St. John Valley

Trail event seeks to raise funds and attract runners

FORT KENT, Maine — Runners interested in a challenging course can take part in the Fort Kent 40K trail race this summer. The fundraiser, in its inaugural year, is taking place July 15 at the Fort Kent Outdoor Center.

After taking part in race events and trail fun runs around the state, local runner Donald Eno decided to create an event that could attract trail runners to the area, while also helping to support the outdoor center.

“The runners I know don’t really care if it’s a fancy event or a prestigious race. As long as they have some fun trails to run on and a community that welcomes them, that’s all they need,” Eno said.
Eno has marked a 20-kilometer course that starts and ends at the center’s biathlon stadium, and includes sections of cross country ski trails as far out as Violette Settlement, and portions of the Lonesome Pine Trails ski hill.

“It will not be an easy course, but it will be a lot of fun,” Eno said.

The FK40K will be more of a fun run than a competitive race, according to Eno. With all of the registration fees going toward the Fort Kent Outdoor Center, there will be no winners medals or tee shirts, and participants are encouraged to bring snacks to share. The event is about sharing some miles together on the trails and having a good time, he added.

“I got the idea from other community races I have been to, where runners themselves help organize races, as way to raise money for local charities or groups,” said Eno.

With a bit of volunteer help, donations from local merchants and enthusiasm from out of town runners many of whom have said they are planning to take part, Eno is hopiong this FK40K will not be the last.

“We have so many great places to go running up here, whether it’s on the road or the trails,” he said. “We also have great restaurants and stores to visit after and lots of scenic places and cultural things for visitors to see when they are up for a race.”

The FK40K race course is a 20-kilometer loop that can be run once for those who only want to finish the 20K race. Runners will go around a second time to officially complete the full race.

The course includes wet and overgrown sections, plenty of mud and dirt and lots of hills. There are, however, no obstacles or challenges, other than the terrain.

“This is just a trail race. Not a Tough Mudder or Spartan event,” said Eno. “I like to do those too. But, all you need for this one is a pair of sneakers and a sense of fun and adventure.”

The registration fee for the FK40K is $15. Registration on July 15 starts at 8 a.m. at the center’s 10th Mountain Lodge. The race starts at 9 a.m. For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1093323354074264/.

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