PORTLAND – Lori Welch got choked up after finishing the Sea Dogs Mother’s Day 5K Road Race on Sunday in Portland.

Welch, 49, of Newport wore a T-shirt with a family photo of her with her three daughters. One of them, Lindsey Welch, of Gorham, ran the race with her mother.

“We started the race together, but she’s too fast for me,” Lori Welch said. “What better way to spend Mother’s Day than to run with your child? This was very special.”

“She’s my best friend,” Lindsey Welch said.

Nearly 3,000 people laced up their sneakers Sunday to participate in the Sea Dogs’ popular Mother’s Day 5K. There was also a kids’ fun run before the start of the race.

Erika Hemphill scrunched down and wrapped her arms around her two young children to keep them warm before the start of the race. Hemphill, of Freeport, had just finished the kids’ run with her 6-year-old son, Oliver, and 3-year-old daughter, Natalia. They were hoping to see their father cross the start line for the 5K.

“They loved it,” Hemphill said. “They were very excited to run. We came down to honor all the mothers out here. It’s also important for the kids to see people gathering together for the community.”

Proceeds of the race will benefit the Maine Cancer Foundation’s breast cancer research fund.

Many participants run in memory of their loved ones. Carol Laberge, of Windham, has run the past four years to honor her mother, Sharon Thomsen, who died of cancer in 1999. Laberge usually runs the 5K with her sons. But, this year she ran solo and finished in 26:32, a personal best.

“I got out there and cranked it,” Laberge said after the race. “It’s the coolest race. I felt really good today and it showed. It felt like my mom was smiling down on me.”

The race drew participants from local groups and nonprofits, including Moms in Motion, which connects mothers through fitness, fun and philanthropy. A team of roughly 25 people from the Center for Grieving Children in Portland also participated.

“We wanted to show support for finding a cure for this disease that has affected so many of our families,” said Valerie Jones, a program coordinator at the center. 

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at:

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