As the temperature chills down to reflect the coming of winter in the Katahdin region, interest in a sporting event in the area that defies those conditions continues to grow.
Runners from 39 states and three Canadian provinces comprise a record field of 2,301 pre-registered entries for the fifth annual Millinocket Marathon and Half-Marathon, set for 10 a.m. Saturday from Veterans Memorial Park in the Magic City.
“I don’t know what to attribute it to,” race founder Gary Allen said. “Millinocket Magic I suppose!”
How many of this year’s runners complete the 26.2-mile marathon or 13.1-mile half-marathon in the shadow of Mount Katahdin isn’t necessarily as important to Allen and others involved in staging the races as their spending habits during their visit to northern Penobscot County.
Allen, an entrepreneur and ultra-distance running veteran, created the Millinocket races — which require no entry fee — in the aftermath of area mill closings with the hope of providing an economic boost during a slow time of year before the winter snowmobiling season takes off.
Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...
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