Letter: Crowds fuel Maine Marathon runner

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As a newbie participant in the Peak Performance Maine Marathon, I’d like to express my gratitude to the residents and volunteers of Portland and Falmouth who came out to support the runners with their voices, cowbells, cups of water and Gatorade, and shouts of encouragement.

More than a race, this was a long-term personal goal that had loomed large and scary. I had never before run more than nine miles. Although I feared the worst, the enthusiasm of the crowds along the course kept me focused and strong for the distance. Running the last tenth of a mile into the huge crowd lining Baxter Boulevard was an indescribable high and indelible memory.

A huge shout out to the neighbors of Phillips and Whitney Streets, Shoreline Drive and Hammond Street who poured out of their homes to greet, support, water and propel the runners back onto Route 1 with loud “Rocky”-esque music blasting from a rooftop. What a rush!

Many thanks to everyone who camped out in the cool morning mist to support the elite, the excellent and the back-of-the-packers. You made us feel like champions.

Lynne Erkkinen