pohlman.
[By the way, a 10k in Waterville sounds like a pretty good idea, don't you think? Have you heard about the Central Maine Striders Fall Classic 10k? Click here for more info.]
The May 1984 newsletter was a bit late getting out thanks to a blown wordprocessing diskette. Hashtags weren't invented yet, but this surely would be classified under "#1984problems".
Kids, don't worry if you don't know what a "wordprocessing diskette" is. If you blew your wordprocessing diskette back in 1984, I imagine it was kind of like dropping your iPhone into a river and then coming home to find that Apple replaced their 2-day express shipping with three-week shipping.
Oh... injuries. Unfortunately, too many of us Striders have been through the dreaded running injury and subsequent recovery period. It's all part of being a runner.
[As a comparison, as of 9/7/2020, we have 72 family memberships which translates into 126 members.]
Included in the race results that issue was the Boston Primer Readfield 15-miler. Jerry Allanach flew through the 15 miles in 1:35:55. Gene Roy was only two-and-a-half minutes behind that. And Donnajean Pohlman once again eked out a victory over Ron Paquette by a margin of one second.
In what is possibly one of the greatest race names ever, the Strides of March 10k was held in Waterville. Some familiar names (Jerry Allanach, Ron Paquette, Sarah Roy, and Donnajean Pohlman) were amongst the current Striders that raced that day.
[Hmmmm.... another 10k in Waterville? You know you want to run in one too. Click here for your only chance to run a 10k in Waterville in 2020.]
Although not in Waterville, yet another area 10k was held that spring in China. Thirty-four Striders showed up to race there! THIRTY-FOUR Striders in the SAME RACE! How awesome is that?
The Roy kids showed up to take 136th, 163rd, and 177th places in the fun run. Wait... how big was this fun run? Was every kid in central Maine there to run?
[10k's were cool in 1984. Help the Striders make 10k's cool again by signing up for the 2020 Central Maine Striders Fall Classic 10k.]
In the August 1984 newsletter, President Fred Judkins sent out his "deepest empathy" to all the injured runners out there. Unfortunately, being injured is part of being a runner, as our current president knows all too well. Luckily, the sun will shine again and you will most likely run again after your injury heals.
There hasn't been many book or recipe recommendations in The Interval over the years, so that makes this one all the more interesting. For those that are curious, Amazon still sells a newer edition of this book, so I'm sure that some local bookstore out there also does.
Have any of you tried the "Hass Crabmeat Au Gratin"? We'd love for you to let us know if eating it helped you win anything.
Wait a minute... He ended up 10 miles away from the finish on a 4-mile course? Now that's what I call getting lost!
We no longer provide this service, but found it interesting that you used to be able to request a membership roster. I guess privacy concerns have changed a little over the years.
Jerry Allanach ran a 2:54 and Ron Paquette clocked a 3:42 in 1984's edition of the Maine Coast Marathon. Not bad, guys!
And then there was everyone's favorite "only one hill" race -- Mount Washington.
Hey look! Another 10k. This one was in Fairfield. Jerry Allanach notched a sub-40-min 10k just a few weeks after this sub-3-hour marathon. Geoff Hill also ran sub-40-minutes that day.
Although not quite as well named as the "Strides of March", the "Save Your Sole" 10k is still a pretty good race name. Oh yes, it's another 10k. [Did we mention anything about the 10k happening October 11, 2020 yet?]
There was a Waterville 10k in August too. Because you just can never have enough 10k's.
At the Renovation 10k, current Striders Jim Moore, Donnajean Pohlman, Dean Rasmussen, and Ron Paquette were finishers.
It seems that the Striders had a surge in interest in biathlons and triathlons in 1984.
The October 1984 issue of The Interval served up some more 10k news. However, this note from the president wasn't about the 10k race itself, but rather the "controversy" of former Striders wearing Striders singlets. There was even a main-in poll about it contained in this newsletter. Although we're not sure what the final results of that poll were, we just want to make it clear that in the 2020 edition of the Striders, if you paid for your singlet, you're free to wear it whenever and wherever you want.
The final issue of the year came out in November and had some bad news. The Striders were running low on cash and the final newsletter of the year had to be squeezed onto one page using a really small font.
I'm not sure if a Triple Crown or Grand Slam of Maine marathons still exists, but Gene Roy nominated Jerry Allanach for the Grand Slam award in 1984. Jerry cruised through four marathons in the state of Maine that year, clocking sub-3-hour times in all of them, including a very impressive 2:50:40 at the Casco Bay marathon.
At the bottom of the one-page November 1984 newsletter, several race results were squashed at the bottom (we've done your eyes a favor and magnified the font for you here). Lots of familiar names here. And look at all of those 10k's!!! [One last time: have you registered for the Central Maine Striders Fall Classic 10k yet?]
Well, that's all we have for this edition's jog into the past. Thanks for coming along. We hope you found it to be more of a fun run than a marathon going through 1984. No one knows what year we'll be running back to in the next issue, but we promise that it will have less links to our October 2020 10k.
by Cecilia Morin
On the morning of this year’s Doc and Mardie Brown 5K, I added a new step to my typical race day ritual when I tied a multi-colored cloth mask (sewed by my grandma) around my face. My dad, fellow Central Maine Striders member Brian Morin, and I arrived at the Alfond Youth & Community Center around 7:00AM to check in to the race. Just before 7:30AM, the start time for our wave, masked runners gathered loosely around the starting line. We received our signal to “go” and off we went charging across North Street’s flat terrain with the knowledge that we would soon tackle a steep hill. Once ensuring that everyone around us had sufficient space, we removed our masks. After charging up the “Colby hill”, I solidified my game face and focused on maintaining a powerful stride. The rewarding downhill on Mayflower Hill was followed by a short incline then a turn. I momentarily lost my rhythm turning on to the uphill on West Street, but then I regained my stride with the motivation of an approaching finish line. I turned left into the Alfond Youth & Community Center parking lot. Looking at my watch, I told myself I still had time to break 21 minutes. I ran through the finish line, clocking in at just under 21 minutes. After my usual post-race hands-on-my-knees crouch, I placed my mask on my face and walked to my dad and the other finishers.
The aspect of this year’s Doc and Mardie Brown 5K that stands out to me the most is how much the event felt “normal” in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Just like any other race, I tied up my racing flats and I wore a race bib. I still slowed down running uphill and I still appreciated the downhills. I still did not beat my dad (maybe next year) and my legs still felt sore after charging the “Colby hill”. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to run in a (non-virtual) road race while feeling safe about the implemented public health guidelines.
Cecilia Morin and her dad, Brian.
(all photos courtesy of David Colby Young and Maine Running Photos)
Cecilia, originally from Waterville, is a senior at Dartmouth College whose passions include running, art, and cooking.
Our only live LOCAL race was held successfully on Saturday, August 22, 2020.
Race results can be found by clicking here.
Congrats to overall winner Elijah Caret (M, 19) with a time of 16:59,8.
Top female finisher was Strider Cecilia Morin (21) with a time of 20:56,2.
Oldest female finisher was Paula Sawyer, and oldest male finisher was Ron Paquette.
All race photos shown here are courtesy of David Colby Young and Maine Running Photos. To see more, go to Maine Running Photos or Flickr.
Congratulations to all of the Striders who ran in the Doc & Mardie 5k:
The Morins were the family that walked away with the most rocks this year. Brian Morin won the 50-59 Male age group and Cecilia Morin won the 20-29 Female age group (and 2nd Woman overall).
by Jordan Castillo
The time is 7:45AM on Wednesday, July 29, 2020. A few other Striders and I are at the starting line for one of the virtual 8k races within the Quarry Road Summer Series. It’s early, but the heat and humidity are strong. The thick aroma of the dense greenery and freshly cut grass floods my nostrils, and I feel as if I can nearly taste the scenery. Despite feeling a subtle daze, my heart begins to quiver with excitement as I look around at the five-or-so other Striders who are jogging in place, preparing their bodies and minds for the race ahead. And though there aren’t any spectators and it’s not a typical race environment, my body still fills with electric anticipation as I prepare to give it my all in my first ever trail race.
I warm up with a few butt-kicker’s, some high-knees, and a few other exercises to get my blood flowing. As the clock nears 8am, I gather with the other Striders (socially-distanced, of course!) at the starting line. To make sure we have plenty of space between each other on the course, we spread out the start times of each runner. This actually makes it a bit more exciting, because each runner has their own personal starting time, so the whole group yells and cheers as each runner takes off onto the course.
Finally, after 13 minutes of waiting for the other Striders to start their race, it’s my turn.
“Alright, Jordan, you ready?” Ron Peck asks, holding his watch. He glances at the countdown. “Ok. Three, two, one… GO!”
I take off like a bullet. I hear a bunch of voices hollering behind me. “Go, Jordan, go! Woo!”
About five seconds into the race, I realize I am definitely running too fast. I’m in the middle of marathon training, so eight kilometers doesn’t sound like much. But I can’t sprint for eight kilometers, and I quickly remember what the other Striders told me about the race. They warned me, “Don’t underestimate the hills. You’ll reach what you think is the top, and then suddenly you find yourself at the bottom of another hill!”
Find your pace. Find your pace, I tell myself. I settle into an eight-minute-per-mile pace as I steadily ascend the first set of hills tucked away in the back of the Quarry Road trails. The rolling hills remind me of a gentle roller coaster, taking me for a ride on trails flanked on either side by dense Maine forest. I pay close attention to my pace, “changing gears” on the uphills and downhills as if I were riding a bike. All the while, I remember to take in the lush beauty of the trails and to just enjoy the thrill of the race.
The hills slowly drain my stamina, but I continue to push forward. It’s only an 8k, it’s only an 8k, I tell myself in an effort to convince my muscles to give it everything they’ve got. As I descend the highest hill in the park, I feel a rush of victory. Just some small up’s and down’s from here on out, I think to myself.
After making it past the toughest hills in the race, I feel more confident about running the last segment with a bit more speed. I kick it into a higher gear, determined to see how quickly my legs can carry me through the last few kilometers.
I make it to the last hill. My body is yearning for a break and wants to just be done with the race, but my mind knows there is still plenty of energy left for the final stretch. As I near the top of the hill, I break into a full sprint and zero in on the finish line. I faintly hear a few of the Striders yelling. “Jordan, come on! You’re almost there! Go, go, go!” I propel forward as I absorb this encouraging energy. Zooming with my hands held high, I cross the finish line and feel a rush of satisfaction and relief.
I glance down at my watch. Thirty-seven minutes. I know I could have run a bit faster, but nonetheless I smile because I know I did well. I turn around and begin cheering as soon as I see the remaining Striders running the final stretch of the race. It turns out our staggered start times led us to finish within just a few minutes of each other, and everyone is soon on the other side of the finish line.
To celebrate the completion of our hot, sweaty 8k, we immediately dig in to the donuts a few of us had brought to the course. As we are munching, there is a communal feeling of victory and satisfaction. Yes, things may feel different from a typical race that would include the crowd energy and more runners, but I feel deep gratitude for the sense of true community that exists even in the small group of Striders around me.
For those of you out there who miss gathering for regular race events, let me join you by saying I feel the same way. On many days, the effects of the pandemic can feel heavy. But experiences like the virtual Quarry Road Summer Races have served as another example of an important lesson I’ve been learning throughout the past six months. With a bit more effort and creativity, we can continue to (safely) experience community and gather with others for fun events. So, I encourage everyone to reach out to their running friends (Striders and potential future Striders alike!) to come up with some fun, safe ways to continue competing. And especially when you are running on those Quarry Road trails, just remember: don’t underestimate the hills—enjoy them.
Jordan Castillo is the Vice President of the Central Maine Striders and works in admissions at Colby College.
by Patty Hallee
Being new to the running scene within the last year, my husband Mike and I decided it would be fun to try something different. So we signed up for the Quarry Road Summer Race Series. We didn’t realize how much different it would be trying to race on a trail vs the road. Trail running definitely requires a lot more work than the road. Again this was our first year and because of the Pandemic we all ran our own race and turned in our time and our GPS maps by Sunday evening. The series runs 9 weeks and starts with a 3k which takes you down the backside of the field by the Yurt and around the Riverside loop. It's not a bad run but still a challenge for an older, inexperienced runner such as myself. It was a fun run and made me want to do better. The next week is a 5k which takes you up around North Koons and back down around the first Riverside loop. North Koons is more of an uphill run, more challenging but still fun. Again it still drives you to want to be better. The third week is an 8K that takes you up around North Koons, back to South Koons and finishes you off running the Riverside loop. South Koons is a little tricky and following the arrows is very important or you can end up running it twice. And don’t let the word South fool you. You aren’t running downhill!!! Then you start over with the 3k week 4, 5k week 5 and the 8k week 6. Week 7 you start back with the 8k, down to 5k and then the 3k week 9. I have found this to be a fun series. We are very fortunate to have the trail system we have in this area that is well maintained by volunteers, and provides shaded spots to run when it’s really hot. I would recommend the Quarry Road Summer Race Series to anyone who is looking to challenge themselves to something a little different. And with next year hopefully being back to some type of normal it will also provide an opportunity to meet other runners in the area.
Patty lives in Waterville. When not running she loves to spend time by the pool and also volunteers at the Unified Champions Club at the Alfond Youth Center. “Spending time with my son and the other athletes is fun and simply puts a smile on my face.”
In this edition of "Running Backwards", we're taking a quick little jog to 2009. The biggest theme running through the 2009 Interval newsletters was memories of Mardie Brown, who passed away that year. You mean you thought that the Doc & Mardie 5k was a reference to Back to the Future? Shame on you!
It looks like the January Thaw that year had a pretty low turnout (Perhaps it was a bad weather year?). Of the 16 finishers, only Jim Moore is still a member of the Striders.
Both the June and July 2009 issues of the Interval featured articles by several members about their memories of Mardie Brown, a member of the Central Maine Striders at the time. Since I didn't move to Maine until 2017, I never met Mardie, but based on these memories, she seemed like an amazing woman and a great representative of the Striders.
An extended obituary can be found here.
by David Benn
That's right... Mardie Brown wasn't only a runner. She also held a world record in masters swimming!
Aging and mortality seemed to be on the mind of several Striders that year. David Benn added a positive spin to it by remembering how his first race led to hundreds more over a twenty-five year period.
Some familiar names were amongst the results of the Common Ground 5k that year. But who is this "Nedicus" guy? Was a Roman gladiator running a 5k in Maine in 2009? It almost sounds like it. However, he failed to beat current professional runner Matt McClintock and two others.
This gem about Jim Moore's first race was in the November 2009 newsletter (the race was in 1980). Jim, I think every Central Maine Strider out there is glad you ran that first race, found our club, continue to be a member to this day, and continue to be seen running on the streets of Waterville. I don't think there's a more consistent and dedicated runner out there.
Although Colby history professor Paul Josephson gets the byline, the December 2009 Interval had a great article about Julie Millard and her great uncle Fred (who just happened to win the Boston Marathon in 1910).
Ron and Donnajean had a couple of short race reports in the December 2009 Interval. Both featured races that were super bargains! A five-dollar marathon and a three-dollar 5k!?! Wow! Those were bargain races.
And the final race results listed in the 2009 Intervals, included Susan Brooks and Julie Millard's finishes at the Champions 10k Thanksgiving race.
That's all for 2009. Congratulations on making it to the finish line! Only time will tell where, or should I say "when" we jog to in the next issue.
It's really happening! There's going to be a live, in-person, non-virtual race in Waterville this month!!!!
The 2020 Doc & Mardie 5k will be a LIVE race, with waves of 40 or less participants in each wave.
Face masks will be required when within 6 feet of another participant, including the start line. We will modify the start to allow for social distancing.
In the spirit of Doc & Mardie there is even awards for the oldest Male and Female finishers!
Join us Saturday, August 22nd for our 15th Annual Doc & Mardie 5k, an amazing time!
We are going to put on an actual live race in a few week. Wave starts with 40 or less people in each wave.
Sounds like a few of you may be itching for a race with live competition!
All Central Maine Striders members get 25% off their registration fee.
Key things you need to know / current modifications:
We hope that you can join us as we bring live road racing back to Central Maine in a few weeks, while honoring the memory of Doc & Mardie Brown and supporting the Alfond Youth & Community Center!
For more information or to register, go to the Facebook event webpage or the race registration webpage.