Jerry Kaufman Memorial 5K enters 10th year



ELLSWORTH — Nearly a decade has gone by since Jerry Kaufman’s passing, but his larger-than-life personality has not been forgotten. At no time of year is that truer than at the annual Jerry Kaufman Memorial 5K Run/Walk.

This year’s race, which is set for Saturday, April 22, marks the 10th since Kaufman died from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in 2008. That year, the Down East Family YMCA made the decision to rename the Black Fly Race, held annually in April, in his honor.

Although Kaufman, a former DEFY board member, was a man who prided himself on fitness and staying in shape, one of the few physical activities he didn’t like was running. Yet when DEFY approached his wife, Jacqui, about naming the race in Jerry’s honor, she saw it as a terrific opportunity to honor him.

“There’s certainly a bit of irony there, but I think it’s what Jerry would have wanted for that reason,” Jacqui Kaufman said. “He shared his gift of insight by urging people to try new things, and he would have loved to see people honoring him in that way.”

Although running wasn’t his forte, Kaufman still spent a lot a lot of time in the great outdoors. He enjoyed hiking and bicycling, and the arrival of late April marked one of his favorite times to enjoy those activities.

“Jerry loved the spring because it was a time everyone could use to commit themselves to getting healthy and fit,” Jacqui said. “It’s a promising time of year, and it presents the perfect chance for people to get together and better themselves and each other.”

Registration for the event costs $20 and can be done on-site at the race. Those who register by tomorrow, April 21, will save $5. There also will be a “Fun Run” prior to the road race, which is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Applications are available at the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce and Cadillac Mountain Sports.

Proceeds from the race will go toward the ALS Maine Collaborative as well as Hancock County HomeCare & Hospice. All participants will receive a medal and T-shirt, and the first 150 registrants also will receive a custom finisher’s medal to honor the race’s 10th year.

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell is The Ellsworth American’s sports editor. He graduated from the University of Missouri in May 2016 and moved to Ellsworth that August.