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 email@example.com.]
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.
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!
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.
Our last edition of "Running Backwards" to 1981 was a huge hit with our readers. Thank you for all the positive feedback. This month we're going to 1982.
The year started off with newsletters consisting of just a few pieces of paper stapled together and the title simply saying "Central Maine Striders", but keep reading to see how the newsletter evolved later in the year.
In the first issue of the year, President David Baird asked for submissions from other members:
Gene Roy shared some news about the opening of the New Balance Factory Outlet in Skowhegan. That store still exists and has some great deals, especially during their end-of-summer tent sale, but I'm not sure when the last time anyone found a $5 pair of running shoes!
It seems that Mother Nature forgot about the "thaw" part of the January Thaw that year. BRRR! However, it seems that everyone survived the cold and celebrated with a post-race party. What's that about a Runners World Magazine article about the race?!? I'm not sure if anyone has some old issues of the New England Edition of Runners World from 1982, but it would be great to see some coverage of the Central Maine Striders in a major publication!
In the February-March edition of the newsletter, it was announced that founding member Rick Krause wrote a history of the Central Maine Striders. This is probably another old publication that's been lost to time, but it would be cool to see if any of our longtime members still have it.
The Killarney's 10k was another Waterville race that the Striders seem to have put on for many years, but sadly no longer exists (nor does the restaurant/bar that gave the race its name). Thirty-one Striders completed the race in 1982, including current member Sarah Roy who set a new PR.
Some programs and clinics were organized by current member Dean Rasmussen. Keep in mind that this was long before the internet came along and made it easy to research training programs and methods.
History was made in in the April-May 1982 issue, when the name "The Interval" was first used for the club newsletter. A nice new masthead was introduced to showcase the new newsletter's new name, along with the club's memberships in the RRCA and TAC organizations.
Also, there was a plea from the president for more contributions from other members. Yes, it seems that all club presidents have to do this, both then and now (hint, hint... anyone have any submissions for the next newsletter?).
That issue included some news about the Central Maine Strider members that ran the Boston Marathon in 1982. We definitely had some powerhouse marathoners that year! Four club members finished in 2:50 or faster. Wow!
News from that issue also included results from a couple local runs. Runners mentioned that are still members to this day included Donnajean Pohlman, Dean Rassmussen, Sam Mitchell, Jim Moore, and Sarah Roy.
By the time of the June 1982 edition of the newsletter, it looks like President David Baird finally got a little bit of assistance for the newsletter, which he calls "the single largest job that the president has to attend to" (I think I know what he means!). Anyway, the person that came forward to help was the previous year's president, Gene Roy. Still trying to coerce some new blood to provide material for the newsletter, David still makes a request to the general membership for more newsletter material.
Several familiar names performed well at the 1982 Embden 10k.
Although less names were mentioned, the Striders supposedly recorded several PR's at the Rocky Coast 10k in Boothbay. Alton Stevens, an attorney who's currently (still) are club Clerk, ran it in 35:33. For those of you without a calculator, that's 5:43/mile pace, also know as "fast"!
There were some plans that didn't pan out to get a team together for a race up a big hill:
However, one Strider did run it. From the July 1982 issue of The Interval, it looks like Gene Roy started a Strider tradition of running up that one hill. As he noted, the race is pretty much just an average 8-mile uphill run. Somehow, his description was enough to motivate more Striders to run the race the next year, which is when Ron Paquette and Dean Rasmussen's streaks that are still going today began. But, we'll save that story for another issue.
July 1982 saw the birth of organized track workouts for the Striders. We still do these every summer, except we meaure our laps in 400's now instead of 440's and use Colby's track instead of the High School's.
It's always good to hear about how the "iron women" in the club perform:
A regular feature in Interval newsletter has always been introductions of new members. It looks like Geoff Hill, famous for securing so many wonderful prizes for the club to giveaway at January Thaw races, made his Striders debut in 1982. [Note: We'd love to hear from any of our current new members (and old members too) about who you are and why you run.]
By the time the September issue rolled around, Geoff Hill ran a 10k PR. This pretty much proves that being a Central Maine Strider makes you a better runner.
As the club continued to grow and become "a force to be reckoned with" that year, the president once again had to ask for help from the members outside of the "core" regulars. Speaking of that, do we have any members out there that want to get more involved? We could always use more help on newsletters, administrative duties, and volunteering at races. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Back in those days, it seems that the president and former president wrote most of the newsletter's content, another member typed it (yes, that means on a typewriter), and another person mailed them out. Although technology has changed things for us a bit, most of the work on the newsletter is now done by the current president, who wouldn't complain if someone out there in Striderland came forward to provide assistance. I promise that it won't involve typewriters or stamps.
Karen McCann is a Strider that gets mentioned a lot in the old issue of The Interval. I'm not sure what she's up to these days, but she seemed to be a pretty formidable in 1982. Amongst many other accomplishments, she placed fifth in the Benjamins 10k, a race that Maine's favorite runner Joan Benoit also ran in. If that race were still around today, I'd hope that the slogan would be "It's all about the Benjamins".
All of you Colby folk will probably be proud to know that Karen coached the women's cross-country team there.
We had a 14-year-old Strider member who ran a 35:08 at the Kingfield 10k that September. Regardless of age, that's fast! Doug MacDonald also happened to break records on EVERY course he ran during that year's junior high school cross-country season. No word on how Doug MacDonald fared in his running career after the age of 14.
The Striders were doing their best to have influence over all the area's youth by coaching as many teams as possible. Besides the aforementioned Colby women's cross-country coach, Central Maine Strider members were also coachs of Winslow High School, Messalonskee High School, Waterville Junior High, Madison High School, and Maine Central Institute. I wouldn't be surprised if more than a few of our current members were coached by these guys.
Gene Roy must have been enjoying running up hills that year. Besides being the only Strider to run the Mount Washington Road Race, he also ran the Sugarloaf Hill Climb. He placed 7th overall in race up that much smaller hill. Ron Paquette was also there, possibly training for a 38-year streak of running up Mount Washington.
More news about the Benjamins 10k. Some familiar names, like Alton Stevens, Dave Baird, and Geoff Hill represented the Striders.
Several newsletters in 1982 talked of a planned Striders yard sale to raise some funds for the club. I'll spare you the details, but it eventually the year ended and the yard sale was postponed until spring 1983.
That's all for 1982! It seemed to be a year in which the Striders were finding their stride. The club was growing, the organization was being figured out, the newsletter got a name, and PR's were being set.
For the next issue of Running Backwards, we'll jump forward in time. Possible destinations include 1987, 1988, 1990, 1996, 1999, and 2009. I've skimmed through and seen exciting moments in these years, and Intervals started having photos!
"Running Backwards" is a new feature of our webpage and Interval newsletter that will highlight some excerpts of a chosen year in the history of the Central Maine Striders, as seen through past issues of the club's newsletter. We hope you enjoy it!
It may be hard to believe, but there used to be two chapters of the Central Maine Striders. From the July 1981 newsletter:
Brief profiles were written in the old newsletter to welcome any newcomers to the club. Long-time Strider Jim Moore was featured in the August 1981 newsletter:
In 2020, Jim can still be found running on the streets of Waterville and racing in club races, including this year's January Thaw. Thanks Jim, for your many years of participation in the club!
And in the September 1981 issue, another long-time member, Jerry Allanach was featured:
Although Jerry has relocated to Illinois, he is still maintains his membership in the club and often comments in our Facebook group. He also occasionally returns to Maine to run in races. Last year, some of us got to see him at the Free ME from Lung Cancer "Save Your Breath" 5k in Augusta. Jerry, thank you for being such a loyal club member. We hope to see you back in Maine again sometime in 2020!
The October 1981 included results for any club members that finished the Casco Bay Marathon. Finish times that year included currently-still-active members Gene Roy 2:49, Dean Rasmussen 2:53, and Jerry Allanach 3:08.
Some annual club awards were named in the November 1981 issue. Gene Roy's name popped up again as "Strider of the Year". It makes you wonder how many times he's won that award.
Just to give you more reasons to respect Gene Roy, his time of 6:39 at the Rowdy Ultra 50 Miles at Brunswick was also included in that issue.
The December 1981 issue publicized the upcoming 1982 January Thaw. Hard to believe that there was ever a time that a race entry fee was only $1.
That month's issue also announced the newly elected officers.
And last, but not least, the December 1981 issue included a short note from the outgoing President, Gene Roy (yep, that guy again). I have a feeling that wasn't the last time that Gene was a club officer.
We hope you enjoyed this new feature digging into our club archives. In the next issue, we'll (hopefully) feature 1982.