Many of our local runners have broken in this season’s shoes, worked out the kinks in their joints, and participated in their first timed race or two of the year. A few even took the winter to have nagging injuries repaired, and are now finding their strength again. But all, it seems, have been infected by the life, the green energy, that is once more coursing throughout the world outdoors. Earth is once again starting to tilt toward the sun, and that fiery star is drawing athletes like a magnet. Let the warmth and the longer days entice you to one or more of these local runs as the season continues:
The 11th Annual Run for Hope: Taking place at the Maine Girls’ Academy (631 Stevens Ave) on Saturday, May 6 at 8 a.m., this run benefits the James and Maxine Pouravelis Memorial Scholarship, which financially supports the intellectual, spiritual and athletic development of young women seeking to enroll at the MGA. For the race itself, there are three options: a 5K run, a 2.5-mile walk, or a 1K kids’ fun run. The prize? The top three male and female finishers in the 5K will be put in a drawing for a pair of Boston Red Sox tickets. Stick around after the event for food and fun at the post-race celebration. The event URL is http://www.mainegirlsacademy.org/events/11th-annual-run-for-hope/ .
The Polar Bear Triathlon & Duathlon: This one’s in Brunswick, on the campus of Bowdoin College (Farley Field House, 35 Watson Dr) on Saturday, May 6 at 8:30 a.m. It’s a good way to break into the triathlon season without a shock to the system from icy water, as the swimming part of the sprint triathlon will be held indoors at Bowdoin’s sixteen-lane pool. That’s 525 yards, followed by an 11.5-mile bike ride along coastal country roads, and a 3-mile run on wide hard-packed trails and quiet residential streets. Even the transition area is pleasant; it’s flat and grassy. Visit the USA Triathlon-sanctioned race’s web page at http://tri-maine.com/polar-bear-triathlon-duathlon/ .
The Maine Walks with Haiti 5K Walk/Run: Half race and half festival, this 5K starts at the Back Cove parking lot across from Hannaford, on Saturday, May 13 at 8:30 a.m. Funds raised will benefit Konbit Sante, a Maine-based organization working to improve health in Portland's Haitian sister city, Cap-Haitien. There are prizes for top runners, unspecified in nature as of press time. But the focus is really on family fun, with plenty of live entertainment, food, Haitian art, and more. It’s the best of both worlds. For more information, visit https://konbitsante.org/maine-walks-haiti-festival-and-5k-walkrun .
If you’ve been thinking about your running shoes as you read, go with the instinct. Get out there.