On January 16th, 21 runners returned for the first [in person] January Thaw since 2020! As runners lined up at the starting line, temperatures were just starting to rise above 10 degrees F. Just a typical winter day in Maine, so no problem!
The race starts at Belgrade Elementary School and travels in a loop briefly on route 27 then turning on to Manchester Rd where runners tackle a series of hills varying in size. A group of runners surged to the front at the start of the race including the men’s first place finisher, Elijah Caret (25:42). As the runners turned onto Manchester rd we became more and more spaced.
As we neared the mile mark, I could already feel the cold and hills setting into my legs and knew to hang back from the pack a bit. After having been sticking to the treadmill for most of the winter and struggling to determine how to dress for such a chilly race, I wasn’t surprised to be feeling it. When we approached mile 3, there was a steady down hill which felt great and gave you an excellent view of the road to come. At that point, I could taste the finish and was starting to feel warm again. I started to push it to the finish line and finished first female in 32:52 with Matthew Meader right behind me in 33:13. The finishers stuck around to cheer for many of the other runners rolling in.
The January Thaw was my first race as a Strider and I’m excited to participate in more runs as a part of this group. The race was certainly not the easiest, but it was likely my coldest! It gives runners a great starting point to the new year and some insight into what areas to work on for upcoming races. (I know I came away with some notes!) While it may be chilly/hilly, it was a fun time! I recommend it to anyone in the area.
Excellent work to all the runners who came out! Thank you to all the volunteers and David Colby Young for the photos!