The big road race in Waterville this weekend honors a couple. The husband worked out at Champions Fitness Club a few days a week until he was 99. The wife ran 5K races well into her 80s.

The Doc & Mardie Brown 5K begins at 9 a.m., Saturday at the Alfond Youth Center. The race is in its eighth year, and had 74 finishers last summer.

Mardie Brown died on June 2, 2009, and Doc Brown passed away on July 10, 2010.

“Since then, their children have been trying to grow and support the race in their memories,” race director Patrick Guerette said. “That’s our message: It doesn’t matter how old or how fast you are. It’s being out there and doing it, and maintaining that active lifestyle.”

Online registration is available until 4 p.m., Friday at The cost is $17, or $12 for entrants 55 and older. Same-day registration, from 7-8:45 a.m. Saturday in the Alfond Youth Center lobby, is $20, or $12 for entrants 55 and older. There is also a 1-mile fun run for children 12 and under, beginning at 8:30 a.m., Saturday.

Guerette felt last year’s turnout was kept down by the rain, and he said by Tuesday afternoon, there were already enough online registrations to match last year’s total number of entrants.

“I actually think we’re going to be over 100 — possibly as high as 125,” Guerette said. “The weather Saturday looks beautiful.”

Between individual awards and raffles, Guerette estimated there will be nearly $1,000 worth of prizes on Saturday. The top male and female finishers will each receive a $100 gift card to the New Balance factory store. Last year’s winners were Corey Bean on the men’s side, with a time of 17 minutes, 15 seconds, and Suzanne Walsh on the women’s side, with a time of 22:54.

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The Gardiner Area Youth Hockey Association is putting on its second annual “Day of Play” on Saturday. Part of the day’s events will be the GYHA Waterfront Day of Play 5K Run and Walk.

The race is along the Kennebec River Rail Trail, which starts and ends behind Hannaford on Maine Avenue. Registration is $25 and begins at 7 a.m., Saturday. You can also register online, for an extra fee of $3, at The race starts at 8 a.m.

With every registration, $5 goes to the local “backpack program.” In Gardiner, this program is organized by The Gardiner Free Methodist Church, with help from the First Baptist Church and Good Shepherd Food Bank. The program helps local students get meals on weekends.

As part of the “Day of Play,” there will be a pancake breakfast on Water Street before the 5K, as well as a 3-on-3 street hockey tournament throughout the day.

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243
[email protected]

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