East Grand Adventure Race delights 63 competitors

6 years ago

DANFORTH, Maine — The 13th annual East Grand Adventure race drew a field of 63 competitors to Danforth Saturday. 

An additional 13 individuals participated in the 34-mile Baskahegan Stream Canoe Race held in conjunction with the adventure race.

“While the race is a really fun event for racers, spectators and volunteer helpers, it continues to meet its goal of connecting students and those of all ages recreating outdoors, applying compass skills, biking and building confidence while paddling a canoe or kayak all of which can be lifelong healthy activities,” Dave Conley,  event organizer, said Monday. “A large number of volunteers locally and as far away as Massachusetts, gave their time to make the day run smoothly. There are a lot of moving parts that day and it takes quite a few people to run the event safely and on time.”

The race takes place in the towns of Danforth, Weston, Bancroft and sometimes in Brookton and features a “compass run,” where runners are transported to the starting line and teams are released every minute-and-a-half. The distance is between 1 to 1.5 miles, and each pair of racers is given a map and bearing (point A to B), before the start. The runners must then figure out declination and direction of travel using a compass.

At the starting line of the compass run are family team members, from left, Isabella, Angela and Maddie Cowger. (Courtesy of Dave Conley)

Next is a 10-mile biking leg of the race, followed by a canoe/kayak portion of the race.

Kell Fremouw and Kellen Doyle of Orono were the overall winners in the adventure race and first in the high school boys division with an overall time of 2 hours, 36 minutes, after figuring deductions for successfully completing challenges.

Clarice VanWalsum and Noam Osher of Orono placed first in the high school mixed division with a time of 3:55:44. The father and son team of Thomas and Eric Gilman of Danforth, 3:06:33, took first place in the men’s division.

The team of Nile Haentjens and Jordan Snyder of Orono, with a time of 3:27:39, won first place in the adult mixed division; first place in the open division went to the three-person team of Eleanore Allan-Rahill, Brian Rahill and Eleanore Tyne of Orono; first place in the family division was the team of Nick Parker, Craig, Kristen and Larry Dean Whiting of Danforth with a time of 1:48:39 when figuring in earned deductions (and minus the biking leg of the race.)

East Grand Senior Thomas Gilman successfully stayed on the log roll challenge for 15 seconds earning 10 minutes off his overall course time. Thomas and his father Eric came in first in the mens division with an overall course time of 2:31:33. (Courtesy of Kristen Shay Whiting)

“The most growth with the race has been with the family division which has opened up the race for all ages with ages 8-72 competing this year,” Conley said. “One young racer got a big surprise and was shaken up a bit during the compass run when he came upon and jumped a moose out of it’s bed. The open division has been a good fit for those wanting to do the race as a relay team. While some are up to doing the compass challenge and paddling leg, some are not up for the biking leg but find a team member this is.”

In the 34-mile Baskahegan Stream Canoe Race, the top three spots went to solo boaters winning out over two, three, and four-person teams. The first-place winner was Rod McLean of Stockton Springs with a time of 4:45:24; second place was Eve Dana of Old Town, 5:15:20; and third place, Mark Risinger of Saco, 5:16:11.

Local racer Peter Blood of Houlton teamed up with Bob Martin of Dedham and the pair came in sixth with a time of 6:05:47.

Isaac Crone of Danforth won the top door prize of the day, an Old Town Discovery 15-foot, 8-inch canoe, two wooden paddles and two life jackets donated by Old Town Canoe. Crone is an East Grand outdoor education student with a desire to become a game warden someday.