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Maine Running Hall of Fame to induct seven

Lawrence “Larry” Allen of Mount Desert Island and Michael Westphal of Cranberry Isles are among seven people who will be inducted later this fall into the Maine Running Hall of Fame.

Joining the duo are Robert Ashby of Brunswick, Stephen Podgajny of Brunswick, Phillip Pierce of Falmouth, Gretchen Read of Portland and William Reilly of Brownfield.

Also, two road races, the Pat’s Pizza Clam Festival 5-miler in Yarmouth and the Great Pumpkin 10K in Saco, will be inducted into the hall.

The Maine Running Hall of Fame will enshrine its 19th class at an induction ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 13, at The Governor Hill Mansion in Augusta.

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Allen jumpstarted the efforts to start a women’s indoor track club at the University of Maine in the late 1970s. He also started running clinics at the Down East YMCA.

Westphal has not allowed a battle with Parkinson’s disease to deter his passion for running. He was a star athlete at UMaine and ran a 4:19 mile there.

Westphal, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s nine years ago, continues to run to raise money for The Michael J. Fox Foundation. He once held the course record at the Tour du Lac 10-mile race in Bucksport.

Ashby has tabulated personal bests of 2 hours, 31 minutes, 22 seconds in the marathon and has a mile personal record of 4:23. He coaches youth running and organizes road races in memory of his wife’s family.

Podgajny founded the Maine Distance Festival, a meet featuring only distance races held at Bowdoin College, in 1994. He has served as a track and field official there since 1995.

Podgajny has been a Maine running contributor for 35 years as a coach and meet director.

Pierce is a veteran of 30 Boston Marathons, along with numerous 50-milers, 50Ks, 100Ks and 100-mile trail races.

Pierce has had leadership roles with the Maine Track Club, the Maine Running Hall of Fame, the New England 65-plus runners club and the Maine Sports Hall of Fame.

Read has logged 108 Masters or age-group wins after taking up the sport at the age of 50. She also has completed 15 Beach to Beacon 10K races.

Reilly has a 2:43:58 marathon personal record to his credit, and he has coached running at Fryeburg Academy for 23 years. He also started the Fryeburg Recreation Run and Turkey Trot at Molly Ockett Middle School.

The Pat’s Pizza Clam Festival Race was first held in 1981, and the Great Pumpkin 10K has been held annually since 1978.

The Maine Running Hall of Fame festivities begin at noon with a social hour, followed by lunch and the ceremony. Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased at eventbrite.com/e/maine-running-hall-of-fame-induction-banquet-tickets-27445193312.


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