The Star-Herald

Aroostook River Fun Run takes off May 19

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The annual Aroostook River Fun Run is slated Saturday, May 19, including the traditional paddling down the river as well as options for runners, walkers and bikers.

The event began as a partnership between the Presque Isle and Washburn Rotary Clubs to celebrate the tremendous resource that connects the two communities: the Aroostook River.  That sponsorship grew over the years to also include the Caribou Rotary Club, the Kiwanis Club of Presque Isle and The Aroostook Medical Center.

“Last year, we felt it was time to breathe new life into the event and open it up to a whole new group of people: those who might not enjoy the water but rather might prefer to bike, run or walk,” said Floyd Rockholt, Presque Isle Rotarian and one of the organizers of the event.  

“We are hoping for even more growth for the event this year.  It is an incredible way to enjoy the region, have fun and get active.”

While each course option starts at a separate location, they all end at the Presque Isle Fish & Game Club.  Participants may enjoy a free barbecue lunch at 12:30 p.m., followed by the presentation of awards and door prizes. Organizers will travel participants back to their vehicles, including their canoes and kayaks.

Those who want to paddle the river can canoe or kayak from Thomas Brewer Park in Washburn to the Presque Isle location.  Participants can take part by themselves, with a partner or with their kids. Awards are provided in several categories.

Life jackets are required for all who are in watercrafts on the river.  Children under 10 must have an adult in the watercraft with them; children 10-13 must have an adult in a nearby watercraft. Check-in or registration takes place from 8:30-9:30 a.m. at Thomas Brewer Park.

Bikers will depart from the Presque Isle Bus Garage on Parsons Road and travel to Washburn and back to the Fish & Game Club.  Check-in or registration takes place from 8:30-9:30 a.m. at the bus garage.

Those participating in the 5K walk or run will check in or register at the Sargent Family Community Center in Presque Isle from 8:30-9:30 a.m., and then will drive to Machias Savings Bank. The route goes from the bank parking lot, following Dyer Street and Parsons Road to the Fish & Game Club.

All events start at 10 a.m., except the walk, which will begin at 9:30.  

Registration is $10 for adults and $5 for children under 13.  All children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Free T-shirts are available while supplies last.  

Pre-registration is encouraged.  To do so, simply print out the brochure, which includes a registration form, at  Mail the form and your registration fee to the address indicated.

This year, all proceeds will be divided evenly between two causes:  local Disabled American Veterans and the American Lung Association in support of Mel’s Trekkers, a group biking in Trek Across Maine in honor of Melanie Stewart-Ring.

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