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