WATERFORD – Avid runners, leaf peepers, casual strollers, chili aficionados – or a combination of the above – might appreciate the 7th annual Fall Foliage Road Race on Sunday.

The race and the Great Western Chili Cook-off, as the taste-testing event is grandly called, will raise money for the Tony Waldeier Memorial Scholarship Fund for graduating seniors who once attended Waterford’s elementary school.

Waldeier was a popular teacher in the Waterford school system who died of cancer in 2001.

The 5-kilometer race begins at noon, at Waterford Flat at Routes 35 and 37, Janet Ver Planck of the Bridgton Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce said.

Preregistration costs $12, and registering the day of the race costs $15.

Twelve restaurants, stores and individual chefs have entered the chili contest, including Springer’s General Store in Waterford and the Sudbury Inn of Bethel. Five judges will choose a winner, but the contest will also be judged by resident eaters, as long as they pay for a ticket.

“We give them a bowl and spoon and they go around and test the entrants,” Ver Planck said.

Criteria for the chili is somewhat complex, although the chili itself can take on whatever flair and flavor the cook desires. “We’re looking for two or more gallons of chili, and people need to bring something to keep it hot, they need to bring a table, and they’re welcome to decorate the table,” Ver Planck explained.

The prize is merely glory, she said.


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