About a month ago I had the pleasure of running the Millinocket Half Marathon, a free event was started in 2015 to help a struggling Maine mill town that has been devastated by the closing of their major employer. The only requirement of the race is that runners support local businesses and contribute to the Katahdin Region in some way. This was such a fun way to kick off the winter season, I regret not writing about it sooner.
My friend and I picked up our bibs the night before at a craft fair, where local vendors were selling everything from honey and jam to handknit hats. We spent about an hour trying to decide what to spend our money on, everything looked so good and/or fun! I settled on some spicy jam and “guts” (pulp leftover from making hot sauce), knowing that I would want to save my cash for race day. It was really hard to limit my spending, vendors at the fair had a wonderful array of goods and everything was displayed so nicely.
Post craft fair, we grabbed supplies to make our meals for the next few days from the local grocery store and headed to the place we would call home during our stay. Where we nervously ate food that we knew wouldn’t make our stomachs churn during the race.
Oatmeal in our stomachs, we pulled into the high school parking lot at prepared to jog the half-mile to the starting line. I had heard the town came out in spirit to support the runners, but I was not ready for the enthusiasm and kindness that I was met with at every turn. Almost every mile had volunteers handing out water and snacks. Spectators had dispersed themselves along the course with cowbells, jingle bells and other noisemakers to cheer us on. Runners showed up in costumes and there were a lot of people who opted to walk the 13.1 distance.
While I’m no stranger to the energy surrounding a race day, Millinocket is easily a race destination I will look forward to each year. If you’re in the area next year, I highly recommend this one!
The other plus side is the 7+ hours spent in the car allowed me to finish the Flax sweater I’ve been working on and get halfway through a pair of Vampolka mitts. So if you’re not a runner consider walking. And if you’re having trouble motivating yourself because the cause isn’t good enough, just think of all the knitting time you could have on your hands!