In case you haven't heard, the Quarry Road Summer Race Series is happening again this year, albeit in a slightly different format due to the unique nature of the pandemic world we're living in right now. Just in case you didn't know about it yet or if you just want to get more information, Patrick Guerette (the founder of the event) sent along this message:
COVID-19 has really crushed the local racing scene this summer, which is one reason why I am thrilled that we were able to land on a racing format that provides an option for runners to compete. Not only are the courses just as challenging, time trials also add a unique mental test to the race, as it's much easier to push yourself when you are trying to close the gap on another runner, or running scared. Simply put, if you are able to push yourself on a solo effort, it will make you a stronger runner & racer in the future.
With nearly 60 runners signed up to run this summer, and over 40 finishers in each of the first 2 weeks we have exceeded our original expectations for the series this summer. With that said, if you are not signed up for the series yet, it's not too late, there are still options to register for 1, 3 or all 9 (6 remaining) races by clicking here.
After the first 2 weeks, it looks like there will be quite a few closely contested age group battles, which adds a bit of excitement to the race series, if you want to keep up on the results, we invite you to view our race results and standings online here.
See you on the trails!
Bonus Question: Do you know what year Patrick organized the first Quarry Road Race Series?
Bonus Information: As a paying member of the Central Maine Striders, you'll automatically get 10% off your registration for the Quarry Road Race Series.
"Meet Our Members" is where we get to know a little more about our fellow Striders -- who they are, why they run, and why they're part of the Central Maine Striders.
Alicia Wilcox is a mother of 13-year-old twins and an associate professor at Thomas College. She teaches forensic science and criminal justice classes. She also has a forensic consulting company and likes to garden, travel, and hike.
"I started running in the summer of 2014 at age 36. I was in the middle of my PhD program and expressed my feelings of stress to a friend. She was training with another woman for the Maine 1/2 marathon. They intended running a long run of 8 miles that weekend. I said I would join them for two or three miles. I ended up running the 8 miles with them and felt great. A few weeks later I applied for a cancellation spot in the 1/2 marathon and got in. I completed that 1/2 in under 2 hours with very little training.
I was hooked and running helped me through the stress of my PhD. I have since completed 16 half marathons, my most recent was the Shipyard Maine Coast Half, which was virtual, meaning, I ran by myself!
The women I used to run with don't run anymore. So this year I decided to join the Central Maine Striders to make new running friends. I participated in the January Thaw and ran with a small group one Sunday morning before the pandemic struck. I look forward to meeting new striders in the future. At the moment I am running the quarry road series and a 312K series Baxter to Baxter (from the state park to Baxter Brewing, in Lewiston).
I love the simplicity of running, all you need is a good pair of sneakers and some happy music."
Alicia, we're glad you're a Strider and hope to see you and get to know you at more Strider events in the future, whenever we're able to hold in-person events again.
The Central Maine Striders are proud to have several active members that have been with us since the early days of the club. One of those members, whose name you may recognize from our latest Running Backwards article, is Gust Stringos. Since he was featured under the "New Members" section back in 1983, we thought we'd reach out to him and get an update. Here's what he had to say:
I am 65 now, and live in the same house in Skowhegan! I did run the Maine Coast Marathon, with a time just under 3:05, not enough to qualify for Boston. I did continue my medical training, and have been a family practice physician in Skowhegan for 30+ years, and am currently Medical Director of Redington-Fairview Hospital here. I still enjoy gardening and Beekeeping. Two years ago, I tore a hamstring muscle in a skiing accident, and my competitive running has taken a big hit as a consequence, but I still try to get in 2-3 miles several times a week. And I am still proud to be a Central Maine Strider!
Gust, we're proud to have you as a longtime member as well. Thanks for giving us an update!
This month we're running way back to 1983, the semi-historic year when the Interval was first "computerized". Check it out!
Either the archives are missing the January and February 1983 issues, or no Interval was made in those months. There was an invitation for the Striders annual banquet that was sent out in January, but that seems to barely count as an issue of The Interval (the greatest central Maine-based running newsletter over the last 40 years or so).
However, the March issue featured a major Striders announcment -- the club entered the COMPUTER AGE!
Back in 1983, the Striders' annual banquet seemed like a pretty impressive affair. 63 people attended! The newly elected board of officers included Dean Rasmussen, Gene Roy, and Geoff Hill (all of whom are still active members to this day). Current member Sarah Roy won an award for Most Improved Strider. The 1983 club even had a New Balance representative speak at the banquet! And they ended the banquet with a showing of a movie about the 1981 Hawaii IronMan Triathlon (remember, this was long before Netflix or even DVDs existed). Sounds like it was a pretty exciting night.
The January Thaw Road Race was postponed that year due to bad weather. Geez... that never happens in Maine in January. Oh wait, (...checks January Thaw archives...) it happened this year and last year.
I usually don't include old finance information in these flashbacks, but the balance of $96.53 from February 2, 1983 has to be the lowest that I have ever seen the club's balance get, and I'm guessing that all of the current and former club Treasurers would agree.
The April 1983 newsletter included coverage of that year's Killarney's 10k, which saw a new course records set for both the men and the women. Current member Rick Stuart ran sub-35 minutes.
It turns out that Fred Judkins wasn't using just any computer for the new Striders member database. He was using an all-caps APPLE computer. Fancy stuff. [As a side note, I think I got my first computer, an Apple IIe, around that same time]
It seems that the city of Auburn tried to pass an anti-joggers and skiers law. No word on how a law against joggers and skiers would affect runners. Also, how often were people skiing down the side of the road an actual problem? I know this is Maine and all, but..... really?
In the May 1983 Interval, the newsletter editor announced that they were going to start profiling one member each month, selected at random. [The 2020 newsletter editor is thinking about implementing this "random" method to choosing members to profile in the "Meet Our Members" section.]
They were also looking for articles from members [Another note from the 2020 editor: Time may have moved forward by 37 years, but we're still looking for article from members. If anyone would like to help out by writing an article for our newsletter and webpage, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.]
And, they were looking for someone with a copier that could copy onto both sides of paper. [The 2020 editor would like to let you know that we are no longer searching for two-sided copying capabilities.]
Gene Roy was looking for Striders to join him for a Mount Washington road race team. This was the year that Ron Paquette and Dean Rasmussen succumbed to Gene's pleas to get a Striders team for this uphill race. Apparently, they've been addicted to that hill since that year, considering that they've ran it every year from then until now. As you all know, the race has been cancelled this year due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Let's hope these two fine gentlemen get a chance to continue their streak next year.
It's hard to believe that a couple Striders in 1983 ran the London Marathon, but that's exactly what Susan Adams and Linda Snow did. This was only the third year that the London Marathon was run. Unfortunately, these two women are no longer members of our club, but I'd love to hear where they are now and if they're still running.
In other "international" news, there were some Striders preparing for the Boston Marathon. Rick Stuart was gunning for a sub-2:30 marathon and Geoff Hill was aiming to be a bandit.
Rick Stuart primed his way to the Boston Marathon by capturing 7th place in the Readfield Boston Primer 15-miler. That must have been quite the field if Rick only got 7th.
The Striders fielded a stellar team for the Great Downeast Maine Half Marathon back in 1983. The team featured long-time Strider all-stars Gene Roy, Geoff Hill, Ron Paquette, Sarah Roy, and Donnjean Pohlman. Not to be outdone, Rick Stuart finished 5th in the marathon that day with a nice sub-3-hour time. Wait... I thought Rick was preparing for Boston. [Editor's Note: He was.]
In the "New Members" section of the May 1983 newsletter, none other than current member Gust Stringos was introduced. Gust did run the Maine Coast Marathon that year, and still enjoys beekeeping and gardening.
By June of 1983, it seems that Fred Judkins was getting into his APPLE computer. Based on the amazing font seen below, it looks like he started using the computer for typing newsletters, besides just keeping a member database. Also, it seems like this issue marked the point in time where the club found a way to print/copy on both sides of a piece of paper.
Oh, and you gotta love the very dated title "Data Processor".
That same issue featured a profile on longtime member Jim Moore. 37 years since this article was written and Jim is still probably one of the most consistent runners in CMS. Jim, I think you've made your goal of continuing running through the age of 65 and we're extremely thankful to have been with you the whole way! Also, has anyone else out there commuted to work in Augusta by running the 21 miles? Now, that's dedication!
It looks like Rick Stuart didn't make his sub-2:30 goal at Boston, but 2:37 ain't too shabby!
Speaking of not shabby, Gene Roy ran a 22:13 at a 4-mile race in Portland.
While Gene was running his 4 miles in Portland, it looks like a large chunk of the Striders membership was running a 10k in China. Current members Geoff Hill, Jim Moore, and Donnajean Pohlman were listed in the results.
As the club's data processing and computerizing skills advanced, they started printing newsletters on colored paper. The colored paper trend in the newsletter continued until 1993 or so.
The June 1983 issue also included a list of all the current members, along with their addresses and phone numbers. We cut off the contact info here, but are showing you the members' names. We're very thankful for all the names that are on this 1983 list AND still on our 2020 member list.
There were some familiar names amongst two back-to-back Saturday 10k's in May of 1983.
At the Emden 10k, Rick Stuart came in second with a nice 5:36 pace. Dean Rasmussen, Donnajean Pohlman, Ron Paquette, and Gene Roy also placed in the top 10. No offense to Gene, but were there only 10 runners in this 10k? The Striders held 8 of the top 10 places, and there was 14 minutes between first and tenth place.
The next weekend, there was a bigger turnout of not just Striders, but of runners period. Our current club clerk, Alton Stevens, finished with an impressive 33:44 time. Gene Roy avenged his last(?) place finish from the previous week by cutting nearly 13 minutes off his time. We'll give Gene the benefit of the doubt and assume the Emden 10k was just a training run for the Boothbay 10k. It's too bad, though, that his place dropped from 10th to 31st. Numbers, places, and running can be strange like that sometimes. Geoff Hill, Jim Moore, and Sarah Roy were also part of the large CMS contingent at the race.
Susan Adams finished the London Marathon in a time of 4:19. No word on how Linda Snow fared. She's also not included on the list of members from the June Interval. Hmmmm... conspiracy theorists could probably come up with a great explanation for this.
Gust Stringos, introduced to the club back in the May 1983 newsletter and still a club member, finished the Maine Coast Marathon in 3:04:55. Jerry Allanach, another longtime Strider and current Chicago-area resident, came in at 3:18:06.
In the August issue that year, it was announced that the Striders would be hosting the 1st ever Sugarloaf Marathon. Of course, along with that honor came responsibility, so they were asking for volunteers.
Results from the first year of "The One-Hill Streak" for Dean Rasmussen and Ron Paquette were also in that August issue. Gene Roy and some other guys were also on the team, but had streaks that ended much earlier than 37 years.
So, you may be asking yourself, "who is this Dean guy?" Well, here's how he was profiled in that August 1983 Interval. Dean, thanks for continuing to be a Strider for all of these years!
Rick Stuart ran a high-altitude 10k out in New Mexico that year. Unfortunately, the Interval and/or the computer skills of the club weren't advanced enough to include pictures in the newsletter, so we'll never know whether the mentioned picture was a "real" road runner or if it was Rick.
In the President's Comments of the October 1983 Interval, Dean Rasmussen thanked all of the members that volunteered for the first Sugarloaf Marathon. We all know that volunteers are probably the most critical component of a successful race.
That issue also included race results for several CMS members, including Donnajean Pohlman's sub-4-hour marathon in San Francisco.
Gust Stringos seems to have had a good showing at the Twilight 5-miler with pace just under 6-minutes-per-mile. Ron Paquette and Donnajean Pohlman were also amongst the large group of Striders that ran the race in Skowhegan.
Those same three current Striders ran another race in Skowhegan that month and were joined by Sarah Roy and several other members.
The only current Strider to be listed in the results for that first Sugarloaf Marathon was Dean Rasmussen. He grabbed 14th place overall with a nice sub-3-hour finish. However, the date in these results was listed as 1982, even though the first Sugarloaf Marathon was held in 1983. Hmmmm..... do we have another conspiracy theory here, or was it just an innocent typo on an old APPLE computer?
A month later in Kingsfield, a giant group of Striders showed up for the Kingfield 10k. Alton Stevens, Geoff Hill, Dean Rasmussen, Jim Moore, Donnajean Pohlman, Ron Paquette, Sarah Roy, and Gene Roy were all there. Ron and Donnajean beat Gene and Sarah by about 20 seconds for the title of "top Striders couple".
The Kingfield and Sugarloaf area continued to be a popular area for Striders to race in that fall, with another big group running the Sugarloaf Uphill race. Gene Roy grabbed 6th place overall with a finish time of an even 32 minutes. Usual suspects Geoff Hill, Dean Rasmussen, Ron Paquette, and Jim Moore also finished the uphill race.
In October 1983, Geoff Hill ran the Casco Bay Marathon with a nice time of 3:12:32.
And in November 1983, CMS member Chris Bovie tied a course record at the Veterans Day 5k with a time of 16:04! Geoff Hill came in 6th with a time of 18-minutes flat. Gene Roy and Jim Moore opted for the half marathon that day and finished with times of 1:24:40 and 1:33:17, respectively.
"Meet Our Members" is where we get to know a little more about our fellow Striders -- who they are, why they run, and why they're part of the Central Maine Striders.
In this edition of "Meet Our Members", Kelley Carter agreed to answer our questions over email. Kelley lives in Pittsfield and is one of the newer Central Maine Striders members.
One of the things that helped trigger my return to running was the fact that I turned 50 in 2019. Having the desire to do a marathon, I figured if I didn't do it now, I might not ever do it. Leading up to Sugarloaf, I was pretty certain that I'd be a "one-n-done" type of marathoner. Not fifteen minutes after completing that event, when I could barely walk from unspeakable pain I'd never felt before, my wife asked me if I'd ever do it again. Without hesitation, I responded with a firm "hell yeah!" I seem to have a mild obsession with it now, that I should probably seek counseling for! I'll never be a competitive runner, but for what it does for my mental state, I hope I never have to stop.
Did you manage to reach that Boston qualifying goal?
I have not been able to hit that BQ objective - YET! Although my PB at the half is pretty decent for my age at 1 hr 41 min, I've had a hard time translating that to the marathon distance. I've always seemed to show up at the starting line completely ready to go. However, I struggle to hold back on first half of the distance. As a consequence, I tend to hit that wall pretty hard. During the Maine Marathon in October, my mile splits were all sub-9 minutes, and even a couple of sub-8, through mile 20. The last 6 were barely sub-12!! Clearly, I need to find more patience for the first half!
Was there anyone who inspired you to start running (a friend, a family members, or a professional athlete)? I've never really thought about that, but I guess my favorite uncle first piqued my interest in running, when I saw him compete in a marathon in Austin, TX, way back in the late 70's. But that was just one of many crazy and adventurous things he's done in his life. I suppose I kinda follow in that same frame of mind. There are definitely a ton of other people that have inspired me along the way. Stories of real people doing really incredible stuff... running-related or not, surviving against insurmountable odds, or overcoming an impossible obstacle... give me strength and determination to push forward, even when I don't want to. I also try remember to be grateful for everything I have - that there are countless humans who suffer, but are still genuinely thankful for the very little blessings they do have - those people inspire me more than any.
Of the three marathons you ran in 2019, which was your favorite and why?
Of the three marathons I ran in 2019, each offered something very special for me, and all were definite favorites for very different reasons. Sugarloaf was special because it was my first and it was an absolute blast. The support from the organizers, to the participants, to the wacky crowds was super cool, and made the event a ton of fun. What wasn't fun was the cold, rainy weather! The Maine Marathon was epic for the dedicated supporters on the sidelines - the live bands, the hilarious signs, folks cheering you on by name - awesome. Pretty nice scenery too. Millinocket....what can I say about Millinocket? It is beyond words really. In my mind, that event is all about giving back and helping that little town come alive. It's less about running. However! The run is definitely part of the incredible experience, from Fireball shot stations, delicious soup, hot Gatorade, and so much more makes for a memorable experience with a huge desire to do it again. I should mention I learned that the speedy shoes can be left at home. This event is more like a slow, long run than a PR opportunity. Of the three marathons, if I could only choose one to run again, for now it would have to be Sugarloaf - just to prove to myself that I can beat the 4-hour mark!!! With assistance from gravity of course!
How did you find out about the Central Maine Striders and why did you join us? I first stumbled across Central Maine Striders on Facebook I think, and then again on Strava. Years ago, in Providence RI, I belonged to a corporate running group, as well as a local running club. I remember the camaraderie, support and energy that we all benefited from, just by training and participating in events. It was a big sense of community, and actually pushed me to train harder and more consistently that I probably would've otherwise done on my own. I decided to join Central Maine Striders one, because the group is relatively close to where I live, and two, because I want to be more active in the running community in general. I find running can be a pretty lonely endeavor - which isn't always bad and often times the one place where I can find peace in an otherwise chaotic world - but I miss sharing the joy of running with others. Non-runners just don't get it, do they? Lol.
What do you do when you're not running?
When I'm not running, I keep myself occupied with work and outdoor stuff. Backpacking in the back-country with my family is my all-time favorite recreational activity. Life is meant to be lived to the fullest with as many rich experiences as possible, in my opinion. Work is just a means to an end. Thankfully, my employer, Sebasticook Valley Federal Credit Union, gives me plenty of opportunity to do the things I enjoy the most.
Thanks for joining the Striders and for letting us get to know you better, Kelley. We're looking forward to see you at some of our events in the future (whenever that's allowed again).
by Harold Shaw
Let’s think for a minute - for the year 2020 we all probably had goal races, big plans and were going to accomplish many of them.
Basically, my goals in 2020 were to race more than I have in a long time, well as long as the old body held up to the demands of training for an October 18th super-secret race. Unfortunately, like most of you, back in March I put all those great plans, goals, or whatever you want to call them...well to be blunt I and most other runners I know threw most everything out the window when....
The Coronavirus pandemic happened.
Which largely ended many of our plans for spring racing and restarting of Strider group runs (thank you Sapan, Jordan, & Julie), where members were beginning to enjoy the camaraderie of being around our friends or meeting new friends through running again.
Unfortunately, the way things look now this pandemic has also put both the summer and possibly/probably the fall racing and schedule for any major races in jeopardy, along with Strider plans for group runs as well. This most likely means that our running will not be about preparing for racing (other than virtual races) or spending time running together anytime soon.
All those plans, goals and motivation to run - gone...so what are we supposed to do now?
Keep running of course.
Okay, enough whining about COVID 19, it is here, we are dealing with it and we have choices:
Okay, if you are reading this newsletter and are a Strider, #1 is not the answer you are looking for. I don’t know about you, but if I stopped doing the things I still can do, I would gain 20-30 pounds over the next few months and become unhealthy again. Like most of us I have worked too hard to go back to that lifestyle.
#2 is appealing to many of us, constantly training for races either believing that they will probably be canceled or turned into virtual races just doesn’t work for most of us. It will probably only result in injury or burn-out.
Unfortunately, without being too negative, I just don’t see major races happening until there is a vaccine or some miracle cure comes along from the good people over at Colby - which means no major races in 2020. However, I am hopeful that there might be some smaller local races allowed in the fall.
For me, the choice was easy #3.
Base Building - Building a good mileage base is crucial for running better - just the way it is. Putting in the miles necessary to be in shape before the training that we will be doing for races in the future is a great investment in our running - call it prep work. Especially since there is no pressure to perform or get ready for a race anytime soon, we can increase our mileage to higher levels at a healthy progression, versus the usual do too much too fast and finally get off the injured merry-go-round that many of us ride.
Weaknesses - We all have them and yes, we hate to admit it. Whether they are strength training, yoga, pre and post-run routines, improving running form, our diet, learning more about different training methods, attempting something new versus the same old same old that we always have done, looking at changes to running shoes and of course learning more about the mental side of running.
So much to do and so little time...well we have a little more time now to take a look at those weaknesses and make changes or turn them into strengths.
Staying Healthy - Running, in my opinion, does help to improve our health both physically, mentally and, from what I have read lately, probably helps improve the immune system as well. However, in these uncertain times, too much of a good thing can also be detrimental to our health. This is probably not the time to be doing Yasso 800s, 20+ mile training runs, 12x400 at mile race pace, or any of those myriads of workouts we runners do that leave us totally drained and may weaken our immune system at a time when we need it to be at its best.
Personally, I have taken the conservative approach and am attempting to limit my mileage to 25-35 miles a week, with most of the runs at the comfortable effort level, not a certain pace. Once or maybe twice a week, I might go ahead and do a comfortably hard run, but very little running at harder paces and then that is usually by accident. Also, I have limited my longer runs to 6-8 miles. Could I do more - sure, but at this point, I want to be healthy more than I want to increase my speed or mileage.
I know this does seem to conflict with my comments on base building, but if/when I decide to increase my base mileage I can do it intelligently and still be healthy.
Having Fun - How many of us take our running so seriously that we forget that for most of us running is not our day job and we need to look closer at why we run and if we need to make changes to make it a more positive part of our lives. Many of us plan, tinker, read about, study our training logs for trends, pour over graphs, charts and summaries of our recent efforts and we forget that our running is supposed to be something we enjoy...yeah fun, not yet another stressor in our lives.
Think about it, when was the last time you were out on a run where you stopped, looked around and thought to yourself “How lucky I am to be out doing this thing that I love!” Smiled a big smile, laughed out loud, then sheepishly looked around quickly to see who saw you laughing and still felt like the weight of the world has been thrown off your shoulders. If it has been a while you might want to think about what running really means to you. Running should not be another chore that we dread simply to get ready for another race - a means to an end.
Running can be so much more than that.
If you primarily run on the roads, maybe attempting some easier trails (there are several in the area), barefoot strides on grass, running at different times of the day, doing a scavenger hunt while running, stopping to take photos of odd, unusual or stunningly gorgeous scenes that you will see. There are many things that we can do while we are running to make it seem less like drudgery and more fun.
No, it does not always mean to be plugged into your music playlist either, it might be time to listen to nature’s music.
The reality is that
Runners run for many reasons and having the motivation of an upcoming race is great, although not being able to race is not the end of our running journey. Especially, when we are members of the Central Maine Striders because we are also a part of a larger running community that supports and helps each other with our running and often beyond running.
The next time you can - watch how children run. They do not run hunched over, their faces grim and focused on the ground in front of them as they gasp for air - you know like the guy in the photo below.
They run with joy, giggles and abandonment that we have forgotten in our efforts to be grown-up. Their heads are up, big grins and lots of laughter and yes, they do suddenly stop to look at the butterfly flitting around their heads or the thing crawling around on the grass. Maybe we need to lighten up and find some of that joy in our running and make running fun again.
At some point the pandemic will be under control enough so that racing and our training for those goals we have will return, but until it does we can keep running, smile more, remember to stop in the middle of a run and looking around thinking about the idea that “I get to run, versus I have to run” and yes, running can be fun.
Who knows maybe I will get to train for that super double-secret race on October 18th, but I don’t think that I will be holding my breath too long in hopes of it actually happening.
However, I do hope that we get to start up the Strider group runs as soon as we are allowed to. Although I have a feeling that those of us who are in the more at risk group for the Coronavirus will wait until things are even more calmed down.
Stay safe and be well
So far "Running Backwards" has taken us to 1981, 1982, and 1999. Continuing our sprint forward in time, we're heading to 2011 in this issue. Don't worry, sooner or later, we're bound to stumble back into the 80's.
The front page of 2011 newsletters also always had a section called "Editor's News" at the bottom of the page, where Linda Benn would share short bits, club announcements, requests for more people to write front page articles, thanks to those who had submitted front page articles, and would often include a holiday greeting in months where holidays were coming up. Here are some excerpts from throughout the year:
Gene Roy had the front page honors for May 2011 and waxed philosophically about whether or not running is a sport. You may notice that Page 2 starts out by saying that it was continued from Page 2. No, the Striders did not succeed in bending the fabric of newsletter space-time. Surprisingly, this ultramarathon-lasting copy-and-paste error persisted throughout every issue of The Interval from July 2008 until December 2011.
I don't personally know Mike Brooks, but I do know that he raced a lot, traveled a lot, and wrote three front pages of The Interval in 2011 (and is still a CMS member today). Although all of his front page articles are interesting race reports from various corners of the US, it was his article on the back-to-back races he ran in Hawaii that was the most exciting to me. Here are some of the highlights of that article:
In April 2011, several Striders ran in the Unity Spring 5k and in the Fly Like an Eagle 5k (which was a race held at Erskine Academy in South China).
Ron Paquette took over the front page article in June of 2011 and offered his thoughts on the cost of running.
The July edition of the newsletter featured an early version of "Running Backwards", or at least a look back at the results of the Joseph's 5k from 20 years earlier. We're not sure what top secret information got redacted here.
Gene Roy used the front page of the October 2011 Interval to tell a story about telling stories.
Gene, I think some runners "Now Now" (2020) would disagree with some of your claims about "Now" back then or even "Then" back then, but you're still more than welcome to tell us some stories, regardless of whether they're from "Then" or "Now" or "Now Now". We won't even mind if you've told them before. We're happy to have you as a Central Maine Strider, for both the contributions you made back "Then" and the contributions you continue to make to the club "Now Now."
The November 2011 issue of The Interval featured a front page article by Ron Paquette, which featured a nice piece about crickets that he found in Ultrarunning Magazine.
David Benn used his time to write the front page Interval article in December 2011 to cover the Champions Thanksgiving Day 10k.
Mike Brooks had been mentioned several times in this edition of Running Backwards. For those of you who don't know who he is, Ron Paquette has this great writeup about Mike in the December 2011 newsletter.
And just like that, we've made it to the end of 2011. Thanks for jogging back with us. We hope you enjoyed it!
Jordan Castillo moved to central Maine a couple years ago. The first time he attended a Central Maine Striders meeting was last December. By the end of that meeting, he had been voted in as the new club Vice President. In his short tenure as the VP, he's organized several group runs (and brunches), started the club's Instagram account, and generally been one of the more energetic and enthusiastic club members. One weekend at brunch this winter, he shared the story of how he started running. It was such a great story that I asked him if he could write it up for the club webpage and newsletter. So, just in case you weren't at that brunch, here's Jordan's running story:
With confidence and excitement, he responded, “Yeah! Your younger brother is going to join, too! C’mon! It’ll be fun!”
Slowly, but surely, my brother and I began to see the results of our training. Three miles started to feel like a warm-up distance. I began to feel like I could slow my breath enough to even carry a conversation while running. The first time I finished a 13.1-mile run, I felt like a straight-up champion. Many times, my brother and I would join my dad’s running club for long runs on the weekends. The runners carried such an encouraging, infectious energy. They loved seeing young people like my brother and I training for a such a big race, and it was always motivating to hear their stories about running accomplishments and the goals they were setting for themselves.
As the weeks passed, I came to believe that finishing a marathon was actually possible—I just had to stick with the training plan and know that my body was capable of carrying me further than I could ever imagine.
Fast-forward to race day. I had barely slept because I was so nervous and excited. With my green singlet and black running shorts, I joined the other runners in the starting area. It was a clear, sunny day and 6,000 of us were about to embark on this 26.2-mile journey along the beautiful north shore of Lake Superior.
One of my strongest memories of the race is the feeling of camaraderie between my dad, my brother, and me. They always kept me focused on the goal, especially near the end when I felt more fatigued than ever and I began to seriously doubt whether I could finish. I also remember all the fans on the side of the road who encouraged us and handed out free water, Gatorade, salty snacks. Some of the fans even had water hoses to cool us off, and some were literally grilling on the side of the road and giving out hot dogs and hamburgers. There were so many moments during the race when I just felt rushes of gratitude and excitement from seeing all the fans. Crowd support makes such a huge difference!
Around mile 23, I started to hit “the wall.” Each step felt like it required ten times the normal amount of effort, and I felt all my muscles ache with each strike of the ground. I actually remember feeling angry and wondering why I was running the race in the first place. My brother was so good at reminding me that this race was possible and that we were going to make it to the end. I was in so much pain, so my brother’s encouragement made a huge difference.
Without a doubt, the final .2 miles of the race was the most agonizing, challenging part. I remember passing the 26th mile marker and thinking, “Wow! I’m done! We are at the finish line!” But the reality is that .2 miles is still .2 miles. It also didn’t help that there were still a few turns after mile 26, so I couldn’t even see the finish line until a minute or so after passing the final mile marker. When I eventually did see that finish line, though, I ran with everything I had.
“From Lakeville, Minnesota, we have Jordan and Spencer Castillo, about to finish their first Grandma’s Marathon!” The announcer was cheering us on, along with the hundreds of fans lining each side of the road. Those last few seconds of the race seemed to last an eternity, and I couldn’t believe that I was actually about to be done running those 26.2 miles. With a time of just under five hours, my brother and I crossed the finish line. My dad and brother were right there, and we grabbed each other with a sweaty, beautiful embrace. I felt a sudden rush of accomplishment, relief, pride, and overwhelming joy like I’d never felt before. At the age of 16, I had just finished my first marathon.
During the drive home, my Dad turned to my brother and me and blurted, “So, who’s ready for the next marathon?”
“Haha, are you kidding me? Too soon, Dad,” I answered. “Maybe in a month, you can ask me then.” And a few months later, my dad did, in fact, ask me about running Grandma’s Marathon again.
“Sure, why not,” I responded with a soft smile.
So, the next year, I ran my second Grandma’s Marathon. The year after that, I ran another marathon with my dad, and the year after that, too. Because of that initial nudge from my dad, I have been running long-distance consistently for 11 years now. I am proud to say that last month I completed my tenth marathon in Napa, California (with a PR of 3:29!), and in less than three months I will go back to where it all began to run Grandma’s Marathon again, this time with the intention of qualifying for the Boston Marathon.
Thanks for sharing your running story with us, Jordan! We love the energy and enthusiasm that you've brought to the club.
If any of you would like to be featured in a "Meet Our Members" article, contact us at email@example.com. We'd be more than happy to publish your running story and/or interview you.
Our last two editions of "Running Backwards" went to 1981 and 1982, and were huge hits with our readers. Thank you again for all the positive feedback. This month we're going to sprint forward to 1999. Pace yourself. It's a long one. And don't worry, we'll stumble back into the 80's and early 90's soon enough.
Amanda Russell wasn't listed as a member of the Striders, but in the March 1999 issue of The Interval she wrote this race report about the Boston Marathon (perhaps it was reprinted from another publication?).
Ron Paquette & Donnajean Pohlman and Gene & Sarah Roy can never be thanked enough for their contributions to the Central Maine Striders. That's just as true now as it was in 1999.
Many of the older issues of The Interval included a list of all the members. We've been thinking about doing this for current members, but in the meantime, you'll just have to settle for seeing the list of 1999 Central Maine Striders.
In April, The Interval had the results, a quick writeup, and some photos from the 20th Annual Killarney's 10k. The race director was none other than Tom McGuire. Rumor has it that he's been working hard to give some other current Striders the chance to start a new Striders 10k race.
The results included Striders regulars Jim Moore and Ron Paquette, as well as a young guy named Pat Guerette.
Ron Paquette took the honor of filling the President's Page in the September 1999 newsletter:
Club Secretary Mardie Brown shared some news about the club's annual meeting, including plans to update the bylaws to conform to the 1999 structure of the club:
Some random race photos from the September issue. It's unclear as to why Bob Strout is the only Strider in the first photo who gets named.
There was a photo of Gene Roy running Mount Washington to close out the September '99 Interval, and then the October '99 issue opened with his turn filling the President's Page, where he shared a good mix of wisdom, humor, and advice on winter running.
Jerry Allanach gave an update from Illinois in the October newsletter. To this day, Jerry is still a proud member of the Striders, still lives in Illinois, and still occasionally turns up at a Maine race. This past year, a few of us got to meet him at the Save Your Breath 5k in Augusta.
Although Mardie Brown was never the President of the Central Maine Striders, she still got the honor of writing the President's Page in the November 1999 issue of The Interval.
In 1999, tips for running safely included "carry coins for a phone call". Other than the fact that carrying coins won't do much for you these days (unless you use them to throw at any potential attackers), these are still good tips for running safely.
David Benn took the reins back for the President's Page in the final Interval issue of 1999. He made a plea for a couple volunteers to take over the Killarney's 10k and Gasping Gobbler 10k. From what I can tell, 1999 was the last year that the Killarney's race was run. The Gasping Gobbler seems to have taken the year 2000 off, but then returned in 2001, only to disappear again from 2002 through 2005. In 2006, the Gasping Gobbler returned as a 5k at Cony High School in Augusta and continues to this day.
The Striders never began a road race series, even though it seems to have been being explored at the end of 1999. However, that "kid" Pat Guerette that showed up at a few races in 1999 came back to Maine and started the Quarry Road Trail Race series in 2013.
That's all for 1999! If you made it this far, thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed this edition of Running Backwards. Candidates for next month's jog into the archives include 1987, 1988, 1990, 1996, 2009, and 2013.