A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 064

Better in the long run

On Sunday Oct. 12, Milton, Farmington and a wee but vital piece of Rochester played host to 145 runners in the 2nd Annual Nute Ridge Half Marathon. If the race in 1985 was good, this year was even better. Athletes came from as far afield as California and the Netherlands, as well as from states up and down the eastern seaboard. And this year the sun shone.

Course records fell victim to the glorious conditions, with Tony Quinn, now from Vermont, but raised in Farmington, winning in a new time of 1:08:13. Christine Maisto of Concord, who had been first woman home in the grueling Mt. Washington Road Race, set a new female best time of 1:21:28.

Local entries included 10 runners from Rochester, five from Farmington, three from Alton, two from Barrington and one from Middleton. The first three home among this group were Mark Batchelder, 28, Alton Bay in 1:17:55 (12th overall); Joe Mailloux, 43, Rochester, in 1:18:27 (13th overall) and Jose Fantauzzi, 26, Central Street, Farmington, in 1:25:54 (30th overall).

Credit is due this year to the local media for coverage of the event. New England Cablevision did an excellent job of filming and presenting the race on Channel 3, Foster's sent a sports reporter/photographer, and the Boston Globe printed the results on their Scoreboard page under the heading "Road Race in Farmington, Maine". Dummies!

Incidentally, discerning readers who watched the Channel 3 production, were rewarded with a glimpse of Officer Kelly on Chestnut Hill Road, back to his comforting and reassuring self without a hat.

Several people have hurled charges at this column of printing blatant Disinformation. These accusers completely altered their plans on the day of the race in order to glimpse Biff the Mailman or the svelte Martha Blais. Neither, as it transpired, appeared on the starting line. Hey ... instead of a mailman they got two airman and a soldier, and surely a couple of high school teachers compensated for the volleyball coach! No? Hmm.

One of the highlights of the Winter Carnival last February was the unmanned flight of Willis Berry's ice house, fired from the back of his trailer in Spring Street (See a previous column.) This time, a fool driving a rusty white truck, was conveying two tables on his roof-rack, from the high school to the Town Hall, where they were earmarked to support the post-race refreshments. Coming down Orange Street, he applied the brakes and launched his overhead cargo like a pair of torpedoes. Smacking off the hood of the pick-up the tables shot onto the roadway and sped south, causing a surprised group of bystanders to scatter like small fish.

In the Town Hall, during the award ceremony that followed the race, Mary Bourret of Windham was surprised when, according to the computerized results, someone other than herself was pronounced the second place prize winner in her age category. When she spoke up, the computer print-out was scrutinized and it was discovered that she had been punched in as a man. This was rectified and Mary was forgiving.

Indeed she is one of the runners who has written since the race, expressing her thanks and admiration for all the volunteers who manned the route and supplied the refreshments. "Out of this world!!" she described it.

Any many runners are spreading the word that, beyond the Boston sprawl and the Seacoast glitter, among the trees, old-fashioned American hospitality lives on!

Music News: I talked the other day to Sam on Piano, recently cut adrift from the musical fraternity owing allegiance to his neighbor, Mr. Lefty Lee. Sam muttered something that sounded a lot more like Bedbugs than Drifters, and on a more up-beat note went on to reveal that he is putting together a new group, Sam and the Sidewinders. They will concentrate not on C & W, but on playing standards, appealing, as he says, to a more mature audience.

Another band worthy of mention are Sounds EZ (really, guys, dump that name) from Rochester, who play at Kristie's in sunny, downtown Farmington one weekend per month. They sure know how to set the joint a-jumping. Among celebrities spotted among the smoke last Saturday night were Mr. Archie Corson, Annie Hogue, Long John Bernie Nason, Freddy Olson, Larry Parent, Ted Balch, Joyce Nutter and several others who have paid money to remain anonymous. This talented group intrigues this column with their ability through music, to weld into one gyrating mass, people of such diverse ages and lifestyles. Even Ramgunshoch was heard to holler! Favorite numbers from their extensive repertoire include Elvis' "Heartbreak Hotel", Bob Segar's "Turn the Page" and a tremendous version of the early Dire Straits composition "Sultans of Swing".

Animal World: Hard on the heels of last week's revelation of the re-appearance of the 20 Wild Dogs of Meaderboro Road comes surprising news. Sources say that Judge Whittum, in an aid-to-the-contras scenario, may have slipped one of these canine guerrillas a bone.

School News: On Oct. 23, at 7 p.m. in the first of a series of health workshops in the school library, parents will be putting their heads together to discuss lice.

Oct. 21, 1986

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