The course is far from flat, which makes it far from easy.

But forget about the hills, the 5-kilometer course that winds through the Bond Brook Recreation Area features plenty of roots, rocks and other hazards that can twist an ankle with any misstep.

“When I first saw the course, I thought, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t do this,'” said Rosalea Kimball, the cross country coach at Maranacook Community High School. “I thought I might get injured doing this.”

Kimball decided to do it anyway, and now she can’t stay away.

She’s racing in the annual Bond Brook 5k Trail Race Series, which consists of eight races. About 80 runners registered for the series, race director Karen Gross said.

“The most we’ve had at one race is 50,” she said. “Last week we had 37. We’re satisfied with the numbers. We definitely have more runners than last year. Trail running is gaining in popularity.”

The series winners will be determined by taking the top five times.

“We’ll start doing the standings pretty soon,” Gross said.

Kimball has competed in two of the four races.

“I do as many as I can,” she said. “It’s a whole different experience than running a road race. It’s just different.”

Kimball, an avid runner, acknowledges there is a risk involved with running through the woods as compared to on pavement. However, the challenge pushes her.

“It’s different because when I run on the trail, my goal is to break 23 minutes,” Kimball said. “My goal for a regular road race is to break 19 minutes. It’s just harder in the trails.”

The series resumes Aug. 23.

• • •

It’s been about 10 years since Nathan MacConnell died in a car crash on Tukey’s Bridge in Portland, but his memory will live on in the first annual Run for the Trees 5-kilometer run/walk on Sept. 8.

MacConnell, who was a senior at Deering High School, loved the outdoors and particularly trees, said Viles Arboretum executive director Mark DesMeules.

“His family approached us about running a race for him,” he said. “We said, ‘absolutely.’ It’s a fitting race in his memory. It was a good fit.”

The race begins at 10 a.m. at the Arboretum on Hospital Street in Augusta.

The course will be run on part of the Arboretum’s 224 acres.

“It will go through the forest and fields, and even on our boardwalk,” DesMeules said. “We want to distinguish this 5k race, too. We will have live music in the forest as runners pass by.”

MacConnell’s family will make a speech at the race, which will also feature a hand-made wooden harp as a trophy.

“It was made in Ireland and shipped over here,” DesMeules said. “We hope to engrave the winner’s names on it every year.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]

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