It was a beautiful morning in Raymond last Saturday as people from all over arrived to run in the third annual UCAN 5K Road Race. The ever-growing popular race drew “around 250 participants this year," said one of the event's organizers, Brenda Caouette. Caouette, Aniko Pongratz, Carol Meader and Ed Gagne round out the committee for the UCAN 5K.
The event is in memory of Candace Woolston, and proceeds are to benefit the playground revitalization on Mill Street in Raymond. The playground was something near and dear to Woolston's heart. Gaining over $15,000 in three years, the project and its ideas are off and running. The UCAN committee, along with Woolston's family, will make future plans for the Mill Street project with Raymond town manager Don Willard.
In addition to the 5K road race, there was also a kid's run featuring a cowbell and lollipop prize for each of them at the end. The committee again received tons of volunteer help to make this day happen from start to finish.
It could not have happened without the help from not only Raymond residents, but many surrounding communities as well. "Bringing the community together for this is the best part of the event," added Caouette.
"If Candace were here she would love the event, but she wouldn't like that it was all about her," said Jack Woolston, Candace's husband. Her dreams and visions are the catapult for this great project, and will continue to be, as each year the event grows in number and help.
The male race winner was Windham High School sophomore Ben Breton, with a time of 17:29. Hailey Applebee, a seventh grader at Jordan-Small Middle School, won for the females with a time of 22:46.
PIC 1: UCAN 5K registration and start area
PIC 2: A big team for Candace Woolston
PIC 3: from L-R, R.J. Plummer, Stratty Demakis and Colby Dionne
PIC 4: Hailey Applebee
PIC 5: Windham High School cross country/track members
Pics by Lisa Davison