JOHN HOLYOKE

Today’s lesson: Don’t run from these game wardens

Posted Aug. 05, 2011, at 3:48 p.m.

In your travels around the Maine woods, you may have occasion to meet one of the state’s game wardens. Thankfully, none of our BDN readers are fish-and-game scofflaws. Thankfully, none would have reason to feel nervous about such a meeting with our men and women in green.

No, our BDN readers are a by-the-book bunch. Of that, I’m sure — kind of. And as such, of course, they’d never consider trying to run away from a Maine Game Warden.

After the news I received earlier this week, I more fully realize why that’s a very good thing.

Because at least a few members of the Maine Warden Service would run them down like dogs… and not even break a sweat.

At my urging, Emily MacCabe, who works for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife as an outdoor educator, passed along the results from the 21st annual New Hampshire State Police D.A.R.E. Classic 5k, which was held on Wednesday.

At that race, which was contested at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H., a three-man Maine Warden Service team topped all other law enforcement entries to win. Their total time: 1 hour, 1 minute, 16 seconds.

Col. Joel Wilkinson, the chief of the warden service, covered the 3.1-mile distance in 22:59, a 7:23-per-mile pace. Warden Kris MacCabe — Emily’s husband — finished in 20:31 (6:36 pace). And the “ringer,” Corp. Aaron Cross, clocked a speedy 18:45 (6:02 per mile).

Not too shabby.

Emily MacCabe reported that the warden team finished almost three minutes ahead of the winning time from the 2010 race.

And the team isn’t finished. Next up: The Cumberland County 5K Fugitive Run, which will be held Aug. 13. At that race the Maine Warden Service team is defending champ, and will take on their rivals from the York Police Department among other contenders. That race will benefit the Center for Grieving Children, according to Emily MacCabe.

Congratulations to Wilkinson, Cross and MacCabe on a job well done.

One race a week not enough

While Wilkinson raced hard on Wednesday, MacCabe reports he’s not done for the week: He’ll be among the thousands of runners toeing the line in Cape Elizabeth on Saturday for the Beach to Beacon 10K.

I’m happy to report I’ll be among those joining him for the scenic 6.2-mile trek from Crescent Beach State Park to Portland Head Light.

Several years ago — 11, to be precise — I spent the summer trying to get in better shape and set running Beach to Beacon as a goal. As I recall, I didn’t lose much weight during that summer, ran sporadically (some, who’ve seen me run, would say “spasmodically” is a better description), but eventually slogged my way to the finish line. Goal met, I rapidly stopped paying attention to fitness, exercise and diet.

This year things are a little bit different.

Since February I’ve begun taking my health and fitness and diet a lot more seriously and am running regularly. The Bangor Y and its “Biggest Mover” weight-loss program deserves a lot of the credit. Over a 12-week span I lost 48.9 pounds and have kept it off over the three months that have elapsed since “Mover” wrapped up.

People have begun telling me that I’ve got to get my column photo redone. I apparently no longer resemble the person whose photo appears in these pages on Thursdays and Saturdays.

And that’s OK. That other guy was getting a bit doughy, to tell you the truth.

This year, the Beach to Beacon isn’t “the goal,” as it was back in 2000. No, this time it’s simply another step along the way toward becoming healthier. Also on tap in that quest (if you can believe it) is the Maine Half Marathon — 13.1 miles of fun — on Oct. 2, my birthday.

Why am I sharing that information here? Well, some folks have told me that others might be encouraged by hearing about someone else’s efforts to get back in shape after far too many years of slacking off. And slack off, I certainly did.

At some point in the future, I may write a bit more about this ongoing process of rediscovering — rescuing isn’t too strong a word — that thin guy from the lard suit he wore for nearly 25 years.

For now, however, I’ll just leave you with this: My journey isn’t over. The goal hasn’t been met. And if I can do what I’ve done, you can do more.

My next step, I suppose, is pretty clear: I’ve got to see about getting another column photo taken.

jholyoke@bangordailynews.com

990-8214

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