History

Jerry and Phoebe Levine, the founders of the Bridgton 4 on the 4th Road Race, started running for exercise in 1975 and conducted the first four-mile race in December 1977 from their farmhouse on Chadbourne Road. Twenty-eight runners ran this race and finished with hot cider in the Levine’s kitchen. By 1982, the race had grown to several hundred runners, and the Levines moved away from Bridgton. Loraine and Jay Spenciner became the Race Directors and directed the race through 2002 when it was turned over to David Fadden. In 2004, the current Race Committee assumed direction of the race. The Race Committee members are all volunteers, as are the approximately 100 other people who make the race possible.

Originally run on Chadbourne and Upper Ridge Roads, the race was first moved to begin at the Bridgton Highlands Golf Course and end at Highland Lake, but because of increasing numbers and the difficulty of transporting runners to the start line at the golf course, the race course was changed in the 1980s to begin and end in the downtown area and certified by the USATF (USA Track & Field).

From the beginning, proceeds of the race have benefited the Bridgton Public Library. Current 4 on the Fourth Corporation by-laws require 90% of the proceeds of the race to go to the Bridgton Public Library with the remaining 10% available to be disbursed either to the Library or to other deserving charitable organizations. In 2015, the race distributed $30,000 of which $29,000 went to the Library. 

The race continues to attract a growing and faithful group of runners – now approaching 2100 runners, the course limit – from more than 35 states and numerous foreign countries. In 2001, New England Runner magazine named the race New England's top race. In 2010, the race was inducted into the Maine Running Hall of Fame.

In 2016, a Kids Fun Run/Walk was added to the race agenda for the first time.  This race is held on July 3rd at 4:30 PM in the rear of Stevens Brook Elementary School and is for children ages 3 – 10.  Participants can choose from three distances – ¼ mile, ½ mile or 1 mile.  Parents can accompany their children during this race/walk.

Race Management

Race Director & President: Jim Cossey
Vice President: Chris Webb
Secretary: Candy Gibbons
Treasurer: Donna Bleakney
Data Entry: Jim Cossey
Race Consultant: Charles Scribner
Chief Road Marshal: David Ehrman
Sponsorship: Alice Gold
Camp Coordinator: Steve Cavicchi
Volunteer Coordinators: Mary Macdonald & Eileen Rounds
Publicity: Nancy McCarty
Kids Fun Run/Walk: Alice Gold

Historical Race Directors & Number of Runners

Year Race Directors Runners Registered Finishers
2016 Race Committee 2262  
2015 Race Committee 2231  
2014 Race Committee 2239 1966
2013 Race Committee 2186 2010
2012 Race Committee 2101 1870
2011 Race Committee 2028 1849
2010 Race Committee 1896 1757
2009 Race Committee 1910 1722
2008 Race Committee 1770 1670
2007 Race Committee 1505 1390
2006 Race Committee 1537 1434
2005 Race Committee 1531 1457
2004 Race Committee 1437 1306
2003 Fadden -- 1166
2002 Fadden -- 1180
2001 Spenciners & Fadden 1458 1311
2000 Spenciners 1404 1282
1999 Spenciners 1412 1257
1998 Spenciners 1345 1250
1997 Spenciners 1259 1179
1996 Spenciners 1201 1089
1995 Spenciners 1090 1009
1994 Spenciners 1066 970
1993 Spenciners 1062 987
1992 Spenciners 1048 908
1991 Spenciners 1047 959
1990 Spenciners 844 776
1989 Spenciners 813 758
1988 Spenciners 792 718
1987 Spenciners 765 689
1986 Spenciners 671 648
1985 Spenciners 582 566
1984 Spenciners 734 702
1983 Spenciners 730 686
1982 Levines & Spenciners -- 540
1981 Levines -- 535
1980 Levines -- 468
1979 Levines -- 473
1978 Levines -- --
1977 Levines -- 200