One has to get up mighty early to beat Lauren Jacob to the front of the line and even if one does that they then must be willing to travel 3,310 miles from home to do so.

The young Californian traveled to Rockland to steal the show — and spotlight — during the always-popular Maine Lobster Festival Great International Lobster Crate Race on Sunday afternoon, Aug. 5.

Watch video, and see more than 130 photos, below.

Jacob, 20, of Los Altos, Calif. became one of the "oldest" winners of an event where often youth, quick feet and not much body weight is the key to success racing across the gauntlet of 50 wooden lobster crates.

Jacob, whose family also had several other participants in the event, finished first overall with 1,397 crates to rule the crates during the 71st annual Maine Lobster Festival.

According to event organizers, Jacob got out of bed Sunday morning at 5 a.m. to make sure she was among the first to sign-up for the crate race, which historically attracts the maximum 99 participants. Registration begins at 7 a.m. for the 2 p.m. event.

Jacob, this year sporting black shorts and top, as well as traditional socks (often participants wear flamboyant outfits, like this year, when one boy wore a doughnut as a flotation device), is no stranger to crate race success. Last year, at age 19, she was second in the lightweight division at 58 crates.

This year she was cool, calm and collected during her impressive journey across the crates. In the end, her balancing act — and overall athleticism — was better than the rest.

"I'm honestly shocked I won and that I got so many crates," said Jacob. "My family has been watching and competing in the crate race for several years and I was expecting the same young kids to be out there and smoke the competition. I really couldn't believe I was doing so well and hadn't fallen in yet.

"I've run the last two years and I remember how exhausting it was, so I was really only hoping to get at least 50," she said. "Having run it before helped me out because I knew all the little tricks, like wearing wet socks and getting a running start off the dock. Almost every lap I was expecting to fall in from a wrong step or my legs giving out, but the crates were much straighter this year and you really get a feel for how the crates move the more you run them. Eventually, my legs got used to being really tired, but the ropes and soggy boards made my feet hurt a lot towards the end."

To make Jacob's crate race win more impressive was the fact she finished fourth overall among 174 in the festival's 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) race earlier in the morning. That means she ran more than six miles on land and another half mile on water in the same day.

Winners for this year's event were Grayson Downer, 9, Andover, Mass. (59) and Kawai Stowell, 10, Honolulu, Hawaii, (86) for featherweights; Jacob, 20, Los Altos, Calif. (1,397) and Caden Kennedy, 12, Wallingford, Conn. (273) for lightweights, Timothy Fay, 17, Jamestown, R.I. (305) and Christopher Knight, 25, of Rockland (48) in medium weights and Ryan McCaskill, 43, of Colorado Springs, Co. (32) and Erik MacMillan, 27, Rockland (13) in the supersize division.

The local Coast Guard also had an organizational challenge as Team Station prevailed with a combined 59 crates.

In a growing tradition, this year's Maine Lobster Festival Sea Goddess Erin Dugan took a turn, as she crossed a handful of crates before making the inevitable splash landing into Rockland Harbor.

There were nearly 80 official hardy souls, with a handful of additional Coast Guard participants, who tried their hand — make that feet — at the gauntlet of lobster crates, and the weather conditions were ideal, although a little hot and humid.

Participants ranged in ages 5 to nearly 60.

"My family got up very early to get there at 6:15 or so," Jacob said. "In past years, we would get in line around 6:30 and were close to the back. We had about eight of us running it this year, so we wanted to make sure we got there early enough to have enough spots for all of us to run."

There were no records challenged on this day. There were plenty of short trips — and cold splashes into Penobscot Bay — for many, with a few extended treks across the crates tied together from one dock to another below the festival grounds.

Contestants participate in four divisions: Featherweight (up to 75 pounds), lightweight (76-125), medium weight (126-175) and supersize or heavyweight (176 and heavier).

The individual results, with name, age, residence, division and number of crates crossed, for all official participants included: Tyler Breen, 5, Matinicus, featherweight, 3 crates; Kayden Malloy, no age given, Matinicus, lightweight, 5 crates; Olivia Breen, 7, Matinicus, lightweight, 3 crates; William Malloy, no age given, Matinicus, lightweight, 4; Chase Monroe, 11, Owls Head, lightweight, 26 crates; Wyatt Banow, 8, Matinicus, featherweight, 6; Rachel Kinney, 9, Thomaston, 7 crates; Eve Domareki., 9, Rockport, featherweight, 19 crates; Liv Domareki, 7, Rockport, featherweight, 54 crates; Noah Stoltz, 17, Hamburg, Germany, medium weight, 6 crates; Dom Domareki, 10, Rockport, lightweight, 25 crates; Katherine Page, 18, South Berwick, lightweight, 15 crates; Sidney Page, 15, South Berwick, lightweight, 11 crates; Harrison Page, 13, South Berwick, 198 crates; Royce Lopez, 11, Bridgton, lightweight, 5 crates; Samuel Bollinger, 11, Thomaston, lightweight, 80; Phinn Oliver, 9, Rockland, lightweight, 1 crate; Daniel Bollinger, 12, Thomaston, 3 crates; Brian Corriveau, 40, Rockland, medium weight, 6 crates; Michael Corriveau, 10, Rockland, 13 crates; James Carmichael, 34, Norman, Okla., heavyweight, 7 crates; Dylan Sullivan, 13, East Walpole, Mass., lightweight, 21 crates; Gavin Sullivan, 8, East Walpole, Mass., lightweight, 2 crates; Ashley Haufler, 14, Acton, Mass., lightweight, 8 crates; Emily Clark, 14, Acton, Mass., lightweight, 5 crates; Ryan McCaskill, 43, Colorado Springs, Colo., heavyweight, 32 crates; Spencer McCaskill, 11, Colorado Springs, Colo., featherweight, 4 crates; Christopher Knight, 25, Rockland, medium weight, 48 crates; Meagan Kaeyer, 15, Owls Head, lightweight, 4 crates; Molly Kaeyer, 12, Owls Head, lightweight, 10 crates; Finn Kaeyer, 12, Owls Head, 3 crates; Erik Kaeyer, 51, Owls Head, middleweight, 3 crates; Caitlyn Wiley, 12, Limerick, lightweight, 10 crates; Maddox Robishaw, 12, Matinicus, medium weight, 3 crates; Kevin Hardy, 57, Grand Junction, Colo., heavyweight, 4 crates; Nora Locke, 52, Singerlands, N.Y., lightweight, 3 crates; Brody Ferguson, 9, Brunswick, featherweight, 4 crates; Josiah Danforth, 12, Owls Head, lightweight, 4 crates; Reid Robishaw, 8, Matinicus, lightweight, 5 crates; Hope Munro, 11, Owls Head, lightweight, 4 crates; Owen Dakin, 12, Windham, lightweight, 138 crates; Jason Dakin, 34, Windham, medium weight, 9 crates; Travis Ventimiglia, 30, middleweight, 5 crates; Sy Knight, 49, Rockland, heavyweight, 6 crates; Brody Benner, 10, South Thomaston, featherweight, 7 crates; Bailey Hansen, 10, Spruce Head, featherweight, 47 crates; Natalie Thorbjornson, 4, Spruce Head, featherweight, 2 crates; Caden Kennedy, 12, Wallingford, Conn., lightweight, 273 crates; Alexander Gillman, 16, New York, N.Y., medium weight, 8 crates; Erik MacMillan, 27, Rockland, heavyweight, 13; Owen Griffin, 8, Meredith, N.H., featherweight, 2 crates; Aydan Morris, 11, Warren, lightweight, 6 crates; Griffin Williamson, 8, Rockland, featherweight, 45 crates; Owen Wales, 10, Rockland, lightweight, 2 crates; Taylor Crosby, 20, Thomaston, heavyweight, 10 crates; Owen Smith, 9, Carmel, featherweight, 5 crates; Hayden Sears, 12, Grand Rapids, Mich., featherweight, 4 crates; Timothy Fay, 17, Jamestown, R.I., medium weight, 305 crates; Amy Larrabee Cotz, 39, Charlottesville, Va., middleweight, 5 crates; Megan Walker, 39, Freeville, N.Y., medium weight, 8 crates; Oscar Law, 7, Freeville, N.Y., featherweight, 7 crates; Ava Larabee Cotz, 7, Charlottesville, Va., featherweight, 3 crates; Jon Jacob, 55, Los Altos, Calif., heavyweight, 5; Nan Jacob, 53, Los Altos, Calif., medium weight, 2; Dalton Scantleburry, 11, Chicago, Ill., medium weight, 3 crates; Katherine Jacob, 17, Los Altos, Calif., lightweight, 109 crates; Lauren Jacob, 20, Los Altos, Calif., lightweight, 1397 crates; Paul Nicklin, 39, Marlow/Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom, medium weight, 6 crates; Samuel Nicklin, 16, Marlow/Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom, middle weight, 2 crates; Colby Genther, 5, Owls Head, featherweight, 59 crates; Chloe Nicklin, 18, Marlow/Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom, medium weight, 8 crates; Susannah Nicklin, 49, Marlow, United Kingdom, medium weight, 4 crates; Candance Anderson, 11, Friendship, lightweight, 97 crates; Emma (last name unavailable), 11, Appleton, featherweight, 11 crates; Madison Scott, 12, Nobleboro, lightweight, 4 crates; Aidan Genther, 8, Owls Head, featherweight, 7 crates; Debbie Buesner, 33, Jersey, United Kingdom, lightweight, 7 crates; Ben Hillyard, 49, Durham, N.H., heavyweight, 9 crates; Jordan Hillyard, 17, Durham, N.H., middleweight, 7 crates; Julie Shane, 33, Woburn, Mass., medium weight, 3; David Shane, 33, Woburn, Mass., heavyweight, 5 crates; Liola Stowell, 12, Honolulu, Hawaii, lightweight, 32 crates; Kawai Stowell, 10, Honolulu, Hawaii, featherweight, 77 crates; Dean Stowell, 50, Honolulu, Hawaii, heavyweight, 7 crates; Allan Gardiner, 26, Rockport, heavyweight, 6 crates; Sterling Hall, 12, Carmel, medium weight, 4 crates; Charlie Grant, 8, Austin, Texas, featherweight, 4 crates; Michela Downer, 15, North Andover, Mass., middleweight, 8 crates; Grayson Downer, 9, North Andover, Mass., featherweight, 86 crates; and Ella Turgeon, 9, Sarasota, Fla., featherweight, 11 crates.

"I was fully expecting one of the younger kids to destroy the competition," Lauren Jacob said. "I didn't see many racers before me, but I assumed one of the local kids would have a big lead. I am a distance runner in college and I'm in the middle of my summer training which explains why I did so well. My lobster festival tradition is running both the 10K and the crate race, so I do my real run in the morning and my more fun run in the afternoon. I'm in a lot better shape this summer than in previous summers, but I didn't think about how my actual college training would help me do well here. Looking back, it makes a lot of sense, but was still unexpected. It's definitely more challenging being heavier than younger kids, but I had the edge with my endurance from running year round."

Lauren Jacob is a 2016 graduate of Los Altos High School and currently majors in mechanical engineering at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md. where she also runs on the track-and-field and cross-country teams.

"My great great grandfather built a house in Friendship, and my family comes back every summer," she said.

There were spectators who held signs with numbers on them to indicate the level of the fall/dive into the water. It was as if they were judging a diving — or falling-in-the-water competition.

It was a picture perfect summer day to run the crates and, for most, more likely than not, to take an unexpected — but should-have-been-expected — dip in the always chilly waters of Penobscot Bay.

Avoiding that fall was the quest of one and all, the fast and slow, big and small, young and old.

The lobster crate race, watched by hundreds along the festival grounds, employs participants to combine lightning-quick feet and incredible endurance to seemingly traverse across the water of Rockland Harbor.

Participants run back and forth across a string of 50 wooden lobster crates tied between docks in Penobscot Bay. And the slower someone goes, the more the crates sink under their weight and makes the participant feel as if they are on the road to nowhere — seemingly in quick sand.

On the journey, some runners can become tipsy, topsy and turvy before they go splash.

The event is held on the final day of the five-day festival, this year the 71st Maine Lobster Festival, on the city's harbor. The event is organized by Sy and Alex Knight, with plenty of help from the rest of the Knight family, most notably Celia.

The lighter weight runners often do the best because they stay on top of the wooden crates, while the heavier runners make the crates sink and, at some point, it feels like they are running in quick sand.

A year older and a little heavier also usually are added obstacles for the youngsters who return year after year to try their luck at the watery gauntlet.

After completing 500 crates each earlier in the competition, participants are given a break, but return later to keep running the crates. Then, at the end of the competition, the remaining participants — those who have not fallen, have a runoff, or showdown.

History lesson

Last year, Graidey O'Hanlon, 9, outdueled Scarlett Flint, 10, of Warren, the three-time defending champion and co-record holder. O'Hanlon crossed 905 crates and Flint 815.

Diesel Sullivan, 12, of East Walpole, Mass., finished first in the lightweight division with 236 crates, while Lauren Jacob, 19, of Los Altos, Calif. was second in the division at 58.

In the medium weight division, Tim Sullivan of East Walpole, Mass., was first at 141 and Brian Corriveau, 39, of Rockland second at 12.

In the super tough supersize division, Taylor Crosby of Rockport was first at 65 and James Carmichael, 33, of Canton, Mass., second at 22.

Flint finished first the previous three years, crossing 1,500 crates in 2016 and a record 6,500 in 2015.

Flint and Harrison Page, then age 9, of South Berwick, set the event's all-time record with an amazing 6,500 crates apiece four years ago. Flint was age 7 that year, then, at age 8 two years ago, she finished first alone at 3,000 crates.

Then, two summers, at the ripe old age of 9, Flint crossed 1,500 more crates to give her 11,000 total for three years of work — which essentially meant she had run about 6.25 miles over the water of Rockland Harbor during that time span.

She added 815 more last year to bring her four-year total to 11,815 crates, perhaps the most of any one individual ever (although Connor McGonagle and Duncan Widdecombe both crossed a bunch in their heydays).

Five years ago, Page and Flint dueled across the 6,500 crates. Darkness fell about six hours or so after the 2014 event began and officials halted the runs and declared both co-champions.

That event began at 2 p.m. and was "called" at 8 p.m. It was believed to be the longest crate race, in length of time, in history.

The end came much earlier this Sunday in the year 2018 on a glorious summer afternoon, as there was plenty of sunlight remained.

A rule for the event, which often includes entire families trying their luck at running the lobster crate gauntlet, sped up the proceedings, namely, that if a competitor fell and landed on two knees or off the crates and into the water, their run was complete. If the competitor fell on the crates and only one knee touched, they were allowed to continue.

The lighter competitors often fall on one or two knees and the crates do not sink, thus, in the past, it allowed those youngster to continue, even crawl on hands and knees, if they could.

All but a select few of the participants could master the difficult technique of running the gauntlet, from dock to dock, across 50 wooden lobster crates that tantalizingly sat on top of the water.

The feet of the fastest seemed to keep them on top of the crates and out of the water.

This year, most of the participants ultimately ended up taking a dip in the cold waters of Rockland Harbor, many shortly after their journeys began.

The task for the contestants was to jump off a slippery dock and traverse 50 lobster crates strung together and tied to another dock about 150 feet away. And repeat.

Fast feet, tremendous balance, incredible stamina and a never-quit attitude is the yearly formula for success.

Smaller, lighter in weight and tremendous quickness — combined with stamina — are the key ingredients for success on crossing the tops of the crates. That is why the older, heavier competitors struggle getting across the crates — namely, because any significant weight makes the crates sink.

The challenge always is to scamper across the string of 50 floating crates. As the official Maine Lobster Festival program states, "Lobster crate racing requires speed, quick feet, balance and, above all else, the ability to withstand a dunking in the chilly Maine waters, since most competitors do end up in the drink."

Inevitably, exhaustion takes over and the water wins.

On Sunday, as in recent years, most participants ran in socks for traction.

Five years ago, Flint and Page, who both weighed 75 pounds or less, proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, they were heavyweights at running the crates.

And, as it turned out, only darkness could stop the athletic, fleet-of-foot youngsters from continuing their record runs and from potentially setting more impressive standards for future racers to chase.

When officials "called" off the event, Flint and Page were the new dual-record holders with an amazing 6,500 crates.

The two broke the previous record of 6,000 crates by McGonagle of Owls Head.

Several years ago, McGonagle set what was believed, at the time, an unbeatable standard with 6,000 crates, which surpassed the previous record of 4,501 by Andrew Bachiochi of Stafford Springs, Conn. in 2008.

McGonagle also brought the record for the Midcoast-created activity back to the area. Prior to Bachiochi holding the mark, the late Susan Lundquist, who grew up locally, held the mark of 3,007 for decades and Shane LeBlanc, another Midcoast native, held the record before her.

The event has been held since the mid-1970s when it got its start in Spruce Head. It was its own event before becoming part of the Maine Lobster Festival years ago.

Bachiochi set the new standard in 2008 with 4,501 crates. And he really did not fall in the water but simply stepped on the 4,501st crate and tossed himself into the ocean. At the time, Bachiochi surpassed the record of 3,007 set in the 1980s by Lundquist.

Now Flint and Page share the mark with an impressive, eye-popping 6,500 crates.