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.