KENNEBUNK – The Bicentennial Distance Challenge is a virtual run, walk or bike that asks participants to travel an historic 7-mile distance to celebrate Maine and Kennebunk’s dual bicentennials.

Funds generated from the event will help support local history organizations, the Brick Store Museum and the Historical Society of Wells-Ogunquit, as well as other cultural nonprofits in Wells and Kennebunk impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The primary sponsor of the the Bicentennial Distance Challenge is Southern Maine Health Care, with additional support from Kennebunk Savings.

The virtual race will allow participants to choose their race day and their course, as long as it’s 7 miles. Why 7 miles?

In 1820, three months after Maine became a state, the towns of Kennebunk and Wells split to become two separate towns. Their meetinghouses sat 7 miles apart.

“Originally, the museum had planned this as part of our bicentennial celebration,” Brick Store Museum Director Cynthia Walker said. “It’s a great opportunity to work with our neighbors at the Historical Society (of Wells-Ogunquit) to highlight our shared history in an active way.”

Funds generated from the Bicentennial Distance Challenge will help support local history organizations, the Brick Store Museum and the Historical Society of Wells-Ogunquit and other cultural nonprofits in Wells and Kennebunk impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Dan King photo

The 7-mile distance race will feature prizes, donated by local businesses, including awards for fastest run and bike times; most creative course; and more. Participants in the walking category can do the entire 7 miles at once, or split up their distance over several days.

“As COVID-19 hit, this event remained one that we could carry out, as a virtual race allows for adequate distancing and health safety while encouraging our community to get outside and get to know their neighborhoods,” Walker said.

As the pandemic necessitated a change in format, Walker said that the history organizations decided to split funds raised with local cultural nonprofit partners in Wells and Kennebunk, too.

Registration for the race is $35 per person, and $10 for children younger than 16. The virtual race (run, walk or bike) kicks off June 24 (the town’s birthday). Participants need to complete the race anytime before Oct. 17.

Every participant will receive a commemorative bib number to wear during their race; a short history of Wells and Kennebunk; race tips; and a cast participant medal during the Virtual Finish Line event in October.

To register, visit www.Runsignup.com, or www.brickstoremuseum.org.

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