By Carol McCracken (Post # 837)
“These races are the culmination of a long-time dream,” said Erik Boucher, this afternoon as he skipped pebbles into the water from the East End Beach for his 4 year old dog, Django. Boucher, 39, was referring to the upcoming Old Port Half Marathon & 5K Road Race. The two races come off on Sunday, July 24th. They start near the East End Beach and end up at the Maine State Pier where awards will be distributed to winners in various categories.
Boucher, d/b/a Giddy Up Productions, an experienced race organizer, said he’s been working on the race plans for about two years now – with city officials and many others. Formerly, he worked for Tri-Maine. There are close to 800 people registered to run which is “better than I expected” for a first time event Boucher said. Runners come from 22 different states and 3 Canadian provinces. Portland has become a destination place for outdoor physical activity recently Boucher said. People who are looking for a summer road race are happy to come to Portland. For the half marathon race, 13.1 miles, 625 people have signed up and about 2/3 of them are women. “That distance appeals to women. This is a national trend, not just in Portland,” he said. At the request of someone, Boucher added a “barefoot only” category. Likewise, this is a new national movement. Two people have entered the race in that category. Boucher lives here in Portland.
Following the race and the distribution of the awards at Maine State Pier, there will be a Post Race Festival for everyone. The beneficiares of the two races are Habitat for Humanity – proceeds to go to their green building program and Independent Transportation Network.
In order to volunteer for this debut event, please visit: http://www.oldpporthalfmarathon.com/volunteer/ For details on the race course, starting times, how to register for it, etc., please visit Old Port Half Marathon & 5K Road Race. The entry fee is now $45. and registration remains open.