FREEDOM — Peace Ridge Sanctuary will hold its first 5K Run for the Animals and 1-Mile Fun Walk on Saturday, Oct. 8, at the nonprofit’s new Northeast Equine Facility in Freedom and Albion.

The event is open to all levels of physical fitness and offers breathtaking views of luscious green lands and a charming bridge overlooking a peaceful brook on the Peace Ridge Sanctuary property. Race proceeds will help to support the lifesaving work Peace Ridge does in rescuing and caring for animals, and some of the animals will be on display in enclosures on race day.

Angus arrived at Peace Ridge in a state cruelty seizure. Source: Peace Ridge Sanctuary website

“The majority of the animals at the sanctuary have come from situations of extreme cruelty and have taught us what it means to endure and to be forgiving,”  Melissa Andrews, director of development, humane education and outreach, said in a press release. She thanked race participants in advance for their fundraising efforts.

The event includes a vegan barbecue, snacks, and drinks at the finish line. Registration is $32 through Oct. 7 and $36 the day of the event.

Check-in and packet pickup begins at 9:45 a.m.; the race starts at 11 a.m. Park in the fields at the corner of Barnes Road and Irving Lane (note that the majority of the sanctuary is in Freedom, but the entrance at 222 Barnes Road is located on the Albion side of the sanctuary property).

Complimentary eco-friendly reusable bags with plenty of room to collect goodies from sponsors will be given to the first 100 registered participants. All registered participants will get a free soft serve scoop coupon from Veggie Life.

The top fundraiser and top overall adult male and female finishers, as well as top children male and female finisher (15 and younger) will be announced at 12:30 p.m. and prizes will be awarded.

Raffle tickets will be sold between 9:45 a.m. and 12:20 p.m. for $1 each. Raffle prizes include an overnight stay at Sugarloaf Inn, a Kennebec River tubing trip, a professional photo shoot, gift cards to Maine vegan businesses, and more.

T-shirts will be available for purchase through Peace Ridge Sanctuary’s website, but will not be available on race day.

GotSneakers? Used sneakers will be collected at the race for donation to GotSneakers, which will recycle and reuse them.

For more information about the race, visit peaceridgesanctuary.org and click through to the race sign-up site.

When she was no longer wanted, Zinnia found herself at an auction where donkeys and horses routinely are sent to slaughter. Source: Peace Ridge Sanctuary website

About Peace Ridge

Situated on 1,725 acres in the rolling hills of Freedom and Albion, Peace Ridge runs two state-licensed, nonprofit shelters that are currently home to over 400 rescued farmed animals, equines, and companion animals that come from all types of situations where they have been neglected, exploited, or abused.

The sanctuary focuses on helping the hardest-to-place animals — those for whom Peace Ridge is their only chance of survival, according to the press release. When state and local animal control officers need a safe place to bring farmed animals, equines, special needs dogs, or other animals that most shelters are unable to take on, Peace Ridge opens its doors. Since its founding in 2001, Peace Ridge has rescued over 1,600 animals.