Snowshoe races to benefit charities

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HEBRON — Snowshoe enthusiasts of all ages are invited to participate in the new Maine Snowshoe Race Series, to benefit local charitable organizations.

As tribute to the longtime influence of the Western Maine foothills area on the history of snowshoeing, the first of the three 5K races was held at the Bethel Nordic Ski Center on Feb. 12, and the other two races will take place at 11 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 19, at Hebron Academy, and at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 3, at Roberts Farm Preserve in Norway. The registration fees are $10 and $20, and entries can be made through the “Maine Snow Shoe Series” links at www.runreg.com.

Running snowshoes will be available at the Norway race. Awards and prizes will be awarded to the top three male and female finishers in the overall standings.

Proceeds from the races will support the two sponsoring organizations, the Roberts Farm Preserve on Lake Pennesseewassee in Norway and Go!Malawi. Established in 2004 by Hebron Academy teacher Janet Littlefield, Go!Malawi’s mission is to work with the local communities in the Ntchisi district in self-sustaining programs of education, health care and commerce.

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One hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit the two organizations, according to the events’ coordinator, Austin Stonebraker, a teacher at the academy.

Once called the “Snowshoe Capital of the World” because of the many snowshoes manufactured here, Norway was the site of the Tubbs Snowshoe Company, established in 1906 to produce ash snowshoes, skis, sleds and furniture. The firm made 70 percent of the snowshoes ordered by the U.S. government during World War II, and also supplied the polar expeditions of Richard Byrd and Robert Peary.

For more information, directors for each race can be contacted at the www.RunReg.com site.

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