Children participate in the annual Bowdoinham fun run before the pandemic. Sarah Gagnon

After taking a hiatus in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Bowdoinham’s annual 5k ‘chicken’ run and fun run is back this year.

Organized by the Bowdoinham Parent Partnership, the event aims to raise money for the school year. All proceeds from the event will be used to help support innovative enrichment programs at the Bowdoinham Community School.

“There are different things that wouldn’t ordinarily be funded through the normal curriculum and events like these help us raise additional funds to support various programs and activities at the school,” said Sally Cluchey, chair of the Bowdoinham Parent Partnership.

Cluchey added with the help of these funds, meals, snacks, and gifts are provided to teachers and staff throughout the school year to keep up their morale. Moreover, funds will be used to organize field trips and other outdoor activities for children, besides hiring visiting authors and musicians to spend a day engaging kids in fun activities at the school.

The group also funds for various community-building events like big harvest supper and Halloween parades. “These events are not just for the kids or adults. Everybody who wants to be involved in some fun activities can participate,” Cluchey said.

Like previous years, the race will kick off with the ceremonial chicken dance, followed by kids’ one-mile race and a 5k race for the adults. The race will start at the school and go around ‘the loops’ through Bowdoinham village and out to the rural reaches of Millay Road before ending back at the school.


After the race, the top overall finishers will each receive a basket of fresh, organic, Bowdoinham-grown produce, eggs, and sourdough bread from the Bowdoinham Farmers Market. The top finisher in each age group will receive a half-dozen eggs from Apple Creek Farm. In the kids’ fun run, top finishers will receive medals, and all finishers will receive a ribbon.

This year, the race is paired with the return of a chicken barbecue lunch.

“The town people have been talking about organizing chicken barbecue for a long time now, so we decide to combine it with the 5K run and named it as 5K chicken run,” said Cluchey.

Wendy Rose, chair of the Bowdoinham Community Development Advisory Committee, said that organizing barbecue events is a long-time tradition in Bowdoinham.

“Back in the 1970s, town people organized chicken BBQ events to raise money to build an extension to the community school, and that continued for many years. Once we achieved the goal, we didn’t host any chicken BBQ events for a long time, but now it’s back again,” said Rose.

The registrations for both the 5k run and kids fun run are in full swing. So far 80 people have registered for the event.


All the participants are recommended to wear a mask during the event, especially while waiting in line for food, in light of the increasing number of COVID-19 infections across the state.

“We will take necessary precautions during the event. Hand sanitizers will be available at all the tables, and food will be served to people. The servers will be wearing masks and gloves,” said Cluchey.

Cluchey said the event aims to get everybody excited about the school year. “It’s a great community-building event, where families get to meet each other and participate in some activities,” she said.

The event will be held Aug. 28 at Bowdoinham Community School. Registration for the 5K is $20 online, and $25 on race day. Registration for the fun run is $5 online, and $10 on race day.

More details are available at

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