Central Maine Striders is an entirely volunteer-run organization. It's our members who help support the club and local runners and races in so many ways, from directing races to volunteering at finish lines to serving as club officers. To recognize these essential efforts, the following Striders were honored at the club's annual banquet on January 12.
Strider 2015 Youths of the Year: Nick Dall and Cecilia Morin
Nick Dall was named Strider Youth of the Year for boys. Last spring as an eighth grader, Nick broke 5:00 in the 1600m with a time of 4:52. Now a freshman at Waterville High School, Nick's fall 2015 accomplishments included: KVAC Class B Individual Champion and Runner of the Year, Northern Maine Class B Regional Champion with a PR of 16:42, 14th overall in the Maine Class B State Finals, and Morning Sentinel First Team in Cross Country. Nick's mom Joanna accepted the award on his behalf (above left) from outgoing club president, Patrick Guerette.
Cecilia Morin, a junior at Waterville High School, was named the Strider Youth of the Year for girls. Some of Cecilia's best races of 2015 included: fifth place in the 3200m at the Outdoor State track meet with a time of 12:12; first female finisher at the Black Bear 10K with a time of 45:40; 20th place with a time of 19:34 at the Maine Cross Country Festival of Champions, exceeding the national silver elite standard for high school girls; second place in 20:20 at the KVAC Cross Country Meet; and Age Group Winner at the Quarry Road Summer Race Series. Cecilia accepted her award (above right) from Patrick.
Congratulations, Cecilia and Nick!
Sponsor of the Year: Brian Morin
Brian Morin was selected as the Strider Sponsor of the year for his generosity supporting several races in the Central Maine community not only as a generous sponsor, but also as a regular competitor in many local 5K's. Brian, an orthodontist in Waterville and also father to youth award winner Cecilia above, is also a regular volunteer at Waterville High School cross country and track meets and at Central Maine Ski Club events.
Thanks for your support, Brian!
Race Director of the Year: Kate Cooley
Kate Cooley almost single-handedly took it upon herself to organize and direct the first Ron Paquette Riverfest 5K. As race director, she designed an accurate, challenging, and scenic course. She obtained the necessary civic permissions, even closing a street to car traffic on race morning. She organized a sizable volunteer corps to man registration, corners, traffic control, the finish line, and awards. The race's staging and finish area provided ample parking, bathrooms, plentiful refreshments, unique awards, and even a nearby outdoor breakfast spot.
After she pulled this off for a second consecutive year, the Striders chose to recognize Kate as Race Director of the Year. Kate also served as the club's secretary through 2015. She accepted her award from longtime Strider member and volunteer Tom McGuire.
Thank you, Kate!
Volunteers of the Year: Kristina Guerette
and John Manzer
Kristina Guerette has played a critical role in almost every single Central Maine race for the past couple of years. And if you ever ran one of the Quarry Road Summer Race Series race, you probably met her at registration. Whether working the registration and results table, gathering race materials, or backing up husband Patrick as he directed several local races, Kristina played a vital, behind-the-scenes role at many Strider races and local events.
Every Tuesday evening throughout the summer John Manzer would travel from his home in Belgrade to work the finish line at the Quarry Road Summer Race Series in Waterville. He would then turn around and perform the same duty on Thursday nights at the Bond Brook 5K Trail Race Series in Augusta. In addition to these volunteer duties, John has been a force in initiating and carrying on the Kennebec River Rail Trail Half Marathon along the Augusta/Gardiner waterfront.
For their many tireless hours, Kristina and John are our Volunteers of the Year. Thank you, Kristina and John!
Striders of the Year: Patrick Guerette and Alicia MacLeay
Over the years the club's membership has cast ballots for Strider of the Year based on an individual's recent running achievements. From time to time, however, we've chosen to honor special Striders for their noteworthy contributions to the club.
What could be more important to a diverse and geographically widespread organization such as ours than to have a trustworthy vehicle for communication amongst our members? We'd like to recognize Alicia MacLeay, the club's communications officer, as Strider of the Year for her efforts in transforming the club's communications in a colorful, clear, and lively way that has helped bring us into the digital age and connect with our members, and potential members.
Who would have guessed all those years ago when that core group of Striders used to gather for our weekly Saturday breakfasts at Killarney's that the little grandson who Bonnie, our waitress, used to brag about would one day be our club president? Patrick Guerette has been responsible for lifting the Striders out of the doldrums over the past several years and once again establishing us as a force for running and a healthful lifestyle in Central Maine. For his efforts and enthusiasm in starting kids running programs and for his contribution to running and racing in general, we'd like to present Patrick with our Strider of the Year Award. Patrick served as the club's president for the past four years.
Thank you, Patrick and Alicia!