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Papa's St. Patrick Days 5k Run/Walk

Oakland, ME, March 24, 2007

[Top Runners of 5K Results ]

Event Story

Papa's St. Patrick Days 5k Run/Walk

The first annual Papa's St. Patrick's Day 5k run/walk was held a week late on 
the 24th of March due to old man winter dumping several inches of snow on the 
planned date of March 17th.  
Better late than never was very true in this case, as the 24th dawned bright 
and sunny with mild temperatures at Messalonskee High School in Oakland.
The race was run in memory of Mike Hross who died in August 2005 from renal cell 
carcinoma.  Mike was a runner for over twenty years and a participant in many 
local 5k races.  Mike belonged to the Central Maine Striders and ran to have a 
great time and his running goal was to finish every race.  Attractive t-shirts 
for his summer wardrobe was his biggest draw to each road race.  Michael was a 
jack of all trades and worked as a police officer in New York City, Waterville 
and Oakland where he was also a DARE officer.  Mike was a Maine Support 
Enforcement Officer, and a New York alcohol/drug counselor, nursing assistant 
and EMT.  Most recently, Mike was a master sergeant for the 11th CST Unit 
heading up the Communications Vehicle for the Waterville Army National Guard.  
Mike was also a Vietnam Veteran.
Seventy people registered for the event and raised a substantial amount of money 
to benefit the National Kidney Foundation in Maine.  A fifty-fifty raffle raised 
an additional $25.  All registered runners were automatically entered into a 
raffle for chances at great prizes such as gift certificates to the Red Lobster, 
the Olive Garden, the Gap, Kohls, Old Navy, Olympia Sports, American Express, 
Starbucks, WalMart and many other fine door prizes.  Impressive trophies donated 
by Rusty Bell at Yankee Trophy were handed out to runners and walkers in 
numerous age categories and free t-shirts went to the first fifty registrants.  
Special care was taken in design of the t-shirt to make sure it was a shirt Mike 
would have wanted to run the race for!  Mike was Irish and smoked a pipe, so 
each t-shirt sported a leprachaun with a pipe in its mouth!  
Lots of water, gorp, cookies, cupcakes, oranges, grapes and strawberries 
welcomed the race participants back after the challenging course was completed.  
David Colby Young of the Maine Track Club remarked that the course was 
"exceptionally well marked" with chalk on the road, balloons and people at each 
corner to point participants in the right direction.
Friends, family, Central Maine Striders, Army National Guard members and police 
officers who knew Mike Hross were prevalant participants and all shared a memory 
and a smile as Chris Hopper took a moment to remind everyone all that the day 
was great fun and everyone was jovial and having a great time just as Mike Hross 
would have.  The race was to be held on March 17th to celebrate Mike and 
Patricia Hross's anniversary.  Runners were heard to remark that this race 
filled a void at the time of year when not many races are run and hopefully this 
will become a long running event.

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