Naples Causeway 5K race this Sunday

George Vooris goes from Tour de Lovell competitor to Naples Causeway 5K director this Sunday.

George Vooris goes from Tour de Lovell competitor to Naples Causeway 5K director this Sunday.

By Gail Geraghty

Staff Writer

Around 160 runners are registered for the first-ever Naples Causeway 5K Walk or Run this Sunday, Aug. 30, and more are likely to come forward on race day. The race starts at 8 a.m. between Brays Brewpub and Moose Landing Marina on Route 302, and will travel a course up Route 114 and back.

That the event has come together at all is a testament to the dogged determination of local painter George Vooris, who has been working tirelessly over the past year to put all the logistics together.

“It is absolutely coming together,” Vooris said last week, in between a flurry of last-minute calls to sponsors and vendors. Entry fees from teams and individuals will go to support The Patrick Dempsey Cancer Center and local food pantries.

Vooris regained his health last year by running in the Dempsey Challenge race, and decided to give back by bringing to his Naples hometown its very own long-distance race. Many local businesses have stepped up to help as sponsors, he said, including Fountain of You, Northern Docks, Rick’s Café, Keefe’s Marina, True Value Hardware and Bridgton Hospital.

True Value Hardware is providing a 20’ x 30’ race registration tent at the starting line, where racers will be able to pick up their packets on Saturday, Aug. 29, from 2 to 6 p.m., a day ahead of the race. Bridgton Hospital is donating t-shirts and water, and Lampron’s has provided reusable packets.

“Bridgton, Raymond, Casco have their own races, so why not Naples?” said Vooris, who went before Naples Selectmen in February to get permission to hold the event. “A majority of the town of Naples is supporting the event.”

Vicki Toole will hold a pre-race Zumba warmup on the Causeway at 7:30 a.m., and has put together a team from her business, Fountain of You. The Naples Fire Department will be at the finish line with a tank truck that will spray a water curtain for racers to run through. The local Cub Scout Troop will be handing out fruit and other healthy snacks after the race.

Medals will be given out for first and second places in each of 10 age categories from age four to 80, and all children aged 12 and under will get presentation ribbons.

The entry fee is $25, free to 12 and under. For more information, see the Naples Causeway 5K Facebook page, visit www.runsignup.com or call Vooris at 693-7248.

 

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