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.