MILLINOCKET – Runners are gearing up for the fourth annual Millinocket marathon and half Saturday, and this year the town has a lot to celebrate.
What started with 50 now has over 2,000 runners. The Millinocket marathon has brought people from over 40 states to participate.
Founder Gary Allen said the marathon has become vitally important to the town of Millinocket.
“I think when I see all these people coming to Millinocket and being willing to pitch in and put back it makes me incredibly proud,” said Allen.
The Millinocket memorial library and our Katahdin have collectively raised over $25,000 with help from the town.
“A lot of it is online fundraisers set up usually by those organizations and we just push them out to the runners,” Allen said.
Since the closure of Millinocket’s paper mill, the town council chairman said this marathon has helped the town’s economy.
“This effort is only a spark that is only going to continue to grow,” said Cody McEwen.
Moose Drop In owner said if it wasn’t for the marathon her store wouldn’t be open, “I don’t know how many other businesses are like that it actually keeps us going throughout the year,” said Tricia Cyr.
Runner Heidi Arnold said she’s participating as a way to pay back Millinocket.
“Bunch of magical little events happened community on the trial friends in town transformed my life. It unlocked the door to getting out of a 20-year abusive relationship,” said Arnold.
One participant who is known for running with a chainsaw, to raise money for make a wish, says he runs simply to give back.
“When the opportunity comes to give I just pick up my chainsaw and run with it,” said participant Mike Thurlow.
For more information about the marathon and half click here.