What began 12 years ago as a partnership between the Presque Isle and Washburn Rotary Clubs, to celebrate the Aroostook River that flows between the two communities, is now set to kick off again.

The Aroostook River Fun Run is happening on Saturday, May 18, offering individuals and groups the chance to experience nature and the Aroostook River and its surrounding areas.

The event has grown over the years. The partnership has grown to include Northern Light AR Gould Hospital, the Presque Isle Kiwanis Club and the Presque Isle Fish & Game Club. Also, what started out as a river race for canoeists and kayakers, has seen the addition of a 5K run and walk as well as a bike course. All participants will get underway at 10:00 am and all three courses will end up at the Presque Isle Fish & Game Club.

For those paddling the river, they can canoe or kayak from Thomas Brewer Park in Washburn to the Fish & Game Club in Presque Isle. Rides for those participants, along with their canoes, kayaks and bikes, will be provided back to their vehicles. Life jackets are required for all who are in watercraft on the river.  Children under 10 must have an adult in the watercraft with them; children 10-13 must have an adult in a nearby watercraft.  Registration for the paddlers will be from 8:30-9:30 a.m. at Thomas Brewer Park.

Bikers will leave from the Presque Isle Bus Garage on the Parsons Road and travel to Washburn and back, a round trip of about 20 miles, which also will finish at the Presque Isle Fish & Game Club. Registration for bikers will take also place from 8:30-9:30 a.m. at the bus garage.

The 5K starts at Machias Savings Bank in Presque Isle, heads down a few local streets and then the Parsons Road to the Fish & Game Club.  Check in for runners and walkers will take place at Machias Savings, again from 8:30-9:30 a.m..

Registration is $15 for adults and $8 for children under the age of 13. All children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. This year, participants can sign up and pay online at www.pifg.org and click on the Aroostook River Fun Run link.

All proceeds from the Fun Run will be split evenly between two causes:  local veterans and the American Lung Association in support of a group biking in the Trek Across Maine, Mel’s Trekkers, in honor of Melanie Stewart-Ring.

A free barbecue lunch will be provided to participants and volunteers, followed by the presentation of awards and door prizes.

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