This year I have announced over 20 events with a handful remaining in the season. My last event of the year will be the Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis in Freeport, ME on December 7th. I’m not going to lie, it can be very difficult to summon the motivation to work an 10-hour day for a cyclocross race or a half-marathon. However, I have no difficulty waking at 5 am every third week of October and working the Krempels King of the Road Challenge in Stratham, NH.
First, it is a wonderfully run event. Arlon Chaffee of Loco Cycling and Loco Sports has worked for the last four years with Ted King to create a memorable occasion for all participants. Of course, having the opportunity to ride with professional cyclist Ted King is a thrill especially for the local folks. Not only do participants get to hang with Ted, but they also get to pal around with the likes of Tim Johnson (CX National Champ), Timmy Duggan (Road National Champ), Lyne Bessette (Paralympic Gold Medalist and one of the best female racers of all-time), Crystal Anthony (CX Worlds Team Member), and Jarrod Shoemaker (2009 ITU Duathlon World Champ). Even though riders are accompanied by all of the superstars, the event is very intimate with a few hundred people enjoying each others company post-ride. Fine brews provided by Smuttynose Brewing and food from La Festa Brick and Brew, Dos Amigos, and the Old Salt are a plus as well.
I will continue to advocate for this ride as long as they continue the tradition of the Doc King Adaptive Tour. For the uninitiated, the Krempels Center (The title beneficiary of the ride) is a non-profit organization that helps people living with brain injury. With the combined efforts of Northeast Passage, the KKOTRC gives these folks an opportunity to ride/race around an enclosed circuit. I have had the privilege of announcing this event since its inception in 2011. As this is going to be a lengthy post, I can sum up this event in one anecdote. I was announcing the Doc King Adaptive Challenge when the Grateful Dead’s “Touch of Grey” came on the playlist. As the song states, “I will get by.” One of the adaptive racers, who was watching others race started dancing to the tune and called me over and said, “This is it! I will get by.” This gentleman is someone living with a traumatic brain injury and he embodied the attitude of the event. Positivity and community! I would encourage all to make room for next year’s event. It is usually the 3rd week of October, so approximately Oct. 17th of 2015. Make it happen.
The remainder of October and November was quite busy. I put a lot of miles on my high performance vehicle. A new 5k took me out to Keene, NH, the Udder Madness 5k presented by the Keene Sentinel. This was a small race, but it gave me the opportunity to check out Keene. The location of the race was at this farm where they had Alpacas roaming around freely. Alpacas!
Of course, the following day was Orchard Cross in Hampton Falls, NH. Another record breaking year for Brian Croteau and his team. That event is looking to rival some of the longstanding races in New England.
I made it up to Castle in the Clouds for a chilly half-marathon. Race director Robin Allen-Burke got it right and produced a really great event. Though the weather was cold, there were plenty of whoopie pies for all who finished.
After a short break, I most recently ventured to Cape Elizabeth, Maine for the Maine Track Club Turkey Trot 5k. This race has been run for 46 years! An incredible testament to the MTC and the organizing committee. Last year, this race was by far the coldest race of the year, never reaching a temp above 20 degrees. Fortunately, winter held off a bit this year and we were basking in 40 degree November weather. Some things that I really liked about this race. (1) It is a 100% non-profit race with all proceeds going to the Wayside Food Program. The day of the local 5k has begun to wane and we see a lot of races that are for profit. This is one of those classic 5ks like the ones I remember as a youngster. No frills, just a great group of people, water, bananas and a race. (2) The registration fees are minimal. 20 cakes to get into this race. Most races are now at least $35, so it is great to see some reasonable fees. (3) Turkeys dancing! Yes. This is not a typo. There is a woman who works at this race every year and dresses up in a turkey costume. I want to be her friend because she is the best turkey costume dancer ever. Every song, she would dance and make it look good! If I were to ever go to a costume wedding, I would go as a turkey. You can intentionally dance like a chicken and it looks great.
This race has a runner limit of 1000. Next year, I would love to see them reach that limit so if you are hanging out the weekend before Thanksgiving, take the short drive to Cape Elizabeth and participate in this race. It is a great group and it is for a great cause.
Until next time………
Here are some links associated with the post:
Krempels King of the Road Challenge
Udder Madness 5k
Maine Track Club