By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,156)
“We have gotten so big that we might well have to change the way we design the finish line,” said Erik Boucher, race director, late this morning. Boucher was speaking of the third annual Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon and 5K Races. The finish line is right in front of Ocean Gateway at the bottom of Munjoy Hill. And the Shipyard Beer Garden is in the park next to Ocean Gateway. Next year that park may not be available because the city might be doing reconstructive work on the pilings in the area which are deteriorating according to Boucher. 3,876 people pre-registered for both races today. That figure did not include todays registration which no doubt brought the number easily up to 4,000 Boucher said.
Joe Shepard, 30, was relaxing in the Beer Garden after having finished his half marathon run earlier. He’s always been a runner and has run in 7 half marathons. He served in the US Air Force in Afghanistan at Bagram Air Force Base for six months in security. When he ran this morning the breeze had not yet come up as it did later in the day, so it was pretty warm. Living in Westbrook now, his grandparents lived on Munjoy Hill and he used to visit up here. “A long time ago, you couldn’t pay me to live on the Hill. Now the city has cleaned it up and I can’t afford to live here,” he said laughing. “As long as they continue to have this Beer Garden, I’ll be back!”
Mercy Hospital sponsored the medical tent on site. There were no serious health problems, but people were treated for dehydration and cramping.