Race promotes fitness, new trail
By Wayne E. Rivet
FRYEBURG — When Bill Reilly was a young boy, he earned good grades in school yet his report card always seemed to carry the same teacher’s comment year after year.
Bill needs to settle down and learn to sit still.
Watch Bill coach at any cross-country running or track meet, and one will see he is in constant motion.
• Sunday, May 20, 10 a.m. Rain or shine.
• Children (ages 10 and younger) 1K at 9 a.m.
• Course: Mountain Division Trail.
• Start point: Fair Street, ample parking courtesy of local contractor Clyde Watson.
• Pre-registration $15; $20 on race day. Kids’ race is free. Tech shirts to the first 100 registrants. Proceeds benefit the Fryeburg Academy boys’ and girls’ cross country running teams.
• Register online at www.active.com/running/fryeburg-me/fryeburg-5k-2012
For more information, contact Race Directors Judy and Bill Reilly at 890-6587 or email@example.com
• $100 to top male and female finishers; trophies to age division winners.
• Race sponsors: Poland Spring and RE/MAX Country Living of Fryeburg.
“You slow down and you’ll eventually stop,” said the Fryeburg Academy running coach, who competes annually in area road races and often wins his age division. “I’m going to be 65 years old in July, and I can do things now that I did when I was 18. The message I want to get out to kids is that you can do things as you age if you take care of yourself. Lifestyle is a choice. Fitness is important, and it should be stressed at a young age. Unless you do certain things throughout your life, you will fall apart.”
With the opening of the 1.5-mile Mountain Division Trail in Fryeburg, Reilly wants to showcase the new path, and at the same time, promote the importance of fitness to children, as well as people of all ages by presenting the Fryeburg 5K and a Children’s 1K on Sunday, May 20.
Reilly sees the Mountain Division Trail as the perfect venue to hold the race. The race director thanks the Fryeburg Board of Selectmen for granting him permission to use the trail for the race.
“Since it opened in October, every day the trail is full of people, either walking or running, or kids riding bicycles there,” said Reilly, whose wife has witnessed the trail’s use as a staff person at the Visitor’s Information Building. “Last Sunday, there was an older lady using a walker on the trail. People find the trail as a scenic relief and relaxation.”
The Fryeburg section is part of a bigger plan to create a 50-mile trail from Maine’s western corner to Portland. A six-mile section has been completed in the Windham-Standish area, and a new Fryeburg section extending the current trail to the airport (thus making the stretch 4.5 miles) is in the works, Reilly said.
Promoting fitness is one goal of the race. Unlike years ago when a child’s life was full of physical chores and walking was a necessity to get to places, kids today lack a daily dose of exercise, which is a contributing factor to the obesity epidemic, Reilly said. Adults also fall victim of poor fitness, either because of their diet or sedentary lifestyle (“Look around, many of us spend hours each day just sitting and working on computers,” he pointed out) or both.
Reilly sees the Fryeburg 5K and 1K as a chance to spotlight a wonderful trail, and hopefully inspire people to run, walk or cycle there on a regular basis.
Raising money for the Fryeburg Academy boys’ and girls’ cross-country running program is another goal. Reilly, who has coached running for the past 23 years, wants to start a tradition of presenting XC jackets to Raider athletes as a parting honor for their hard work and dedication to the program.
“These kids work very hard, yet unlike other sports, they really don’t get to perform in front of a crowd,” Reilly said. “These jackets would be a nice reward for their tireless efforts.”