Runners compete in Harbor Fest 5k and Half Marathon

Posted:  Monday, September 1, 2014 - 11:45am

One hundred and seventy-five runners — 105 competing in the 5k and 70 competing in the inaugural Half Marathon — representing 20 states participated in the 2014 Harbor Fest road races on Sunday morning, Aug. 31. Temperatures were in the low 70s and the humidity was a bit high for running.

The Half Marathon race was started promptly at 9 a.m. at Boothbay Craft Brewery after race emcee and race participant Gary Allen was introduced by race director Meagan Hamblett of the Boothbay Region YMCA. Allen is the founder of the highly acclaimed Mount Desert Island Marathon and has recorded sub-3-hour marathons over five decades.

The top three male finishers in the Half Marathon were Robert Ashby, 46, of Brunswick (1:22:19), Brian Blethen, 41, of Boothbay (1:27:22) and Timothy Reilly, 31, NA (1:29:57). The top female finishers in the Half Marathon were Katja Fox, 49, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, (1:40:52), Alison Hwong, 32, Massachusetts (1:42:24) and Julia Merton, 23, East Longmeadow, Massachusetts (1:45:08).

Youth dominated the 5k as 15-year-old Grant Auber of Barrington, Rhode Island, won the open men's division with a time of 17:55 and 13-year-old Faith Blethen of Boothbay won the women's open division with a time of 21:50. Finishing second and third for the men were Andrew Fast, 29, Woodinville, Washington (18:04) and Tom Abello, 41, Edgecomb (18:16). Finishing second and third for the women were Alexandra Andrews, 20, Boothbay Harbor (24:05) and Madison Stedl, 61, Topsham (24:17).

Dozens of volunteers helped make the races a success. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Boothbay Region Community Trails Partnership, which is raising funds to build a sidewalk from the YMCA to the Clifford Playground.

Video by Sue Mello.