Chamberlain March, practice for Boston Marathon, supports children of fallen soldiers

Posted March 06, 2012, at 6:55 p.m.

BREWER, Maine — Nearly 200 people hit the streets running Sunday in the inaugural Chamberlain March — half-marathon and 5K races — held to honor fallen soldiers dating back to the 20th Maine regiment during the Civil War, race director Jim Karcanes said Tuesday.

The 108 half-marathon runners and the 82 who ran the 5K all contributed to the nonprofit Maine Infantry Foundation, which oversees a college scholarship program for the children of fallen soldiers and hardship grants for military families.

The race was organized by Sub Five, a track-running club based in Brewer that sponsors a number of regional races, Karcanes said.

“We wanted to have a half-marathon so people who are doing the Boston [Marathon] could have one race” before next month’s marathon, he said.

“And we thought it would be a nice way to raise money for the scholarship fund for children of fallen soldiers.”

The race, which started in Brewer and took runners over the Joshua Chamberlain Bridge, named in honor of Brewer’s own Civil War hero, raised about $2,000, he said.

A number of local businesses and groups chipped in with donations, and police departments in Bangor and Brewer, as well as Maine Infantry Foundation volunteers, helped keep the runners safe.

“We couldn’t have done it without them,” Karcanes said. “We were very happy.”

For information or to make a donation to the foundation, go to the group’s website, maineinfantryfoundation.org.

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