When runners and walkers gear up for the annual snow run, they could face bitter cold, snow flurries, rain or sunshine. No matter what the weatherman says, the one thing they know for sure is that they will be on the course for an exceptional cause stretching beyond the greater Houlton borders.
For the last two years, the Wild Katahdin Snow Run has benefited the Family Readiness Group or FRG.
The FRG is a significant component of the military. Every National Guard Unit, battalion or headquarters has an FRG — a commander’s program — for volunteers.
“The people who make up the FRG group, according to information provided by Cheryl Quint, “help families meet the challenges of military life by working with the unit and the state family program’s office.”
Anyone who is interested in the military, along with the men and women who serve our country, whether it be spouses, children, parents, friends, relatives, retired/active service members or community members may become an FRG volunteer.
“The FRG helps to strengthen the relationship with the military family by communication,” according to Quint’s information. “This provides an opportunity to ask questions and share ideas or concerns. It also provides an opportunity to share volunteer work together — planning activities that make military life easier and more rewarding.”
But, the bottom line for the FRG is support. People who understand the military life are a source of strength and comfort to one another.
On Saturday, Feb. 16, the 29th annual Wild Katahdin Snow Run registration will be held from 9:30-10:35 a.m. at the John Millar Civic Center. Cost of the run/walk is $12. “Musterd Mittens” will be given to the first 50 registered participants. There are changing rooms available.
The 3-mile walk begins at 10:45 a.m., with the 5K run following at 11 a.m.
An award ceremony is scheduled for about 11:45 a.m., with first-place trophies for each age category for the 5K run and to the first three walkers. Special awards include, the Mean Runner and Guts Award, along with first-place award for a three-member male and female team.
The course starts and ends at the Millar Civic Center’s front entrance. The course is flat, but slippery in spots due to the weather and climate. Age categories for the 5K include: 14 and under, 15-18, 19-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 and 60 and over. An adult guardian must accompany children under 10 years of age.
The Wild Katahdin Trust Snow Run serves as the first race in the Aroostook Musterds County Challenge Series. Extra donations for the named charity, as well as the scholarship fund, will also be accepted on walk/race day.
The FRG helps not only a family, but the service member, as well. In active service, there is always a chance of mobilization and deployment. The FRG network works together to help each other — making a smoother transition for service members, as they concentrate on their duties, while spending less time worrying about their family because each active service man/woman knows their family is in good hands.
To support the FRG and the County running scholarship, plan on attending the Wild Katahdin Trust Snow Run. For more information on the race, call Larry Tonzi at 532-7548.