Think back to that series of roots you had to remember, or get tripped up, on that one part of your old high school’s cross-country running trail. The silent whoosh of the trees and tall grass slipping by as you run. Wet socks, from the dew on the grass. Ducking a stray sapling branch as you speed by, or leaning into it to save a fraction of a second on the turn. It’s the best of hiking combined with the best of road racing; it’s trail running, and guess what? You can spend your entire Memorial Day weekend competing in, and celebrating, this sublime sport.
Go to the L.L. Bean Trail Running Festival at Pineland Farms (25 Campus Dr, New Gloucester), on Saturday, May 27 and Sunday, May 28 (with packet pick-up at the L.L. Bean Flagship Store in Freeport on Friday, May 26). A complete array of trail races will be held, to include a Kids’ 1K (for ages 5 and up), an adults’ 5K, a Canicross 5K (race with your dog), a 10K, a 25K, a 50K, and for the especially grizzled and hardy, the 50-mile Ultra, all on the rolling hills and forested trails of Pineland Farms. Over 2,000 registered participants are expected to attend.
But that’s only half the fun. To ring in Memorial Day and the unofficial beginning of summer, sponsors and organizers will hold a post-race barbeque to benefit local high school athletics, featuring the biggest potluck spread you’ve ever seen, beer, pizza, burgers, sausages and dogs, and more. Separate grills and utensils will be used for vegetarian fare. Music is covered too, with Matt Meyer and the Gumption Junction playing on Saturday and The Curse of Kona rocking the stage at the Grove on Sunday.
The Festival’s organizers recommend staying in Freeport if you are traveling into the area, as Pineland Farms is only ten miles away from there.
For complete information and registration links, visit http://www.pinelandtrails.com/