The PFBF CPAs Half Marathon and 5K Run/Walk started in 2010, and raised $1,700 for charity. This year, the business is raising money for Special Olympics Maine, and the goal is to raise $20,000.
“That would be amazing,” said Lisa Bird, the Director of Public and Media Relations for Special Olympics Maine. “When they say non-profit, that’s us. It costs us $1 million a year to run our program. That’s just to keep it the way it is. That’s without adding any new programs or athletes. We rely completely on events like this to stay successful.”
This year’s race is Sunday, July 14, and it begins and ends at PFBF, CPAs on First Park Drive in Oakland. The half marathon begins at 8 a.m., followed by the 5K runners a few minutes later, and the 5K walkers shortly after that. Registration is $50 for the half marathon and $30 for the 5K. For children under 12, registration is $10 for the 5K. To register, go to http://www.pfbf.com.
There is also an option for those who register by mail. If they can raise $100 in pledges, the registration fee is waived, and those pledges will go directly to Special Olympics Maine.
Race director Ann Grant said about 250 people combined competed in the three races last year, and she’s hoping for more than 300 this time around. There is no limit to the number of entrants at this time, Grant said.
There will also be some Special Olympians competing in the 5K.
“I’m hoping we’ll have at least 10, and hopefully even more than that,” Bird said.
One Special Olympian, Molly Berry from the Bangor area, will be singing the national anthem along with Sharon Buck of B98.5, who will be the DJ for the event.
“(Molly) is so excited,” Bird said.
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Bob Moore, the race director for the Friends on the 4th 5K Run/Jog/Walk, thinks the race is the largest 5K in Maine north of Portland.
If it’s not, it’s got to be right up there.
The Friends on the 4th, which begins and ends at the American Legion on Bowdoin Street in Winthrop, is now in its 11th year. From 97 entrants in 2003, the interest climbed to 686 last summer, and Moore says there is “an outside chance” of getting over 700 this year. The race starts at 8 a.m., Thursday.
Moore believes there are a number of reasons why the race is popular: The course, running along Maranacook Lake, is well received; and most importantly, the date is a prime one.
“July 4, you’ve got a lot of people home vacationing,” Moore said. “We’ve got some competitive runners, but it’s also family-friendly.”
Online registration closes at 8 a.m., Wednesday, but same-day registration is $25 and begins at 7 a.m., Thursday. Moore said there are typically 100 to 125 runners who register in the hour before the race.
Proceeds go to Friends of the Cobbossee Watershed, and Moore estimates last year’s event raised between $12,000 and $15,000.
Sam Seekins of South China and Kristina Guerette of Fairfield were last year’s winners, although Moore said neither has registered yet this year.
With the race being held on Independence Day, there will be some extra festivities with the national anthem. Winthrop High School graduate Meg Scully sang the anthem the last two years (”She was tremendous,” Moore said.) and current Winthrop student Maureen Tierney will do the honors Thursday, accompanied by the Winthrop Legion Honor Guard.
Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243