Inaugural Bernd Heinrich Raven Run a successful event

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WELD – The inaugural Bernd Heinrich Raven Run, honoring Bernd Heinrich’s legendary career as a biologist and ultra-marathon runner, kicked off the Webb Lake Association’s annual Lake Day celebration in Weld on July 15. Attracting 74 entrants plus numerous friends, families and other spectators, the race circled a 5.7-mile loop of hilly, forest-lined dirt roads and scenic views of the lake. As he looked around at the crowd before the start, Heinrich remarked, “I can’t believe this! I thought there’d be maybe five or six people here. I’ve run this course only with two or three people. This will be a new experience.”


A collage of photos from the Raven Run event on July 15. Image provided.


David Huish of Farmington, 56, won the race in 41 minutes 37 seconds. Huish, who often runs with Heinrich but who characterized himself as a “trail guy, not usually a road runner,” overtook the early leader, 16-year-old Gould Academy runner and nordic skier Will Brown, and went on to beat his nearest competition by more than two minutes. “It took me about a mile and a half to get in front,” said Huish afterward. Runnerup was Alex Sipilief, 33, of Saco, in 43:54. Brooke Buotte, the first female finisher, placed third overall in 44:13. A recent high school graduate from Rumford, the 18-year old Buotte will run cross-country for Bentley College in the fall. “This was my longest race I’ve done,” she said. “I thought it was nice. I’ll definitely do it next year. The hill wasn’t too bad. I like running up hills.” Fourth finisher and second female was Maia Endicott, 15, of Portland, in 45:36.

Heinrich, now 83, was pleased to finish in 59:37, five seconds ahead of Phil Krajewski, 79, who two years earlier had won the 75-79-years age group in the Boston Marathon. (Heinrich himself had won the over-40 division in Boston in 1980.) Heinrich noted, “I usually like to accelerate at the end, but I was surprised today that I could kind of sprint at the end. When you know you have miles to go, you have to be conservative.”

Weld sculptor Art Chamberlin carved a Bernd Heinrich Raven Run trophy that will bear the names of the two top finishers, Huish and Buotte, and be displayed at the Weld Public Library for all to enjoy on a shelf that houses Heinrich’s many books, not only on ravens and running but also a wide range of nature writing and biology, primarily focused on the Weld region. Heinrich thanked runners and the Webb Lake Association for the Raven Run event. Nodding to applause from the crowd afterward, he asked, ”We’ll see each other next year, right?”

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