Running has seen a revitalization in popularity in recent years, and that’s true in Waterville as well.

One example of that is the Quarry Road Summer Race Series, which is held at 6 p.m. every Tuesday along the Quarry Road trails. In its first year, the series is already getting strong numbers in participation, with 94 runners at last week’s 3K.

“Waterville hasn’t had something like that,” said Patrick Guerette, the race series director. “There used be a lot of good races in the area. Now that there are these races right in Waterville, people want to take advantage of it.”

The series began June 4 and continues through Aug. 6. The twist in this series is that the race is a different length each week. July 23 is a 4-miler, July 30 is a 5-miler and on Aug. 6, runners can choose a 5K or a 10K.

There’s also a free Fun Run for children at 5:30, with a distance between a half mile and a mile.

The series has no pre-registration online. The registration fee is $5 per week and registration begins at 5 p.m. each Tuesday.

Guerette said the courses are set up more for cross-country skiing use, but the series uses all the courses available.

“We try to use all the different loops in different ways,” he said. “They’re challenging. There’s a lot of good gravel trail out here. There are some fields that we run through. A lot of variable terrain.”

So far, some of the top runners in the series have been Greg Goodhue, Brian Morin, David Benn, Marc Collard and Barry Hopkins on the men’s side, and Alicia MacLeay, Cecilia Morin, Gyee O’Malley, Sara Kozer and Jessica Walsh on the women’s side. Messalonskee graduate Harlow Ladd, now at Purdue University, joined up on July 2 and won the 10K and the 3K in back-to-back weeks, with fellow Messalonskee graduate David Currier taking second place in both races.

A complete schedule of the race series, as well as other information, is available on the series website at http://quarryroadraces.com.

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The 34th annual Old Hallowell Day 5K is at 7:30 a.m., Saturday. The race starts on Water Street, near the Cotton Mill apartment complex and just north of the state public boat landing.

Race director Jonathan Ives said the early start helps avoid the hottest part of the day, and also allows runners to have the rest of the day to enjoy the Old Hallowell Day festivities.

“The parade starts at 10 a.m., so we like to wrap up our activities before then,” Ives said.

A total of 239 runners finished the race last year. Ives said he expects between 150 and 180 entrants Saturday. Another annual feature is the free kids Fun Run held at Vaughan Field. That will go from 8:15 to 8:30, and the distance is approximately 1K.

Ives said community support has kept the race going for more than three decades, including volunteers who get up early to help with the race.

“Over the years, the race has gone through a lot of changes,” he said. “But I think Hallowell has a community of activity-oriented who helped keep the race alive.”

The course runs through Park Street, Second Street and Middle Street in Hallowell. Ives said there’s an incline at about the 2-mile mark, but the last three-quarters of a miles gradually goes downhill.

“Most people who think of Hallowell think of the hills,” Ives said. “It’s not as bad as it could be, but it’s still a challenging course.”

Last year’s top five men’s finishers were Seth Hasty (17 minutes, 17 seconds), Joe Viselli, Joshua Ringer, Kevin Desmond and Will Lundquist. Rosalea Kimball was first among women’s runners, followed by Anne McKee, Jessica Viselli, Erika Rodrigue and Jennifer Seymour.

Winners in each age and team categories receive pottery mugs created by Hallowell Clayworks. There will also be raffles for gift certificates to local restaurants.

To pre-register by noon, Friday, or for more information, go to http://oldhallowellday.org/events/road-race/. Registration the day of the event is 6-7 a.m. In either case, the cost is $20, plus a $5 chip fee which is returned after the race.

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

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