Race Ambassadors

We are pleased to announce the 2019 Gorham Savings Bank Maine Marathon Race Ambassadors. You’ll see them throughout the months leading up to the Maine Marathon, and we hope their experience will help you have more fun with your Maine Marathon!

Now in its third year, the Race Ambassador program is meant to inspire, motivate and encourage runners. Race Ambassadors are super-fans of the Maine Marathon and are eager to share the event with others online and in real life. That might mean leading a group run, holding an information session outside of Maine, or sharing their training regime through social media. Applications for the 2020 Maine Marathon will open in late fall 2019.

2019 Race Ambassadors

Alex Bargende

A cross-country runner in high school, Alex recommitted himself to the sport three years ago when he started one of the most exclusive running clubs in the nation — consisting of just him and his wife jogging to various coffee shops and breakfast joints. While the membership restrictions have eased somewhat (they just welcomed their third member, his 11-month old daughter), his passion for running hasn’t. He ran the Maine Marathon Relay with his college roommates last year and fell in love with the course and the city. The Cohasset, MA resident is excited to be returning to the Maine Marathon, this year running the Half Marathon. And, we’re excited to have him representing us down in the Bay State. Follow him @breakfast_runner on Instagram and @alexbargende on Twitter.

Rebecca Cassidy

As a Maine Track Club member and assistant coach for Girls On The Run — one of our race beneficiaries — Rebecca was a perfect fit to be one of our ambassadors. But her credentials go far beyond her ties to those organizations. Rebecca has been running since she was 9-years-old, competed in both indoor and outdoor track in high school and has complete far too many races to list them all here. The Richmond, ME resident is known for her positive attitude and is often cheering on competitors on the course and at the finish line. She loves talking with, helping out and encouraging other runners — including her two daughters, who have also caught the running bug. She’s running the Full Marathon this year. Follow her journey @beccaruns207 on Instagram and find her on Facebook

Katie Daggett

When the school Katie’s kids attended was left without a cross country coach, they asked Katie to help out and keep the program alive. Even though Katie didn’t know much about running or coaching, she said “Yes.” It turned out to be a great decision, as it helped spark her passion for running. In 2015, she ran the Maine Marathon “as a one-time thing.” That “one-time thing” turned into eight marathons, 13 halfs and one ultra — and this fall she’s coming back to join us for another 26.2 miles. In the meantime, the Washington Village, ME resident will be hosting training runs on the Augusta/Gardiner Rail Trail, in Camden Hills State Park and encouraging others — just as a great coach does. Find her @ktjaned on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

Katrina Lajoie

Katrina, a middle school teacher who lives in Bangor with her husband and son, is another ambassador who started running later in life. At first, she ran as a way to spend time with her husband. But later she would use running to push her through one of the most difficult challenges she’d ever face. In 2018, Katrina was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had to undergo several surgeries, each with several weeks of healing time. But each time doctors cleared her, she’d be back in the gym or out running the same day — because she wasn’t going to let cancer keep her down. Katrina hopes to inspire others to live their best life, take risks and never say, “I can’t.” Katrina is saying “I can” to the Full Marathon this year. Follow her journey @katrinalajoie on Instagram and find her on Facebook

Seth Poplaski

Seth is a lifelong Mainer and a first-time Maine Marathoner who lives in Hampden with his wife and two young daughters. A veteran of such popular Maine races like Beach to Beacon, Pineland Farms, Maine Black Bear Half Marathon and the L.L. Bean Fourth of July 10k, he is running the Half Marathon in this year’s race. He loves encouraging newer runners and has been seen at finish lines cheering on other participants and offering high-fives. A regular at races held by the Sub 5 Track Club in Bangor, founder of the Hampden Area Running Club and a frequent guest of the Old Port Pub Run in Portland — Seth can be found running all over. So if you see him, say hello. He’s always willing to chat. Follow him on Instagram — twice! — @sethpops and @HARCMaine
and on Facebook and @orangecrocs on Twitter

Darren Wichenbach

Darren could be described as the Cal Ripken Jr. of Maine running. The Saco resident has finished every Beach to Beacon in the race’s 21-year existence. He hasn’t missed a Weekly Back Cove Series 5k since 2011 (that’s 114 in a row if you’re counting — which Darren is). And he has run in every Maine Marathon for the past 22 years. With 13 halfs and 9 fulls under his many pairs of running shoes, Darren’s knowledge, passion and experience for this race are unmatched. He plans to run the Half Marathon this year. As an ambassador, he’s excited to share his insight with anyone who may be running the race for the first time. And as a runner, you’d benefit greatly from taking it. Follow him @darrenwinchenbach on Instagram and Facebook and @DBach13 on Twitter