Being 13 years old is a thing to celebrate, and Willow Parker, 13, of Rockport marked her years on the planet in memorable fashion by winning the women’s division of the inaugural Blueberry Cove Half Marathon at Tenants Harbor.

On the soggy Aug. 28 morning of Hurricane Irene, Parker covered the 13.1 miles in 1 hour, 27 minutes and 40 seconds, which is 6:42 pace, and was third overall. The course — from Blueberry Cove Camp, which Parker attended, through Port Clyde out to Marshall Point Lighthouse and back to Blueberry Cove — is a classically hilly coastal Maine jaunt, as second-place woman Kim DeMado of Portland attested.

“It rolls, yes, and there’s never a flat,” said DeMado, 47, who did some goal-adjustment in the wind and the rain and ran a fine 1:39:07. She called the Blueberry course “10 times harder” than the upcoming Maine Half Marathon on Oct. 2.

DeMado’s description of Parker: “Flying. And, she’s barefoot.”

Indeed, Parker has run in Vibram Five Fingers since sixth grade, when she planned to be a hobbit for Halloween. So she trained barefoot for the role, as Robert DeNiro might.

The Blueberry half was not Parker’s longest race to date. More or less on a whim, she ran the Pineland Festival 25K on Memorial Day weekend, finishing in 2:05 (8:03 pace) as the third female overall.

Winner at Blueberry Cove was Eric Mauricette, 20, of Owls Head and UMaine. Mauricette finished in 1:19:20. The race, limited to 100 entrants in its first year, was a success all-around, getting 70 finishers despite scary weather forecasts.

SPEAKING OF half marathons, hope you noticed that Sarah Palin ran the Jump Right In And Run Half Marathon in Storm Lake, Iowa, in a respectable 1:46:10, finishing second in her age group.

“Boy, that was fun,” Palin, 47, was quoted as saying upon finishing. She ran unrecognized, having registered under her maiden name, Heath, and having husband Todd pick up her number.

SUB 5 SERIES: A dozen races in and with three to go, Adam Goode, 27, of Bangor leads the Sub 5 Race Series standings with 42 points, two up on Caleb Lander, 28, of Brewer. Kristine Guaraldo of South Portland is the top woman with 48 points, and Bangor’s Jen Dagan, 27, is second with 40. Full standings with age groups are at

The most recent race was the 49th edition of the Bangor Labor Day 5-miler, where Judson Cake, 33, of Bar Harbor continued a personal tradition of winning the event (which he’s done all four times he’s entered). Cake’s time was 25:48. Guaraldo, 35, was the women’s winner, in 31:29, for 11th overall among 153 racers.

John Rolfe of Portland is a staff writer and a road runner. He can be reached at 791-6429 or at:

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