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Marathon returning to Caribou this weekend with a few tweaks

CARIBOU, Maine — Caribou’s third Boston Marathon qualifying race will boast a few new changes, some due to popular demand and others due to Mother Nature.

The kids race, which was formerly held concurrently with the full marathon, will now be held on Saturday, Sept. 15, the day before the big race. The 1.2 mile kids race will begin at the Caribou Wellness and Recreation Center on Bennett Drive at 4 p.m. Young racers will run north, take a left onto Sperry Drive, briefly hit Glenn Street as they turn onto Pilgrim Road, and then continue to Elmwood Avenue, Teague Street, and then Park Street, before finally heading back to the Bennett Drive recreation center.

All kids participating in the race will be treated to a free spaghetti dinner at the center. Adults hoping for some spaghetti, ployes, Caesar salad, dessert, and punch on Saturday can contact the recreation center to buy a $10 supper ticket.

The full 26.2 mile marathon, which also starts at the recreation center, is slated to start at 8 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, and features a slightly different route from last year. The half marathon route is not affected by the change.

Due to the River Road experiencing significant damage this spring, the marathon runners will have to take a slight detour instead of running along the potentially treacherous path next to the Aroostook River.

“It’s not a long detour,” said Caribou Marketing and Events Coordinator Christina Kane-Gibson, “and then it goes back to the River Road.”

This year, racers are turning onto the East Presque Isle road instead.

“Since the River Road is being reclaimed by the river, we didn’t want our runners to be reclaimed too,” Kane-Gibson joked.

Caribou Parks and Recreation Superintendent Gary Marquis said during a Sept. 10 City Council meeting that he’s looking forward to the Sunday marathon, adding that the forecast predicts a hot, sunny day.

“We’ll make sure we have water and gatorade on hand along the track,” said Marquis. “It’s going to be a hot one.”

Marquis said “over 400” racers have signed up for the event.

“It looks like the weather will be fantastic,” he said. “It’s going to be another busy weekend.”

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