Try not to be alarmed by the large packs of scantily clad men and women striding along the Back Cove trail every Wednesday night starting at 6 pm. Scantily clad though they may be, these runners are just innocent competitors in the Maine Running Company's free 5K race series, held every Wednesday at 6 pm. But that's old news.
In its eighth year, the race that began with 20 or 30 runners a week saw nearly 240 runners last week, according to Stu Palmer, the race's founder and co-organizer. Palmer credits some of that increase to the support provided by Maine Running Company and its owner, John Rogers, who have helped spread the word. "Word of mouth is a pretty powerful advocate," Rogers says.
The friendly competition doesn't hurt: runners' times are saved, and the man and woman with the lowest average of their six best times wins a prize.
And despite the large numbers, Nan Cummings, director of the Portland Trails land trust, says she hasn't heard any complaints about the crowd. But comments seeking to get certain topless men to keep their shirts on remain an entirely different subject ...
: This Just In
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