Montague Mug Race attracts more than 70 runners

Runners at the finish line of the Montague Mug Race.

Runners at the finish line of the Montague Mug Race. STAFF PHOTO/BELLA LEVAVI

Runners at the finish line of the Montague Mug Race.

Runners at the finish line of the Montague Mug Race. STAFF PHOTO/BELLA LEVAVI

By BELLA LEVAVI

Staff Writer

Published: 08-20-2023 6:14 PM

MONTAGUE — Runners had a blast this weekend at the annual Mug Race where people competed in either the five and half or two mile races.

“I love the size of it and the small town spirit,” Women’s five-mile race winner Maggie Noble said. A little more than 70 runners competed in this year’s festivities.

Los Angeles native Noble, who recently qualified for the Boston Marathon, signed up for the race while visiting her friend in Greenfield for the past couple of weeks.

She ran the race in style wearing butterfly clips and a ribbon in her hair. She explained she dressed up as the figure skater Tonya Harding, and her friend watched from the sidelines dressed as Harding’s mother. “We are pretending we are in ‘I, Tonya,’” she said.

Noble said she trains for marathons running about 50 miles a week, including several 10 mile days and one speed workout. She has been running for about 12 years.

“I went out conservatively,” she explained, but then got passed by another woman racer. “It made me wake up a bit. It was fun to switch gears in the middle of the race,” she said.

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For the men’s race Michael Keebler took first place at 29:08.

Keebler is a Montague local and explained he trains on the course of the race.

“I had to show my home turf advantage,” he said.

Keebler is training for the Cape Cod Marathon, and has run a marathon every year since 2021.

“[The race] is so authentic; no thrills.” Keebler said, noting the low stress environment for the racers. “I did the warm up from my house. This is fun neighborhood vibes.”

Willie Staub, a nine-year-old from Leeds, came in first in the two-mile race. He explained he has been running the five-kilometer races this summer in Northampton.

Not taking home any mugs, but having a fun time on the roads was the three generations of the Lapean family. Montague resident Nancy Lapean, who has been a runner for 40 years, brought her daughter and granddaughter, who now live in Hadley, out for race day this year.

She explained her granddaughter Livvy Dittilo ran, walked and skipped the two-mile race.

“It is special because it is our hometown,” Lapean said.

Bella Carmela Levavi can be reached at 413-930-4579 or blevavi@recorder.com