Here comes July 4 with its laden platter of road races around the state, among them the 36rd edition of 4 on the Fourth at Bridgton. The holiday classic is clicking off registrations the way Colin Peddie and Michele Hallet clicked off the miles in their course-record runs in 1987, in 18 minutes, 46 seconds, and 21:56, respectively.
Race director Jim Cossey said Thursday that sign-ups had hit 1,050, toward the cap of 2,100, and when you count the 525 places reserved for campers, the field could be full by month’s end. To sign up, go to www.fouronthefourth.com.
The entry fee rose for the first time since 2004, but only to $18 initially, then to $20 on June 1. It goes up to $25 on July 3-4 if there are spots still open.
In 2012 the race bestowed $22,500 on the town library, plus $1,000 to the North Bridgton library, and $500 each to the town community center and Shawnee Peak’s adaptive ski program. (The 4-miler is required to donate 90 percent of the proceeds to the library.)
There were just under 1,900 finishers last year, a normal attrition rate, as Silas Eastman, then 17, won in 21:33. Emily Ward, 30, of Virginia, was top woman, and 17th overall, in 24:25. Another notable finish: that of Cape Elizabeth’s Pete Bottomley. Age 50, he placed third in 22:08. It was his 21st top-10 finish in 23 Bridgtons.
Those three are expected to run again, Cossey said, as are a select group who have run the race at least 30 times. Among them is TD Bank’s Maine president, Larry Wold.
In Freeport, the L.L. Bean 10K on July 4 is the state’s second-largest 10K and looking robust as ever.
“We are at 1,170 (registrants) and would love to hit (the cap of) 1,500,” race director Jim Gott said this week, not because 1,500 is a nice number but because it means hitting the fundraising goal for the Casco Bay YMCA.
There will be 100 bibs available on race day before the 7:30 a.m. start, but take the safe route to llbeanroadrace.com and sign up.
There is no cap on the 1-mile fun run, which costs $5 and gets you a T-shirt and a Bean-boot-leather medal.
A LOWER BACK INJURY incurred while playing basketball put chief co-conspirator Andrew van Hoogenstyn in the pace car rather than on foot, but Wesley Moseman nevertheless ran the complete 60-mile Port2Port, from Monument Square in Portland to Portsmouth, N.H., last Saturday.
Moseman started about 5 a.m. and finished just after 4:40 p.m., as a dozen runners combined to cover 309 total miles in honor of their late University of New Hampshire teammate and friend, Brian Hinchee. Ro Crispin, Jon McGonagle, Skip Stiles and Nick DeCrescenzo did 30-35 miles, and Carolyn Durfee almost marathoned, with 25 miles.
THE ED SHEPARD Memorial 5K is on for 9 a.m. Sunday, June 30, in Gorham. The second-year race is on a flat, loop course from in front of Baxter Memorial Library on South Street, and was won last year by Jesse Orach in 16:46 and Cindy Hawthorne in 21:06.
Entry is $20. There are T-shirts for the first 100, and cash awards are $100, $75, $50 for the top three males and females. Register online at www.runinarace.com. For more race info, e-mail race director Mike Towle at miketowle25@ hotmail.com.
CONDOLENCES TO THE family and friends of Harold Hatch, who died at home in Castine on June 14 at age 73.
Hatch, a longtime coach and teacher, was inducted into the Maine Running Hall of Fame in 2006 (his wife, Andrea, was inducted two years later). His athletic accomplishments extended over several decades, including the New England high school cross country championship out of Pemetic High in Southwest Harbor in 1956, and competition as one of the region’s best masters runners into the 1990s.
When Hatch was 40, he set a New England masters mile record, 4:38.6. His obituary in the Bangor Daily News included this tidbit: “(Castine) townspeople also delighted in seeing Harold ride his bike pedaling backwards while sitting atop his handlebars, a tradition he continued into his 70s.”
Read Hatch’s Hall bio at www.runmaine.org for a fuller appreciation of one of Maine’s finest.
CONGRATULATIONS TO Sheri Piers and Mary Pardi of Falmouth, and Joan Benoit Samuelson of Freeport for their Freihofer’s Run for Women 5K performances. Piers (17:24) and Pardi (18:43) were second and third in the masters division, and Samuelson (18:56) was second in the over-50 division. … And raise a Jack Russell’s Steakhouse & Brewery pint glass to Tom St. Germain, 46, of Bar Harbor, who won the first Acadia National Park Half Marathon in 1:27:13. St. Germain owns the Eden Street pub. Top woman was another home-towner, 23-year-old Breanna Kelly, 11th overall, in 1:41:16.
IF YOU HAVEN’T YET run the Tour du Lac 10-miler, now’s nearly the time to seize the day, from the cowbell race start to the homemade jam as awards. The next event in the Sub 5/Tradewinds Marketplace series is Saturday, June 29, starting at 7:30 a.m. at the Bucksport town swimming pool.
Registration starts at 6:30 a.m. and the fee is $13, an excellent value if you judge races by their hills, which the Tour is rumored to have, plus there are shirts for the first 70 entrants. The 2012 winners were Louie Luchini of Ellsworth in 55:57 and Kristine Guaraldo of South Portland in 1:10:28. Entry forms are at www.sub5.com, or contact Chris and Margaret Jones at 469-9901 or Christopher.Jones@ RSU25.org. Course records are Luchini’s 50:20 in 2011, and Cassie Hintz’s 59:06 in 2006.
John Rolfe of Portland is a road runner. He can be reached at 791-6429 or at: