Maine runners heading West to run for Boston fundraiser

Posted June 07, 2013, at 5:03 p.m.
Gary Allen checks his time after finishing the 50th annual five mile Labor Day Road Race in Bangor Monday.
Gary Allen checks his time after finishing the 50th annual five mile Labor Day Road Race in Bangor Monday. Buy Photo

Two long-distance runners from Maine will be among more than 1,000 participants nationwide in One Run For Boston, a non-stop 3,000-mile relay through 14 states across the country designed to raise funds and awareness for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15.

Ty Thurlow, a teacher and coach at Lee Academy, and Gary Allen, founder of the Mount Desert Island Marathon and co-founder of the Great Cranberry Island 50K Ultra Marathon, are set to participate in the event, which began Friday morning in Los Angeles and concludes in Boston on Sunday, June 30.

Each runner makes a contribution to The One Fund Boston via his or her entry fee when registering for the event. As of early Friday, more than $40,000 had been raised.

Thurlow will run four of the relay’s 300 legs, covering 45.5 miles in New Mexico on Saturday, June 15, while Allen will run three legs in Texas totaling 33.5 miles on Monday, June 17.

“The organizers of the relay actually are from the United Kingdom, and they used Facebook and other media to get the word out about this event,” said Thurlow. “Gary and I followed the list for a few weeks and saw that there were some stages in the Southwest that weren’t filling up in some of the more sparsely populated areas.”

So the two signed up, and upon getting the word out about their impending efforts have received considerable support in making their trips possible.

As just one example, one of Thurlow’s teaching colleagues now working in the Philippines, Anna Schools, booked him a flight to Albuquerque, N.M., upon learning about his plans.

“Things have come together in an incredible way,” he said.

Thurlow plans to leave for New Mexico next Friday, then rise early the following morning to provide support services for other relay runners before embarking on his first 10-mile leg from the small town of Mosquero in the northeastern part of the state at approximately 10:20 a.m.

He’ll continue through a second leg of 14 miles before taking a break at mid-afternoon, then return to the roads at 6:35 p.m. for back-to-back legs of 10 and 11.5 miles. He is scheduled to complete his run at approximately 10 p.m.

Allen will run through the dark of night. He’ll begin the first of his three consecutive legs from Pampa, Texas, a small city in the northern part of the state, at 11:20 p.m. on June 17 and continue until about 5 a.m. the following day.

Unique running experiences are nothing new to either Thurlow and Allen.

Earlier this year, Allen ran 700 miles from Cadillac Mountain on MDI to Washington, D.C. as a fundraiser for charity.

And when last year’s New York City Marathon was cancelled in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Allen and Thurlow ran the course on their own beginning at midnight on the day that race was supposed to be held.

Both runners ran this year’s Boston Marathon, with Thurlow finishing in 3 hours, 3 minutes and 14 seconds and Allen in 3:13:56.

That race holds special significance to Thurlow — he proposed marriage to Jerusha Benn at the finish line. She accepted, and they were safely away from the area before the bombings took place.

Area runners to celebrate movie premiere

Members of the Crow Athletics running club will celebrate the nationwide premiere of the movie “Spirit of the Marathon II” next Wednesday in a unique way — by running nonstop for six hours around the Brunswick theater where the film will be shown.

The small group of runners plan to start running at noon on the day of the premiere and continue until 6 p.m., just before the 7 p.m. first showing of the movie at selected cinemas across the country, according to Gary Allen of Crow Athletics.

The documentary, a sequel to the award-winning “Spirit of the Marathon,” follows seven runners from around the world as they journey to the starting line of the 2012 Rome Marathon. The film also features insights from marathon greats such as Stefano Baldini, Paula Radcliffe and Frank Shorter.

The film’s director, Jon Dunham, has heard about the Mainers’ plans and is supplying complimentary tickets to the film for the group.

A Crow Athletics contingent observed the premiere of the original “Spirit of the Marathon” in 2008 by running 130 miles through the a winter night from Bar Harbor to the same theater in Brunswick. Some of the same runners who were part of that earlier run are expected to attend.

For more information about the film, visit www.marathonmovie.com.

Medomak Valley Triathlon upcoming

The second annual Medomak Valley Triathlon will take place Saturday, Aug. 24, with race-day registration beginning at 6:30 a.m. followed by the start of the race at 8 a.m.

All events begin and end at Ayer Park in Union, and consist of a ¼-mile swim in Seven Tree Pond, a 13-mile bike ride around Wotton’s Mill Road and a 3-mile run to Come Spring Lane and back.

Prizes will be awarded in a variety of age categories, team categories and to the overall male and female winners.

Registration is $35 per person preregistered or $40 per person on the day of the race, or $60 per team preregistered or $75 per team on race day. Registration forms are available at http://sites.google.com/a/msad40.org/mvtriathlon/.

For more information, contact Susan Jones at mvtriathlon@yahoo.com or Gavin Felch at gut2run@gmail.com. You also can look up Medomak Valley Triathlon on Facebook and like the page for up-to-date information.

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