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Race, Run, Have Fun

Posted: July 25, 2014 - 12:11am
This undated photo shows Frank Maier running the Klondike Road Relay.  COURTESY PHOTO JUDITH MAIER
COURTESY PHOTO JUDITH MAIER
This undated photo shows Frank Maier running the Klondike Road Relay.

Remember on Saturday if you race or run in the Frank Maier Marathon to have fun.

Same with the Douglas Island Half Marathon or the Jackson Fraction Memorial Deci runs.

That day long ago when you decided to run in this race has culminated in the hours, days and months of pavement, trails and gym work.

Or maybe it hasn’t.

But that is what this is all about.

You are what is important.

This race is about you and what you want to make of it.

“You meet many runners from all over the place,” Judith Maier, Frank’s widow, said. “I will be there and so will some runners in rain coats I bet.”

Runners will come from most of the 50 states and many places over seas.

Melissa Allen from Asheville, North Carolina; Christine Browning from Gobles, Michigan; Margaret Cowan from Barrow; Kelly Harris, Baltimore, Maryland; Lee Fitzpatrick, Fairfax Station, Virginia; John Holland, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Larry Macon, San Antonio, Texas; Todd Poage, Tok; Erin Stephens, Kailua Kona, Hawaii; Margie Ann Starr Lawrence, Plano, Texas; Fort Scott, Denver, Plano, Kotzebue, San Diego, Balgonie, Mundelein, Anchorage, Lakewood, Cambridge, Downingtown, Lyndhurst, Douglas and Juneau… to name just a few.

Judith has met many, but two will not be here this year: Frank Maier, the race’s namesake, and Glenn Frick, the race’s most interesting character.

“He is not here,” Maier said. “We will miss Glenn Frick. And Frank didn’t run the race like anyone else. He would pick up trash along the way and needed to eat a lemon drop every mile.”

One of the Maier children would pedal alongside their father, bags of sweets ready to be dispersed.

“And he could tell us who passed him on every corner and at every mile,” Judith said. “And where the bear jumped over the guard rail.”

Yes, there could be bears.

Or porcupines.

Just like when many of you were training, right?

“I am just always glad to see the runners,” Judith said.

She will be standing at the finish with medals in hand ready to be placed on each participant.

“I hope there are a lot of necks,” she said.

Everyone gets a medal at the Frank Maier.

Of course some get a bit of bigger hardware, but everyone has bragging rights.

Her advice to all who get their bib numbers is pretty straightforward.

“Keep kicking it in,” Judith said.

Everyone will get a medal on Saturday.

Whether you pick up trash, eat gumdrops or gels; whether you are striving for a Boston Marathon-qualifying time with your knees pumping high and your heels flying in the wind or if you are just trying for your personal best.

The training is done.

Now it is time to have fun.

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