Flood's Cove and Martin's Point are there to the left.
Never do sleep well when I have to rely upon my cellphone as an alarm clock. Has it ever not gone off? No. But then, the wife up in the middle of the night, and I was fretting that the alarm would work, and wake her, and then there were all the micro-dreams where I imagined I checked my phone and it was later or earlier or what have you, I eventually had to open my eyes and find out what the time really was.
So I was up a little after five, Michele's husband Bob was up at 6 and we headed out together to find out where a 5K in Friendship, Maine would actually take us.
I have been coming to Friendship since infancy. My children are the fifth generation from my family to visit here. I know Flood's Cove, I do not know most of the geography of town of Friendship at all.
20th Annual Friendship Day 5K
Start: 7:30 am
Official time: 22:52.5 (I think.)
Place overall: 15 (?)
A little confusion at the finish. Some claimed to have been placed in the wrong order. I was not even placed on the board, but had confirmation from the person who came in just behind me that I had, in fact, finished just in front of him. They had been collecting the tags the old-fashion way, and someone was recording times with an electronic-timing device at the line, so the times and the places weren't being kept together. Also, the tag pin and the electronic timer changed hands a few times, so who knows what mine or anyone else's time was.
Regardless. It was not a qualifying race.
The race started at the Advent Church, where they were already hosting the pancake breakfast. We headed around a block past the Friendship Village School (where the finish line would be set up) and then back onto Rt. 97 or Harbor Road. This is the main street through town, it features the market and the post office, the fire station, library and a number of churches. it's all on Harbor Road.
Now, I knew a race to something called the "Harbor Loop" and back would feature a downhill going out and an uphill coming back. In fact, that's the entire run -- a steady downhill for half the race and I passed the post office thinking, wow. I wonder what it will be like running uphill for half the race.
And you know what, it was not that bad. I do pretty well on hills, I think. During some of the steeper downhills I remembered the words of a marathoner from some podcast a couple years ago. Heading downhill he didn't try to stop himself, he just let his leg swing effortlessly and thought, "No effort. No effort. I am banking this. Saving it for the uphill." And that's pretty much the way it felt for me. Nice, effortless run. Nothing record-breaking, but something to be proud of at the age of forty-five.
After the race we cleaned up and all the families headed out for the parade, an arts fair, lobster rolls, games, bouncy houses and touch pools. 'Merica!