Thanks to the assistance of PJ Gorneault from Caribou, ME who I met at Race #7 in Bangor, I found an opportunity to race in Bar Harbor, ME on August 30th. I contacted PJ after the Downtown Mile in Lowell, MA was canceled at the beginning of August. PJ informed me about the Eden Athletics Running Club on Mount Desert Island, ME putting on the first ever Jack Russell Downhill Mile. It worked out very well for my schedule as I could drive on Friday about 3.5 hours from southern Maine to Mount Desert Island and then race on Saturday morning.
Frank Hague, President of Eden Athletics, was instrumental in helping me make arrangements from the moment I contacted him about the opportunity to race in Bar Harbor. Frank is the leader of a wonderful group of athletes that were very welcoming on my trip to their community. The runners know that they are fortunate to live in one of nature’s spectacular places. Couple that with Acadia National Park and its 45 miles of carriage roads, a gift from philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr. and his family, it makes for an outdoor athlete’s summer paradise. From the top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, the sunrise can be seen first in the United States.
The mostly downhill course winds through a residential area. It has a small patch of incline in the first quarter mile and a few portions of flat, but it is quick course. The idea for the event and course came from Tom St. Germain, who is an Eden Athletics member and a chef who works long hours at the Jack Russell’s Steakhouse. Tom got his wish for runners to come out and feel the fast turnover on the mile course. As the race progresses over the next couple of years, I am sure that the very caring organizers will alter the fifty yard finish on the grass and keep it on the road to ensure the safety of the racers. I finished in 4th place at 4:36 for race #17. I came in behind 3 runners preparing to do excel at the Philadelphia Marathon in November: Judson Cake, PJ Gorneault, and Evan Graves. I enjoyed the cool down run with them after the race as I learned more about the area and their upcoming aspirations.
When I was registering for the race, one of the organizers gave me bib number 500 (saying it was for 5:00 minute mile). Then before I could leave for the starting line, another organizer came up to me and made me laugh as he then exchanged my bib number to 459 (saying to think positively for an under 5 minute race and wished me well). Here is a photo with Tom St. Germain and his son Walker and Frank Hague – thanks guys for a great event!
I am planning to fly to Minneapolis, MN on Friday morning right after McCain addresses the Republican National Convention of Thursday evening (that is, if Hurricane Gustav doesn’t cause too much trouble on the Gulf Coast -there are reports that they might alter the start of the convention). We will see what Mother Nature brings us this week. I am planning on running the Minnesota Mile in Duluth, MN on Sunday September 7th – this will be my first visit to Minnesota during this 20 week trip.
Posted in - My Daily Journal 2008.