MIDCOAST — A running relay will wind its way through the Midcoast along Route 1, Sunday morning, August 11.
With little fanfare expected, at least one runner at each stage will pass the baton of awareness and fundraising for first responder mental and physical health.
Most transition points along the Run2Respond’s Maine to Maryland course will be fire departments.
The relay is a fundraiser for The Firefighter Five Foundation, of Delaware, which focuses on the wellbeing of first responders.
According to the Foundation, Persian Gulf War Air Force veteran Steve Bender founded the organization in 2013 “to help fill the gap in assistance to our homefront heros, the first responders.”
Bender, a 29-year volunteer firefighter, will initiate the relay from Maine’s Great Cranberry Fire Department, Aug. 10, at 7:30 a.m., and watch as the baton continues night and day, rain or shine (the same way responders continue) to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial, in Maryland, Aug. 18, with a projected 10:45 p.m. finale.
Because of the range of athletic abilities participating, organizers produced a predicted timeline based on a 14-minute mile pace. Following that schedule, the baton is expected to reach Searsport around 2 a.m., Sunday, Aug. 11. Belfast would see it around 3:30 a.m., Rockport at 6:30, Rockland at 8:30 and Warren around 10:30 a.m.
The Midcoast runners, however, move a lot faster than a 14-minute mile pace.
Though only 7 of the 24 Maine runners are responders themselves, at least three of the Midcoast runners have had responder family members. Everyone else runs to support those who come to the rescue.
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