Revamped fitness series slated for this summer

10 years ago

    PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — A growing interest in triathlon and run/walk events in Aroostook has brought together four County organizations, each working to improve the health and wellbeing of area residents, to present a series of activities in northern Maine this summer for all ages and ability levels.    

    After seeing the number of registrants more than double for triathlons hosted for both adults and youth from the first year they were offered in The County in 2012 to last summer, a second offering is being added for youth. Additionally, a swell in participation in 5K races and fun run/walks throughout the region has spurred a new such event, the return of one of the most popular and unique, and the introduction of a half marathon for running enthusiasts in the coming season.

    The County Fit and Fun Summer Series was announced at a press conference last Wednesday in the pool area of Gentile Hall at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. Representatives from partner organizations UMPI, TAMC, CompetitorME and ACAP’s Healthy Aroostook Partnership were all present for the announcement, along with participants who will take part in the activity.

    The summer series will both begin and end with the triathlon events at UMPI. The return of the popular Tri-Aroostook for adults on the morning of Saturday, June 28, will be expanded this year with the first-ever Tri-Aroostook Kids contest following the adult competition in the afternoon. Both of these events, the only sanctioned by USA Triathlon in northern Maine, are being coordinated by CompetitorME, a new County-based organization, along with lead partners TAMC and UMPI.

    Youth will have another opportunity to experience a kid-friendly triathlon at the summer series closing event on Sunday, Sept. 7. Like the Tri-Aroostook events, the third annual REDY… Set…Let’s Go! Youth Triathlon, hosted by ACAP’s Healthy Aroostook Partnership, TAMC and UMPI, is based on the university campus, specifically Gentile Hall.

    The County Fit and Fun Summer Series will feature two first-time events, coordinated by CompetitorME.  The Midsummer’s Night Glow Run, on Saturday, July 12, will include both a 5K and 10K road race departing from the Gehrig Johnson Athletic Complex at the Presque Isle Middle School just prior to sunset and winding through the streets of Presque Isle. 

    The second event will bring a half-marathon to the region on Sunday, Aug. 31. The Harvest Half Marathon (13.1 mile distance) is for all ages and will start and finish on the UMPI campus, extending through Presque Isle and area countryside.

    To bring home that message, the winner of the two previous Tri-Aroostook (adult) competitions and a young athlete expected to take part in the inaugural Tri-Aroostook Kids, who has previously and will again compete in the REDY…Set…Let’s Go! Youth Triathlon, spoke at the press conference.

    “The amount of effort behind individuals around The County to organize activities and events has been inspiring. Their greatest goal is for people to have fun, bring a sense of gathering and close bonds to motivate everyone toward health and fitness through people’s experiences. This can make all the difference when personal goals need to be accomplished,” said Shawn Berry, two-time Tri-Aroostook overall winner.

    “I am always looking forward to the next triathlon, because it’s a fun way to keep in shape. It’s also a way to spend time with my family and friends,” said 14-year-old Jillian Jandreau of Caribou, who has participated in past youth running and triathlon events, and will take part in as many of the County Fit and Fun Summer Series events as possible.

    The sixth event to be included in The County Fit and Fun Summer Series will be the second annual Color Presque Isle 5K, co-hosted by UMPI and the Wintergreen Arts Center.  Color Presque Isle, for which a set date will be announced by organizers in the coming weeks.

    Five training sessions will be held prior to The REDY…Set…Let’s Go! Youth Triathlon in preparation for the event. The first will be Sunday, April 27 at 1 p.m. at Gentile Hall for training for the swim portion of the event with Erica Hemphill.SP-triathlon-dcx-all-15