BANGOR, Maine — With just days to go before the start of the 2012 Fireball Run Adenturally — the Northern Exposure edition — members of the Bangor Riverdrivers unveiled their ride during a pre-rally gathering Monday on Hogan Road.
Now in its sixth year, Fireball Run is an eight-day, 14-city, 2,500-mile interactive adventure created to aid in the recovery of missing children. Forty teams from throughout the northeastern United States — including Bangor and Ogunquit in Maine — will take part in the rally, which begins Friday in Independence, Ohio, and ends on Saturday, Sept. 29, in downtown Bangor.
Among the finale events set for Bangor are a 5 p.m. parade through downtown featuring the 40 Fireball Run teams and opportunities to meet the drivers. The parade’s reviewing stand will be set up in West Market Square and the finish line will be at Hollywood Casino.
Making up the Bangor Riverdrivers are lumberjill Tina Scheer, better known as “Timber Tina,” and Carolanne Ouellette, director of the Maine Office of Tourism. During a gathering at Quirk Autopark, the two showed off the white 2012 Chevrolet Traverse provided for their adventure by the Quirk dealership in Bangor.
The vehicle, which is equipped with GPS, is covered with decals promoting the businesses and organizations that have signed on as sponsors. Arguably the most importance stickers on the SUV are those providing information about the missing child the Riverdrivers have chosen to spotlight — Ayla Reynolds, the Maine toddler who vanished from her father’s home last December.
During the rally, each team will distribute more than 1,000 posters to raise awareness of some of the region’s missing-children cases in hope of recovering that missing child. The effort is considered the largest in the country and the longest active recovery effort for missing and abducted children.
So far, 38 missing children have been found through the efforts of Fireball Run participants.
The women who compose the Bangor Riverdrivers team said they are looking forward to the challenge.
“Every day, I’d say we’ll be doing between 250 and 400 miles,” said Scheer, owner of the Great Maine Lumberjack Show in Trenton and a contestant on “Survivor: Panama-Exile Island.”
“It’s kind of like a scavenger hunt on wheels. It’s an adventure rally,” said Scheer, later adding, “It’ll be a lot of fun. I can’t wait to start out, meet all of the other teams, and be able to represent our state and our city all the way through the Northern Exposure.
Ouellette added that the tour will give Bangor and Maine some great exposure.
“It’s a great way to highlight what wonderful things we have in this area of the state,” she said. “We look forward to being able to meet a lot of people and welcoming all of them here to the finish line city, Bangor, Maine.”
Participants for the Fireball Run are drawn from the fields of business, politics, law enforcement and the military. The field also includes appointed officials, such as Ouellette, and celebrities, including Scheer.
The event’s organizers describe Fireball Run as a life-size board game, an interactive adventure series during which teams solve several clues daily in order to navigate the route, locate points of interest and earn points. The missions are said to be epic, challenging competitors to navigate a zigzag route across seven states in eight days.
“When the race finishes up here in eastern Maine, we would invite as many people as possible to come to downtown Bangor to view the Fireball Run Adventurally Parade, and to see the impressive display of vehicles that were used by the 40 teams in this year’s race,” said John Osborne, chairman of the of the Greater Bangor Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The entire eight-day race can be seen live at www.fireballrun.com starting Saturday. The race will also be filmed and edited for a feature-length movie, which will be released on home video, and will highlight all 15 cities — including Bangor and Ogunquit — as well as all 40 teams.
For more information about the 2012 Fireball Run Adventurally visit www.visitbangormaine.com.