Millinocket Marathon Boosts Economy and Charities

MILLINOCKET, Maine (WABI) Millinocket is going to be a busy place this weekend.

Thousands of people from all around will be visiting Northern Maine for a bit of exercise.

Gary Allen, race organizer says, "I don't think you have any idea how many people are coming. I think probably on I-95 in the next 24 hours, people are going to go 'what the heck is going on in Northern Maine.'"

The 3rd Annual Millinocket Marathon and Half is what's going on in the Katahdin region this weekend and businesses have been getting ready.

Michael Madore, Town Councilor says, "The people that come in spend anywhere from $100,000-$200,000 just on this weekend alone within the town of Millinocket."

Businesses have put out signs welcoming runners and are even hosting marathon weekend sales.

For Millinocket, a town devastated by mill closings, this marathon brings a big boost to the local economy.

Madore says, "Our economic stability has been shaky but is coming back. We are rallying and one of the big points of this rally has been this marathon."

Runners aren't just bringing hope to the town, they're also bringing hope to several causes.

Like, 62-year-old Michael Thurlow, a professional logger from Lee.

He says, "I'm going to be running in full turnout gear as a logger and also carrying a chainsaw. I'm carrying an extra 25 pounds tomorrow. It'll probably feel like 250 pounds by the end of the race ."

A logger for 40 years, this will be his first half marathon.

Thurlow says he won't be breaking any running records, but he will be helping kids through donations to the Make a Wish Foundation.

He says, "I'm running for the kids that can't run. I get up everyday, have the health and strength to go and do what I want to do, and there's so many young people that don't have that opportunity."

Thurlow has raised almost three thousand dollars for his cause so far and says he plans to make this an annual event.

He says, "I'm not sure how many years I can do it. I'll have a better idea after tomorrow. But if I survive tomorrow, I'll start training for next year and at some point when I can't do it anymore I'll pass the saw to another logger."

To donate to Logger Michael Thurlow's run you can visit: http://site.wish.org/site/TR?px=3794896&fr_id=2722&pg=personal

For more information about the marathon you can visit: https://millinocket.org/millinocket-marathon-and-half/