Carol McCracken (Post # 2,390)
Jodi Theriault is a marathoner with a mission larger than her will to win. She raises funds for children in Maine with big medical bills for their families to shoulder. A mother of three young children, Jodie says “they are my life.” Incidentally, she took first place in the womens’ overall division in her debut appearance today in the Urban Raid with a time of 22.43 minutes!
The Urban Raid is a 5K Race with sixteen (16) obstacles on the course. It’s Executive Director is Parker Swenson, of 360. This is the Raid’s fourth year in Portland; last year it was held at the Maine State Pier, but it was returned to Amethyst Park because of a busy schedule for the Pier. Seven hundred and fifty competed today, with many registering this morning before race time at 10:00 am. The cap is 1,000 participants.
Earlier this year, Jodi ran in the Boston Marathon and raised $3,000.00 for Evan Paradue, of South Portland Evan has Addison’s disease. Jodi runs seven days a week for about an hour – often before she goes to work at the World Gym, 265 Marginal Way – to stay in shape. She began running as a weight reduction program when she was twenty-six (26) years old. “I like to eat and drink, so I need to run to stay in shape,” said an absolutely delightful Jodi. In April of 2016, she will be running in a marathon in Nashville, TN. She is looking for a Maine child in similar circumstances to sponsor for the Nashville marathon. You can email Jodi at email@example.com to make a suggestion to her. Her husband owns “Almost Famous” on Forest Avenue.
Others ran for less altruistic reasons, but had just as much fun doing it as did Theriault. Three Mainers who had never run an obstacle course, although they are runners, are Kate Mahaffey, a neighbor Samantha MacMaster and Nathan Dore, married to Kate. (see below right photo of the three.) Samantha was the instigator of the three encouraging her neighbors to give it a try. Samantha’s nephew runs in Spartan Races and that’s where the idea came from. Spartan Races use mud courses with harder obstacles than the Urban Raid course. “Samantha got us really excited about doing this race. The cargo net was the hardest for me. But the obstacles were a distraction from the 5K itself,” said Dore. “It gave us a chance to breathe a little.” Mahaffey found the rope climb and slant wall the most challenging of the sixteen obstacles on the course. “I loved it all. The obstacles were easier than I expected,” she said. They will return! (See below right photo.)
“This sucks, but I’ll come back,” was the immediate reaction of Vicky Drigotas of Kennebunk after completing the course. Sipping a free beer in the Shock Top Beer Garden following the run, she said: “I’ll be back next year with my son and my team.” Vicki looks so good in part because she’s dedicated herself to a hard-core year round fitness group in Kennebunk – Get Out There Fitness. (See above left photo.) Wearing T-shirts that read: “The Beach is My Gym” today the group exercises on the beach four days in the summer and three days in the winter. No excuses!
“The City of Portland has been fantastic. We always work well with them. We are working with them to make 2016 a realty and the best Raid yet,” said Parker Swenson, organizer of the Urban Raid, Portland. (See above right photo.)
For more background information on Urban Raid, please see previous Post herein.