The Morins were the family that walked away with the most rocks this year. Brian Morin won the 50-59 Male age group and Cecilia Morin won the 20-29 Female age group (and 2nd Woman overall).
by Jordan Castillo
The time is 7:45AM on Wednesday, July 29, 2020. A few other Striders and I are at the starting line for one of the virtual 8k races within the Quarry Road Summer Series. It’s early, but the heat and humidity are strong. The thick aroma of the dense greenery and freshly cut grass floods my nostrils, and I feel as if I can nearly taste the scenery. Despite feeling a subtle daze, my heart begins to quiver with excitement as I look around at the five-or-so other Striders who are jogging in place, preparing their bodies and minds for the race ahead. And though there aren’t any spectators and it’s not a typical race environment, my body still fills with electric anticipation as I prepare to give it my all in my first ever trail race.
I warm up with a few butt-kicker’s, some high-knees, and a few other exercises to get my blood flowing. As the clock nears 8am, I gather with the other Striders (socially-distanced, of course!) at the starting line. To make sure we have plenty of space between each other on the course, we spread out the start times of each runner. This actually makes it a bit more exciting, because each runner has their own personal starting time, so the whole group yells and cheers as each runner takes off onto the course.
Finally, after 13 minutes of waiting for the other Striders to start their race, it’s my turn.
“Alright, Jordan, you ready?” Ron Peck asks, holding his watch. He glances at the countdown. “Ok. Three, two, one… GO!”
I take off like a bullet. I hear a bunch of voices hollering behind me. “Go, Jordan, go! Woo!”
About five seconds into the race, I realize I am definitely running too fast. I’m in the middle of marathon training, so eight kilometers doesn’t sound like much. But I can’t sprint for eight kilometers, and I quickly remember what the other Striders told me about the race. They warned me, “Don’t underestimate the hills. You’ll reach what you think is the top, and then suddenly you find yourself at the bottom of another hill!”
Find your pace. Find your pace, I tell myself. I settle into an eight-minute-per-mile pace as I steadily ascend the first set of hills tucked away in the back of the Quarry Road trails. The rolling hills remind me of a gentle roller coaster, taking me for a ride on trails flanked on either side by dense Maine forest. I pay close attention to my pace, “changing gears” on the uphills and downhills as if I were riding a bike. All the while, I remember to take in the lush beauty of the trails and to just enjoy the thrill of the race.
The hills slowly drain my stamina, but I continue to push forward. It’s only an 8k, it’s only an 8k, I tell myself in an effort to convince my muscles to give it everything they’ve got. As I descend the highest hill in the park, I feel a rush of victory. Just some small up’s and down’s from here on out, I think to myself.
After making it past the toughest hills in the race, I feel more confident about running the last segment with a bit more speed. I kick it into a higher gear, determined to see how quickly my legs can carry me through the last few kilometers.
I make it to the last hill. My body is yearning for a break and wants to just be done with the race, but my mind knows there is still plenty of energy left for the final stretch. As I near the top of the hill, I break into a full sprint and zero in on the finish line. I faintly hear a few of the Striders yelling. “Jordan, come on! You’re almost there! Go, go, go!” I propel forward as I absorb this encouraging energy. Zooming with my hands held high, I cross the finish line and feel a rush of satisfaction and relief.
I glance down at my watch. Thirty-seven minutes. I know I could have run a bit faster, but nonetheless I smile because I know I did well. I turn around and begin cheering as soon as I see the remaining Striders running the final stretch of the race. It turns out our staggered start times led us to finish within just a few minutes of each other, and everyone is soon on the other side of the finish line.
To celebrate the completion of our hot, sweaty 8k, we immediately dig in to the donuts a few of us had brought to the course. As we are munching, there is a communal feeling of victory and satisfaction. Yes, things may feel different from a typical race that would include the crowd energy and more runners, but I feel deep gratitude for the sense of true community that exists even in the small group of Striders around me.
For those of you out there who miss gathering for regular race events, let me join you by saying I feel the same way. On many days, the effects of the pandemic can feel heavy. But experiences like the virtual Quarry Road Summer Races have served as another example of an important lesson I’ve been learning throughout the past six months. With a bit more effort and creativity, we can continue to (safely) experience community and gather with others for fun events. So, I encourage everyone to reach out to their running friends (Striders and potential future Striders alike!) to come up with some fun, safe ways to continue competing. And especially when you are running on those Quarry Road trails, just remember: don’t underestimate the hills—enjoy them.
Jordan Castillo is the Vice President of the Central Maine Striders and works in admissions at Colby College.
by Patty Hallee
Being new to the running scene within the last year, my husband Mike and I decided it would be fun to try something different. So we signed up for the Quarry Road Summer Race Series. We didn’t realize how much different it would be trying to race on a trail vs the road. Trail running definitely requires a lot more work than the road. Again this was our first year and because of the Pandemic we all ran our own race and turned in our time and our GPS maps by Sunday evening. The series runs 9 weeks and starts with a 3k which takes you down the backside of the field by the Yurt and around the Riverside loop. It's not a bad run but still a challenge for an older, inexperienced runner such as myself. It was a fun run and made me want to do better. The next week is a 5k which takes you up around North Koons and back down around the first Riverside loop. North Koons is more of an uphill run, more challenging but still fun. Again it still drives you to want to be better. The third week is an 8K that takes you up around North Koons, back to South Koons and finishes you off running the Riverside loop. South Koons is a little tricky and following the arrows is very important or you can end up running it twice. And don’t let the word South fool you. You aren’t running downhill!!! Then you start over with the 3k week 4, 5k week 5 and the 8k week 6. Week 7 you start back with the 8k, down to 5k and then the 3k week 9. I have found this to be a fun series. We are very fortunate to have the trail system we have in this area that is well maintained by volunteers, and provides shaded spots to run when it’s really hot. I would recommend the Quarry Road Summer Race Series to anyone who is looking to challenge themselves to something a little different. And with next year hopefully being back to some type of normal it will also provide an opportunity to meet other runners in the area.
Patty lives in Waterville. When not running she loves to spend time by the pool and also volunteers at the Unified Champions Club at the Alfond Youth Center. “Spending time with my son and the other athletes is fun and simply puts a smile on my face.”
In this edition of "Running Backwards", we're taking a quick little jog to 2009. The biggest theme running through the 2009 Interval newsletters was memories of Mardie Brown, who passed away that year. You mean you thought that the Doc & Mardie 5k was a reference to Back to the Future? Shame on you!
It looks like the January Thaw that year had a pretty low turnout (Perhaps it was a bad weather year?). Of the 16 finishers, only Jim Moore is still a member of the Striders.
Both the June and July 2009 issues of the Interval featured articles by several members about their memories of Mardie Brown, a member of the Central Maine Striders at the time. Since I didn't move to Maine until 2017, I never met Mardie, but based on these memories, she seemed like an amazing woman and a great representative of the Striders.
An extended obituary can be found here.
by David Benn
That's right... Mardie Brown wasn't only a runner. She also held a world record in masters swimming!
Aging and mortality seemed to be on the mind of several Striders that year. David Benn added a positive spin to it by remembering how his first race led to hundreds more over a twenty-five year period.
Some familiar names were amongst the results of the Common Ground 5k that year. But who is this "Nedicus" guy? Was a Roman gladiator running a 5k in Maine in 2009? It almost sounds like it. However, he failed to beat current professional runner Matt McClintock and two others.
This gem about Jim Moore's first race was in the November 2009 newsletter (the race was in 1980). Jim, I think every Central Maine Strider out there is glad you ran that first race, found our club, continue to be a member to this day, and continue to be seen running on the streets of Waterville. I don't think there's a more consistent and dedicated runner out there.
Although Colby history professor Paul Josephson gets the byline, the December 2009 Interval had a great article about Julie Millard and her great uncle Fred (who just happened to win the Boston Marathon in 1910).
Ron and Donnajean had a couple of short race reports in the December 2009 Interval. Both featured races that were super bargains! A five-dollar marathon and a three-dollar 5k!?! Wow! Those were bargain races.
And the final race results listed in the 2009 Intervals, included Susan Brooks and Julie Millard's finishes at the Champions 10k Thanksgiving race.
That's all for 2009. Congratulations on making it to the finish line! Only time will tell where, or should I say "when" we jog to in the next issue.
It's really happening! There's going to be a live, in-person, non-virtual race in Waterville this month!!!!
The 2020 Doc & Mardie 5k will be a LIVE race, with waves of 40 or less participants in each wave.
Face masks will be required when within 6 feet of another participant, including the start line. We will modify the start to allow for social distancing.
In the spirit of Doc & Mardie there is even awards for the oldest Male and Female finishers!
Join us Saturday, August 22nd for our 15th Annual Doc & Mardie 5k, an amazing time!
We are going to put on an actual live race in a few week. Wave starts with 40 or less people in each wave.
Sounds like a few of you may be itching for a race with live competition!
All Central Maine Striders members get 25% off their registration fee.
Key things you need to know / current modifications:
We hope that you can join us as we bring live road racing back to Central Maine in a few weeks, while honoring the memory of Doc & Mardie Brown and supporting the Alfond Youth & Community Center!
For more information or to register, go to the Facebook event webpage or the race registration webpage.
We are sad to announce that a former member of the Central Maine Striders and inductee to the Maine Running Hall of Fame, Leona Clapper passed away earlier this summer.
From her obituary in the Bangor Daily News (Jul 5, 2020):
Leona E. Clapper
March 11, 1930 - June 28, 2020
BUCKSPORT - Leona E. Clapper, 90, passed away peacefully on June 28, 2020, surrounded by her loving family. She was born on March 11, 1930 in North Haven, Maine, to Clarence and Lena Stone. She spent most of her adult life in Bucksport, where she raised her twelve children with her husband of 67 years, Charles. She had a strong love for her family and friends. She was always smiling and ready to give a hug to all.
Leona was a competitive runner in the local community for many years. She completed a number of marathons. She was well known and admired among runners. In 1992, she was inducted into the Maine Running Hall of Fame.
Besides running, Leona also loved playing bridge and knitting. She and her husband frequently played in bridge groups. She knit numerous items for family and friends, and also donated many to her church's craft fair. She was a long time parishioner of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Bucksport.
In addition to her parents, Leona was predeceased by her sister Harriet Pendleton and her husband Danny Pendleton, by her sister Eleanor Jackson, by her daughter Barbara Thompson, and by her sons-in-law Richard Stevens, Richard Leach, and Richard Schroeder.
Leona is survived by her husband Charles, her sister Marjorie Pendleton and her husband James Pendleton, her brother-in-law Paul Jackson, her son Charles and his wife Alta, her daughter Leona Stevens, her daughter Catherine Leach, her daughter Theresa Clapper, her son Thomas Clapper, her son-in-law Thomas Thompson, her son Gerard Clapper and his wife Caskie, her son Joseph Clapper and his wife Renee, her daughter Margaret Jones and her husband Christopher, her daughter Mary Buck and her husband Bryan, her daughter Patricia Craig and her husband John, and her son Michael Clapper and his wife Regina. She is also survived by dozens of grandchildren and great grandchildren.
There will be a private service for family only later in the summer.
There will be a celebration of life for family and friends at a later date.
Arrangements by Mitchell-Tweedie Funeral Home and cremation Services Bucksport.
And from her 1992 Maine Running Hall of Fame profile:
Unselfish Giving Has Made All the Difference
A native of North Haven, Leona Clapper, born March 11,1930, is one of the legendary Clapper family of Bucksport, perhaps the best-known running family in road racing from the late 1970s through the ‘90s. Leona and her husband, Charles, also an avid road-racer, raised twelve children, six of whom took up competitive running. The best-known was Gerry, who became one of the best college distance runners ever to run for the University of Maine.
Leona, a housewife and mother most of her life, started running when she was 48 in 1978, drawn into the sport from watching her children run. “We decided we wanted to do it too,” she said in 1994, a few months after she was inducted into the Maine Running Hall of Fame at its ceremony in Waterville. Leona was one of only a few women who competed in the 50-plus age bracket during the early 1980s, and she set many course records.
Her best career efforts include a 22:09 5k at age 54 in 1984; and a 1:18:52 10-miler at age 52 in 1982, when she also ran her fastest marathon, 3:50:33, in Orono. Among her best races were a 45:33 in the Great Pumpkin 10-K in 1981 at age 51; 22:39 in the Cranberry Island 5-K, 1982; 22:29 in the Terry Fox 5-K, 1984, age 54; and 72:14 15-K at Schoodic Point in 1984.
Through 1994 she had completed six marathons, her first at the Paul Bunyan Marathon in Orono in 1980, two years after she started running. A member of the Central Maine Striders, she was honored as Strider of the Year in 1986. Among her many great admirers over the years was Jerry Saint Amand, president of the Central Maine Striders from 1985 through 1990. Saint Amand wrote the following about one of his favorite people: “It’s easy to overlook this gentle, gray-haired lady, now in her late 60s, should you see her in a group,” said Saint Amand. “She has never been loud, always a simple person in dress and manner, and she would blush and poo-poo you should you recognize her as one of the leading lights of women’s running in Maine for many years.
“It was never her running times that made Bucksport’s Leona Clapper someone you’d notice at the top of state race results. It was instead her love of running, the surprise within herself at her love of age group competition, and her becoming the unofficial ‘mother’ of all women runners that made her a core person in Maine running. This is a woman who started late in life, for it was daughter Margaret and son Gerry who were usually listed among the leading male and female finishers in the early to mid-‘80s. Leona didn’t start showing up in results until her late 40s. At 49, she was finishing the Grand Willey 10-K in August of ’80 in 58:13. Not much to shout about you might think, until you find her at age 50 crossing the finish line in the well-known Benjamin’s 10-K in Bangor in November of 1981, in 45:48,” continued Saint Amand.
“It was her determination to improve that kept her busy, but it was her gracious manner and genuine smile that won the hearts of all Maine runners and officials who knew her. Leona and husband Charlie opened their hearts and their home to runners from all over the state after each summer’s Tour du Lac 10-Miler in Bucksport, a tradition that continues today. It has been Leona’s warm words of encouragement to countless younger female runners that inspired them to keep going as she herself set the example that older women can run distance from the popular 5-Ks to marathons! Voted by Maine’s second-largest running club, the Central Maine Striders, as their female Strider of the Year in 1986, Leona also shared the special Bruce Ellis Award with her husband Charlie in 1991 for their contributions to running over the years,” added Saint Amand. Saint Amand concluded: “I am only one of the people who Leona has quietly encouraged when things were not going well, and her acceptance of life and its ups and downs continues to inspire many of us. The Maine Running Hall of Fame has places for Maine’s fastest male and female runners, and for others who have had long, successful running careers. I truly believe there must also be a special place for those whose unselfish giving of their hearts and souls to running has made the difference for so many others, and Leona Clapper is the finest example I know of.”
Former Maine Running publisher Bob Booker feels much the same way. He wrote in one of his issues: “One day this spring, Tanya went to the mailbox and retrieved a brown shipping envelope addressed to Ethan. She opened it and found a beautiful, hand-knit sweater with the words, ‘Paul Bunyan Marathon’ across the back and the legendary lumberjack himself on the chest. A note was attached that simply said, ‘For the little fellow.’ Right out of the clear blue! No strings attached! That’s the kind of person Leona Clapper is. A woman who has dedicated her life to the concerns of others before her own needs and desires.”
Race Director Patrick Guerette gave us this update about the Doc & Mardie 5k scheduled for August:
Over 20 years ago I ran the Palermo Days 5k, I vaguely recall the course, I have no idea my time, but I have a pretty vivid memory of watching an 80 year old lady finish the race, and being completely blown away by her effort. I know I had run other races with Mardie Brown, but for some reason this is the race that sticks out in my mind.
As a teenager, I know I didn't fully grasp how amazing Mardie or her husband Donald "Doc" Brown were, but after directing the Doc & Mardie 5k for the past 8 years, and listening to other Central Maine Striders share their affections and stories, it's hard not to amazed. It wasn't until after moving back to Waterville in 2012 that I learned Mardie was not only a runner, but more impressively, an age group record holder in Master's Swimming and that Doc was a tennis & racquetball player into his 90's, when injuries slowed him down to just working out several times a week.
Now, as Race Director for the Doc & Mardie 5k its been my pleasure to honor the memory of Doc & Mardie, share their story, and hopefully inspire others to get & stay active at any age. I hope you will join me at the Alfond Youth & Community Center on Saturday, August 22nd for the 15th Annual Doc & Mardie 5k. We are currently working on a plan that would allow us to hold a live race with appropriate social distancing measures. For more information, please visit https://docmardie5k.weebly.com/.
The Central Maine Striders are proud to have several active members that have been with us since the early days of the club. "Catching Up With The Pack" is where we track some of them down and get some updates on what's going on in their life these days. Last month, we caught up with Gust Stringos. And this month, as I was gathering articles for our latest edition of "Running Backwards: A Jog Through the Strider Archives", I came across a couple excellent articles by Joanie Rhoda about her experience qualifying for the Boston Marathon at the age of 59, only to have her Boston experience marred by the 2013 bombing. Since our flashback to 2013 was getting to be a pretty long article, I decided to include her 2012 and 2013 marathon articles here, along with our "catching up" with her.
I believe the last time I wrote in the Club newsletter was in 2013 after running in the Boston Marathon. That was the race where the terrible bombing happened at the finish line. I had reached the 25 1/2 mile mark with less than a mile to go when the throngs of runners were stopped in their tracks and could not complete the race. It was a heartbreaking moment for me and I’m sure for thousands of other runners to not complete something we had aspired to and trained for, for months and even years.
However, I found a way I could mend the brokenness I felt over what happened. In the spring of 2014, my son Adam, who was flying home to Maine from Seattle where he lives, met me in Boston and together we ran the last mile of the marathon. It wasn’t quite the same as it would have been on race day – we had to dodge people on the sidewalks – but it did heal my heart somewhat and brought some closure to an event that started out so joyfully and ended so tragically.
As a longtime member of the Central Maine Striders (it was the Maine Road Ramblers back in the 70’s), I was asked to provide an update on my running life now. Unfortunately I had to stop running in 2016 due to arthritis in my second toe. With bone on bone, it caused quite a bit of pain. I believe the injury was caused by dropping a can on my toe years ago or by a horse that stepped on my foot a long time ago. Surely running wouldn’t have caused it! My second toe was the only joint affected. In 2017, I had an implant inserted into the toe joint which helped decrease the pain but not enough for me to feel safe stressing it by running. I miss running very much. It was part of my life for 45 years, and wasn’t something I ever thought I would stop doing. In the beginning after the surgery, whenever I saw a runner on the road, I’d feel a stabbing sensation in my heart because I wanted to be that runner in the worst way.
It’s been 3 years since the surgery, and I can look back on the years and races with happiness and pride. I had run in countless races and completed 9 marathons, including 6 miles of the Boston Marathon while 8 months pregnant in 1984. The Club was a source of unity for runners like me. The joy of running united all of us, and because of that, we were all friends.
I have found other ways to exercise that are just as satisfying (well almost) as running – walking, bicycling, and backpacking. I am a section-hiker of the Appalachian Trail and have back-packed from Georgia to Vermont – over 1,600 miles – over 15 years. My husband and I have about 600 miles to go over some of the toughest sections of the entire Trail. I consider it an adventure of a lifetime which will take the rest of my lifetime to complete.
I look forward to reading the stories of other Club members, especially the friends I had back in the early days.
From the March 2012 issue of The Interval:
From the July 2013 issue of The Interval:
From the August 2013 issue of The Interval:
This month we're running back to 2013, which seems to have been a resurgent year for the Striders. In fact, you could probably say that it was the start to a new era for the club. There were a lot of great articles reminiscing about the past from some club members that had been around a long time, and at the same time, it seems that Patrick Guerette, along with the help of Harold Shaw and a few others, were bringing the club into the modern era. The webpage was created, a Facebook page started, and the Quarry Road Summer Race series was run for the first time.
Announcement for the 2013 January Thaw :
In early March of 2013, there was a Striders meeting and some of the items discussed included:
- "A new CMS slogan. "we share the roads" doesn't accurately reflect the makeup of runners in Central maine, because we share everything. [As far as I know, the slogan was just dropped and not replaced]
- Bringing back some CMS singlets and t-shirts for members.
- Developing a Central Maine Striders website. Key components being a race & events calendar as well as a way to join the Striders (printable or online reg). -- Harold Shaw
- Add any upcoming races to the Facebook Page under events, great way to promote your race
- Lastly, an outline of Patrick's plans for the summer race series to be held at the Quarry Rd:
And by the end of the year, the new officers for the club were made official:
And here are the full results from the first ever Quarry Road Summer Race Series, as published in various issues of The Interval that year:
Congratulations for making it to the end of another marathon jog through the Central Maine Striders archive. Sometimes, you never know where running backwards can take you. Although, I recommend you run forwards in all cases not related to reading articles about the history of the Central Maine Striders.
In case you haven't heard, the Quarry Road Summer Race Series is happening again this year, albeit in a slightly different format due to the unique nature of the pandemic world we're living in right now. Just in case you didn't know about it yet or if you just want to get more information, Patrick Guerette (the founder of the event) sent along this message:
COVID-19 has really crushed the local racing scene this summer, which is one reason why I am thrilled that we were able to land on a racing format that provides an option for runners to compete. Not only are the courses just as challenging, time trials also add a unique mental test to the race, as it's much easier to push yourself when you are trying to close the gap on another runner, or running scared. Simply put, if you are able to push yourself on a solo effort, it will make you a stronger runner & racer in the future.
With nearly 60 runners signed up to run this summer, and over 40 finishers in each of the first 2 weeks we have exceeded our original expectations for the series this summer. With that said, if you are not signed up for the series yet, it's not too late, there are still options to register for 1, 3 or all 9 (6 remaining) races by clicking here.
After the first 2 weeks, it looks like there will be quite a few closely contested age group battles, which adds a bit of excitement to the race series, if you want to keep up on the results, we invite you to view our race results and standings online here.
See you on the trails!
Bonus Question: Do you know what year Patrick organized the first Quarry Road Race Series?
Bonus Information: As a paying member of the Central Maine Striders, you'll automatically get 10% off your registration for the Quarry Road Race Series.