By Mary Stevens –
Suppose you were a really good runner, a contender to win every 5K you entered. Would you run to win if you knew your grand prize was a case of Moxie, the State of Maine’s Official Soft Drink?
This is a question I always ponder as I trot the Moxie Days 5K in Lisbon Falls, Maine. The race kicks off my Moxie Days ritual, and it’s followed by a pancake breakfast, Christmas shopping for Moxie-bilia in the Retail Area, and watching the mile-long Moxie-themed parade work its way up the town’s Main Street.
This year I did my pondering a little closer to the front of the pack than usual. I could tell because I made the big turn at Mile 1 before the leaders thundered by on their way back to the finish. The P-shaped course takes runners up a vicious hill at the start, along a fairly level, scenic rural road, through a hilly subdivision and back. That mean starter uphill becomes a screaming downhill finish.
The Moxie race is a fixture on my race calendar, and as long as they have orange shirts, soda-can trophies and Moxie for the winners, I’ll probably show up. The competition is sharp, so I’ll never win, but I like the familiar challenges of the course. I’ve completed 15 of the race’s 22 editions.
The 2017 results: 29:44 on a gorgeous sunny morning, fifth out of 18 in my age group, about 3 minutes ahead of my time in 2016. The overall field was 400-plus—this race gets bigger every year.
I have some constructive criticism for my favorite Maine race, though. The $2.50 online registration fee is steep, and the wonky online application only worked for the Kids Race. I tried to preregister three times over three days well before the race, with no luck. I had to postregister, using the online process with the $2.50 gouge fee—there were no paper registration forms.
I’ve postregistered before at this race and gotten a shirt with no trouble. Not this year. I settled for an extra from last year’s race, and when I have time I’ll duct tape a “2017” to it to commemorate my good time.
Here’s a distracting thought for your next long run: Do you mind registering online, entering personal information and adding a charge to your credit card, then paying a “fee” for the privilege? Do you care if printed applications go away?
Just wondering … these questions got me through Mile 2.