by Heather Cable
Striders, both human and canine, were well represented at this year’s Pineland Farms Trail Festival over Memorial Day weekend.
On Saturday, Arne Koch competed in the event’s 50k distance! After looping through the two loops of winding, hilly trails he finished in a time of 6:06:56.
On Sunday, Julie Millard, Lindsey Madison, and myself took part in the Canicross 5k with our dogs, Lily, Ginny, and Tidbit, respectively. It was starting to heat up as runners lined up with their pups.
When the race started, it was total chaos as we took off hard towards the trail. You could definitely feel the excitement of the dogs. The goal was to find a spot for you and your pup to run without the distraction of too many other dogs and runners. I remember thinking that this wasn’t even close to Tidbit’s normal pace (a pretty big 3-4 minutes faster than normal) so I knew it was only a matter of time before we’d slow down, but he just kept chugging along to the finish with an occasional stop in a puddle or pool to cool off.
Tidbit and I came through the finish in 9th with Tidbit running his fastest 5k ever. Julie and Lily were not far behind us and came through in 18th. Followed by Lindsey and Ginny in 21st out of 35 competitors.
If you are a dog-loving runner, I highly recommend this event. It’s a great way to bond with your dog through running and most of the time, they love it!
Next up for Striders was Kate Scott running the 10k event. At this point the temps were starting to creep into the 80’s and it was getting a little toasty. Despite the warm weather and difficult course, Kate came through the finish as the 6th place female in a time of 55:45!
Other striders in attendance were Ron Peck, who helped get some great photos, and Martha Nadeau, who volunteered at the finish line handing out medals.
by Julie Millard
These days, you can’t get much for 5 bucks. A cup of fancy coffee, a movie rental, a gallon of gas…or a delightful 5k at the Baptist Church in Smithfield. I last ran this family friendly race in 2012, and it was easy to convince Lindsey Madison and Ron Peck to join me this year. The modest entry fee, the prospect of running early to beat the heat, the tantalizing assortment of prizes, and the promise of a post-race breakfast at Early Bird were all powerful selling points.
Clearly, most Central Maine Striders appreciate a bargain (what other club offers a year-long family membership for only $20?), and so I was not surprised to see several other members at the venue. Camp Manitou was also well represented with counselors and what seemed like dozens of young campers in the field of about 50 runners. The out-and-back course along the shores of North Pond seemed like a walk in the park compared to my most recent 5k, but it could have been the nostalgia for simpler times that propelled me through to the finish.
The Striders cleaned up, winning many of the age group awards, and proudly claimed several loon-themed items, including a pillow, mug, and towel, as well as maple syrup and homemade jam. The race lived up to my memory as one of Maine racing’s “hidden gems,” an all-around great way to spend a Saturday morning in July with friends!