Runners spring into season with Flattop 5K race

Posted March 23, 2011, at 7:54 p.m.
Last modified March 24, 2011, at 12:20 a.m.
Louie Luchini of Ellsworth leads the pack early in the Tour du Lac 10-miler in Bucksport last summer. Luchini also won the Flattop 5K race last spring, and the sixth edition of that race will be run in Lamoine on Saturday.
Louie Luchini of Ellsworth leads the pack early in the Tour du Lac 10-miler in Bucksport last summer. Luchini also won the Flattop 5K race last spring, and the sixth edition of that race will be run in Lamoine on Saturday.

 

When the temperatures stay low, runners tend to stay indoors while running on treadmills or adding some strength training to their regimen.

But once the snow finally starts to melt, it comes time to head outside, and the enthusiasm for the spring racing season starts to increase.

That early-season excitement, along with the legacy of Bill Pinkham, are two major factors in the Flat Top 5K race becoming a spring tradition for area road racing enthusiasts. The Lamoine event has averaged a robust 165 runners over its first five runs.

“For one thing, there aren’t many races in March. People want to get out and do a first one. And it’s also for Bill because a lot of people knew Bill,” explained Lamoine resident and longtime runner Robin Emery, who directs the race with Tom Kirby of Ellsworth.

The race honors the memory of Lamoine native Pinkham, a longtime competitive runner who died after finishing the Walter Hunt Memorial 3K race in the summer of 2005.

It’ll celebrate its sixth anniversary Saturday, starting at 10 a.m. at the Lamoine School. The main event will be preceded by a one-mile race for kids, which goes off at 9:30.

Fees are $15 for the 5K and $1 for the fun run.

Participation has been steady the last two years, with 195 runners competing in 2009 and 194 last year. More than 300 took part in the inaugural event in 2006.

“It’s in the Sub 5 race series now so that’ll bring the hard-core guys out,” Emery said.

That has been the case the last two years, with Sub 5 series points being up for grabs.

Monday’s snowstorm concerned Emery a bit, because if Lamoine cancelled school, they would have made it up on Saturday, making for a crowded school on race day.

“Ann McCann, the principal, said we could work something out. Luckily, we didn’t have to do that,” she said.

The list of former winners is an impressive one, as former Stanford University All-American and Ellsworth native Louie Luchini won the 2010 race and marathoning standout Judson Cake of Bar Harbor claimed the previous two.

Luchini posted the fastest time in race history last spring, covering the 3.1 miles in 14 minutes, 58 seconds.

Pinkham’s friends know he would be happy with the turnouts over the last few years.

“His family comes, a lot of them walk. His in-laws come and run, his daughter runs with his grandkids,” Emery said.

To get to the Lamoine school, follow Route 1 into Ellsworth and turn onto Route 184, and the school is located approximately six miles from the intersection.

Bates to host throwing clinic

Bates College in Lewiston will host a free clinic for middle and high school track and field athletes who specialize in throwing events on April 19.

The clinic will be held at the school’s Russell Street Track, and the rain date is April 20.

Activities will begin at noon with check-in. Instruction will be offered for shot putters, discus throwers and javelin throwers. A demonstration of the hammer throw by Bates athletes wraps up the day’s events at 4:30 p.m.

The clinic will be run by Bates men’s head coach Al Fereshetian, who also coaches the team’s throwers, and select Bates athletes.

Applications are available online at www.sub5.com on the Web site’s outdoor track homepage.

B2B numbers still available

For those who missed out on registering for August’s Beach to Beacon 10K race, there are still a limited number of bibs available, thanks to Riding to the Top Therapeutic Riding Center.

The first 4,000 spots, which were available March 15, filled in eight minutes, while 1,750 more bibs were attained in a lottery which closed Tuesday.

But RTTTRC, which was the race’s charity beneficiary in 2004, was awarded 25 slots for the Aug. 6 race.

For more information, contact RTT Director of Development Susan Cole at 892-2813, ext. 21 or email scole@ridingtothetop.org.

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