by Ron Peck and Ryan Goebel
The Central Maine Striders met on the morning of Sunday, Sept. 11th to honor the memory of Eliza Fletcher, a dedicated runner who was abducted while on her morning run in Tennessee and later murdered. Running communities across the country have held events to "Finish Eliza's Run" to mourn a fellow runner and raise awareness that all people deserve a safe environment to enjoy the outdoors. About twenty members of the Striders met for a moment of reflection led by club Vice President Kate Scott, then ran 3-6 miles in memory of Fletcher.
by Ryan Goebel with photos from the AYCC
On Saturday, August 20, runners gathered at the Waterville Alfond Youth Center for the annual Doc and Mardie Brown 5k. Former Central Maine Striders members, Doc and Mardie Brown exemplified the spirit of our club, with both of them being active well into their 90's. This run is held in their honor and even includes an award for the oldest finisher.
After running a modified course laster year due to construction on Mayflower Hill Drive, the race returned to its traditional course which includes running up the big hill from North Street to Colby College in the first mile. While almost every runner who has ever run this race has very strong opinions about this hill, most runners can agree that it's (mostly) downhill for the last 2 miles of the race.
From start to finish, the race was led by Joshua Way, former Waterville resident and young speedster who was temporarily back in the state with his family. The last time that Way ran Doc & Mardie was 2020, which was also the last time the course including the big North Street hill. That year, as a 14-year old, he placed second to Eli Caret. This year, Way finished with a blistering fast time of 16:41, which not only improved upon his time from 2020, but also bested Caret's time from that year.
Andrew Knightly, a 50-year old runner who drove down from Orono for the race, came in 2nd with a time of 17:57. Braden Rioux, a Winslow High School runner, placed third with a time of 18:43. Rounding out the top 5 were Striders Ryan Goebel (18:46) and Drew McCormick (19:04).
Leading the women were Messalonskee High School cross country coach Vanessa Holman (22:17) and Winslow High School runner Addison Pellerin (22:30).
Longtime Strider Ron Paquette once again picked up the award for the oldest finisher. At the awards ceremony, he joked with Race Director Patrick Guerette that he should stop reminding him that Paquette is the oldest. Guerette replied that it must not bother Paquette too much, because he keeps coming back every year.
Besides the ten children that completed the youth fun run, this year's 5k featured some impressive times by a couple of future all-star runners, including 10-year-old Sawyer Wess (24:38) and 8-year-old Cora Wess (32:30). Keep an eye out for these two in future Doc & Mardie 5k's and other area races!
Official Results for the 2022 Doc & Mardie 5k: https://my.raceresult.com/215715/results
Youth 1-Mile Fun Run Results: https://runsignup.com/Race/Results/10338#resultSetId-334089
by Ryan Goebel with photos from Quarry Road Trails
The summer of 2022 marked another summer of Tuesday night trail racing at Quarry Road Trails in Waterville. This year was a transitional year, as there was a gap between outgoing Quarry Road program director Justin Fereshetian and the new program director Jeff Tucker. In the meantime, Patrick Guerette, Koren Coughlin, and a team of other volunteers including many Central Maine Striders stepped up to keep the series going.
Zach Ross narrowly edged Pierce Coughlin for the overall series win. Alanna McDonough was the top overall female runner. Patrick Guerette (3rd place overall) achieved the highest place amongst Central Maine Striders members, with Vice President Kate Scott getting the highest place amongst the women Striders.
On August 16 after the final race of the series, race director Jeff Tucker handed out series awards and conducted a lucky draw raffle in which a lot of the runners who stuck around won some fabulous prizes.
Thank you to all of the runners and volunteers who continue to make this series a success year after year!
by Mark Fisher
The Central Maine Striders were well represented at this year’s Mount Washington Road Race. The race resumed a single day event with a mass start and all were anticipating a great edition to the summit climb in 2022.
I want to thank in particular the volunteers for this year's event. We shifted from our multiyear Saturday tradition of trash pickup (no jokes here please) to Friday registration parking duty. The weather was pleasant and it was enjoyable to ensure safe entry, parking and exit for all the runners and support people.
This is a unique and wonderful event and the organizers again did a great job (we all still feel that additional porta potties would be an excellent idea).
Striders running this year (in no particular order):
Alternate title: An Aging Runner- The Struggle is Real
First, some background. I started running fairly late in life, in my early 40’s. I had always hated running, but some friends started trail running and it sounded kind of fun so I gave it a try and fell in love. I never wanted to run a marathon- I was running for fun and fitness, and a marathon seemed like it would just be too hard on the body. The longest race I did was the Pineland Farms 25K, which I ran four times. Then I hit my early 50’s and apparently started my mid-life crisis by deciding it was time for a marathon.
Late in 2019 I signed up for the Sugarloaf Marathon. I heard that it's a fairly ‘easy’ course as marathons go, and I’d run the concurrent 15K twice. My training program called for a half marathon in early March, and I was surprised to find one nearby- the Lamoine Half Marathon. It fell on the right weekend and it was FREE. That race went well despite a temperature of 6 degrees with windchill and an extremely hilly course. It was so cold that the race director was encouraging folks that could self-time to start as soon as they were ready to go, rather than waiting for the 8:00 start time. I finished in 2 hours 30 minutes (56th out of 65 finishers plus 2 dnf), and felt quite smug about finishing 26 minutes ahead of a young woman in her late teens. At the time of that race, covid concerns were just beginning to build, and less than a month later Sugarloaf was canceled.
In December of 2020, Sugarloaf was on again! This time my training did not go as well- I really struggled with the longer runs. Lamoine was held virtually and I decided to skip it. When Sugarloaf was canceled again in mid-March, it was almost a relief.
In the fall of 2021 I recommitted to Sugarloaf 2022. My training was going… okay. I was definitely slowing down as I grew older, but plugging along. Time for the Lamoine Half Marathon. The weather was great- a balmy 16 degrees at the start and clear skies. I took advantage of the race’s flexibility and started 45 minutes early. I had listened to a podcast about marathon training and the trainer noted that many people find success with a combination of walking and running. I took that advice to heart and ended up with a time of 2 hours 50 minutes and dead last- uh oh. I was embracing the walking way too much.
The training weeks rolled by. The runs became longer… and then shorter. The Omicron surge came and went and Sugarloaf was a go! I went to pick up my bib the evening before the race only to discover I wasn’t in their system as a registered runner. I frantically searched my phone for a confirmation email… then my RunSignup account… nothing. I swore I REMEMBERED reactivating my deferred registration the previous fall. Luckily the race volunteer could see in their system I was deferred from previous years and had no problem reactivating my registration. Phew.
Race day! The weather was cool and cloudy with some sprinkles. Humid, but luckily the previous day's heat had broken. I felt pretty good for about ⅔ of the race. I had a few abdominal muscle cramps that disappeared with some gatorade and a hotspot on my arch that I put moleskin on. I spent 21 miles with an audiobook for distraction then switched to music. By then my legs and feet were so sore that I had trouble moderating my pace- I just couldn’t feel when I was pushing too hard until I realized my breathing was getting too labored and my heart rate was too high.
My finish time was 5 hours, 23 minutes, 514th out of 540 runners. I crossed the finish line in good spirits and super proud of myself. Two days later and my quads still hurt in a way I have never experienced before. Will I run another marathon? Highly unlikely. But there were times during my training when I thought, “If I can just get through this marathon maybe I’ll quit running.” Now I’m thinking, “Maybe I’ll do the 15K at Sugarloaf next year… and I can try for a better time at Lamoine… and maybe I could do the Augusta half again….”
On the 18th of June the Alfond Youth and Community Center will be hosting a sprint triathlon here at the AYCC. The triathlon will consist of a 500 yard swim, a 11.6 mile bike ride and finishing off with a 5K run.
Striders members get 20% off their entrance fee. Check your next newsletter for the discount code!
A quick note from Mark Fisher, who is coordinating our team for the Mount Washington Road Race this year:
Good day Central Maine Striders
As I write this the lottery for the 61st Mt. Washington Road Race is well underway. This unique running experience is one that will create a lifetime of great memories. Clearly a challenging course this year with "just one hill"!
The team has historically had 5 bibs from the organizers and provided 5 volunteers to support the effort. This year, we are being asked to help out with the parking on Friday, June 17th from 4-8 pm. With the move back this year to a single day race for all, they have aligned volunteers to cover the Saturday event. We have a long standing history of participation in this event and participation and volunteer support keep that viable.
Please reach out to me if you have interest in running this year or can help with our volunteer efforts. I can, when applicable, forward registration information.
Mark Fisher 603-340-1987 or MarkFisher3340@gmail.com
Please reach out to Mark if you are interested, so we can keep the tradition of the Striders being involved at this iconic race alive!