This week, Maine running notes from all over …
Maine has a rich running heritage, and Old Orchard Beach has a fascinating history (did you know that the Beach Boys, the Animals and the Byrds were among the top acts who played there in the mid-60s?), and the twain shall meet this week. At 7 p.m. Thursday at Old Orchard Beach Town Hall, Tom Bennett will present “Elites at the Beach: The Old Orchard Beach Ten-Mile Marathon,” which was held each August from 1938 to 1940.
Bennett, who ran cross country at UMaine, has many marathons (the 26.2 variety) on his resume and modestly notes that all his PRs are from the same century as the OOB 10-miler. He’s a historian whose full-time gig is director of Prince Memorial Library in Cumberland. He will discuss and illustrate with vintage photos – all those that are available, in fact – the OOB race that drew star runners of the day, including Boston Marathon champions Clarence DeMar, Tarzan Brown, Johnny Kelley and Les Pawson, and Maine Running Hall of Famers Ed Shepard of Gorham and Emilio “Dave” Mazzeo of Rockland.
“Extensive microfilm work” was a big part of researching the race, which was sponsored by the town and drew an estimated 50,000 spectators – the Beach to Beacon of its day, you might say. Many fans traveled by train from Boston, Bennett notes. But the race “faded with the advent of World War II and American involvement,” he commented.
Which guys won? Be like the mongoose – go and find out. You will also hear about the star-studded full marathon held in OOB in June 1951.
The event is free, but donations are welcome and will benefit the MAPS Breakaway Scholarship Fund for graduating OOB seniors. The presentation is sponsored by the Old Orchard Beach Historical Society. See more information at the “Elites at the Beach” page on Facebook. ….
The Run for the Fallen marks its seventh year and will be held in a new location, the former Brunswick Naval Air Station, on Sunday, Aug. 24.
Originally a long-distance event from Ogunquit to Portland and paying tribute to a fallen serviceman or women every mile, it is now a 5K race/run/walk and family gathering, but its mission is unchanged: “keeping alive the memory of our military heroes who gave their lives to protect our freedom since Sept. 11, 2001,” and helping their families with general assistance and scholarships.
On-site registration ($25, but free to family of fallen) begins at 8 a.m., an opening ceremony will be held at 9, and the 5K goes off at 10 a.m. There will be awards and refreshments, as well as live music.
Visit runforthefallenmaine.org to register and for more information – including a photo and a brief bio of each of the 92 heroes being honored – and also check out Run for the Fallen Maine on Facebook. …
The George Schaefer Memorial 5K at Wonsqueak Harbor last week hit an event record of 266 finishers. Andrew Kephart, 29, of Ellsworth was the winner in 16:46, and Emily Landis, 39, of Coastesville, Pennsylvania, was the top woman in 18:58, good for eighth place overall.
Held the weekend of the Winter Harbor Lobster Festival just across the peninsula, the scenic race is an out-and-back course that covers the midsection of the late lamented Schoodic Point 15K, and is the seventh race in the Eden Athletics–Jack Russell’s Steak House series. Kephart is the men’s points leader, and Robin Emery and Robin Clarke are tied for the women’s lead. …
There’s an app for interval training in which your motivation for speeding up is that zombies are chasing you. So why shouldn’t there be a zombie-themed road race, and who better to stage it than the Witches of Brewer High?
You can participate in the Zombies and Witches 5K Run as a human (survivors win a gift card from Subway) a zombie (whose number is limited to 50 and whose role is to try to snatch flags from humans) or a witch (costumed, carrot-nosed, cackling, etc., and generally enjoying the zombie antics). Well, the race does after all benefit Brewer Youth Theatre, which is raising money to send 19 students to the renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival next year. The troupe was invited to perform in Scotland.
The run, which is untimed, will be held at Brewer Community School at 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6. The fee is $25 for humans and witches, $30 for zombies (that seems fair anyway, but it’s mainly because the zombies get to be made up by the theater students), and $15 for ages 10-13. The first 200 to register get T-shirts. Find out more or sign up at zombiesandwitches5K.racewire.com. …
With six women in the top 10, the ladies ruled at last weekend’s inaugural Pound the Pavement 5K in South Portland, which Erica Jesseman of Scarborough won in 16:55, followed by Sheri Piers of Falmouth (17:35) Rachel Schneider of Sanford (17:42), and Kristin Barry of Scarborough. Mary Pardi of Falmouth was seventh in 18:51 and Anna Slager, 14, of Gorham was ninth in 20:00.
Xander Keiter, 15, of South Portland was the men’s champion in 18:24. The event, a benefit for postpartum depression awareness, got off to a good start with 156 finishers.
John Rolfe writes about road racing for the Maine Sunday Telegram. He can be contacted at 791-6429 or at: