Runners had the opportunity to travel the trails at the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge where autumn colors, flora and fauna flourished and then into Calais along the banks of the St. Croix River. The race began at the YCC Building near the refuge headquarters and ended at the Calais Recreation Center.
Individuals who were not interested in completing the entire half marathon themselves entered as four-person relay teams. Five teams participated in the relay part of the race.
Chris Woodside, Director of the Outdoor Adventure Center, and one of the organizers of the event, said he was pleased with the results. Woodside worked closely with runner Sarah Mulcahy of Baring, who earlier this year participated in the Boston Marathon. “For a first year race with only six weeks’ notice, I’m very pleased with the turnout,” he said. “It was awesome to see. We had runners come from all over the state, from as far away as Houlton and Ellsworth just to run our race. We also had a wide age range from 13-years old to 70-years old.”
Runners appreciated the beauty of the area. “They loved the mix of running on the Moosehorn trails and the waterfront area,” Woodside added.
Woodside recognized the efforts of Mulcahy. “Sarah was an integral part in making this race successful. Her knowledge of what the running community looks for ensured that we would provide a good racing experience,” Woodside said. “She was able to point out the little details that I would not have been able to think of alone and her connection to the racing community is what legitimized our event. Without her involvement I do not think we would have had the same turn out we had.”
And the runners were pleased with the race.
“Very nice run, glad I am able to call this half marathon my first ever. I intend for this to be my fall event yearly! Thanks for taking the time to make this possible,” said Tony Beal of Beals Island
“I have run hundreds of events over the years. It was kind of a last minute decision to even make the trip as putting on the MDI Marathon more or less leaves me exhausted, but Sarah Mulcahy gently nudged me into coming!” Gary Allen, race director for the MDI Marathon said. “Anyway, I am sooooo glad I traveled Downeast. This kind of home-grown, grass-roots event is the true bread and butter of running. It’s where all the things I personally love about the sport always shine.”
“This was a great first time event.” John Hough, race director for Bay of Fundy Marathon said. “Registration was quick, easy and friendly, as was the bag drop, awards ceremony, and transportation back to the start – important issues for any race but particularly for a point-to-point. The course itself was well laid out, taking advantage of local trails, and joining them up with short sections of road. (The runners) reward was a well-organized race through an attractive mix of woods and ponds in the Moosehorn refuge and along the banks of the St. Croix River, all in fall foliage”
Woodside praised the agencies that worked closely with the college. “I would like to thank Calais Fire EMS for their support of the race and the Moosehorn Wildlife refuge for graciously allowing us to use their facilities and trails to host the event. Special thanks to the Calais Recreation Department for letting us use the Rec Center as a finish line and awards banquet location,” he said.
Winners not only received trophies but were awarded a scholarship for a 3 credit course at WCCC, courtesy of President Joe Cassidy.
As a result of money raised at the event, the OAC plans to award a $250 Ghost Run Scholarship to a WCCC student this year.
Cassidy also praised the event. “This just demonstrates again how WCCC is an integral part of this great community,” he said. “I want to recognize all those volunteers who helped make this a successful event and I especially want to acknowledge the dedicated work of Sarah Mulcahy.”
Winners: Gary Allen from Cranberry Isles, Maine was First Overall Male, with a time of 1:27:35, Gretchen Gordon from Pembroke, Maine, was First Overall Female with a time of 1:57:49 and Jon Mulcahy, Derek Wilcox, Jonathan Lander and David Palczewski, all whom work for the Border Patrol, won the Relay with a time of 1:42:32.