It was a no-brainer.

Will and Maureen Sproul were already firmly entrenched in a lifestyle that included running.

Accomplished marathoners, the Sprouls heard in 1998 that there would be a Maine-based 10-kilometer race, the brainchild of Maine native Joan Benoit Samuelson, and that many of the world’s top road racers would be there.

“The founder is the state’s sweetheart, the running community’s sweetheart,” Maureen said. “Of course we were going to run.”

The Sprouls joined friends at the race, and made more along the way. The event became an annual gathering for them, as it has for many others.

“We get to see a lot of our friends each year, people we wouldn’t otherwise connect with,” Maureen said.

Of course, when the race starts, there is less time for socializing. Still, winning isn’t the real goal. And a 10K isn’t exactly the same kind of test as a marathon.

“We’re both marathon runners, so this is relatively easy in respect to the marathon distance,” Maureen said. “Once you hit the ocean views, it’s especially nice.”

Coming up with a most memorable moment wasn’t as easy, so Maureen asked for a bit of help.

Will’s reply drew a bit of shock and disbelief.

“Did you really?” Maureen asked.

Turning back to the phone, Maureen recounted the race in 2002 when Will passed Samuelson on the course, the year Samuelson ran with some New York City firefighters in the wake of the 9-11 disaster.

“I’m still bragging about it,” Will joked in the background.

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