Westbrook Strong 5K, four years running, coming up

The fourth annual Westbrook 5K road race, which honors the life of City Councilor Gary Rairdon's son Matthew Rairdon, will be held July 15.

WESTBROOK — The fourth annual Westbrook Strong 5K road race honoring Matthew Rairdon will take place next weekend.

The July 15 race will begin at 8:30 a.m. in Riverbank Park. A kid’s race, called Matt’s Mile, begins at 8 a.m.

Rairdon, the son of City Councilor Gary Rairdon and his wife Laurie, was shot and killed on Nov. 30, 2013, by his ex-boyfriend in a murder-suicide. The 22-year-old was a nurse at Mercy Hospital in Portland and had recently graduated from Saint Joseph’s College.

The race was established to raise money for a scholarship fund in Rairdon’s name. Thousands of dollars have been raised over the past few years, which have been put into an endowment.

The scholarship is given annually to a junior or senior in the nursing program at Saint Joseph’s with around $1,000 being given to a student each year.

Aside from the $27 entry fee for the 5K and the $7 fee for the kids’ fun run, money is also raised from T-shirt sales. The shirts, which say Westbrook Strong, are sold online as well as at Mister Bagel and Severino’s Variety.

There is also a raffle to raise money. The prize is a sky box suite, which has 22 seats, at a Portland Sea Dogs game on Aug. 6. One ticket can be purchased for $5 or five tickets can be purchased for $20. The drawing for the prize, which includes a food package, will take place the day of the 5K following the awards ceremony.

Runners can register for the race online until July 14. Last year almost 200 people ran the race, including at least 40 St. Joseph’s College students. 

The race starts at Riverbank Park and winds through Westbrook neighborhoods between downtown and Westbrook High School. The kids’ run takes place in the park.

Rairdon, who graduated from Westbrook High School in 2009, would have celebrated his 26th birthday two days after the race, on July 17.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or kgardner@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

The fourth annual Westbrook 5K road race, which honors the life of City Councilor Gary Rairdon’s son Matthew Rairdon, will be held July 15.