Maine Marathon & Half Marathon
Portland, ME USA
Sunday, October 6, 2013

Maine Marathon Information

The Maine Marathon is an annual event that is held in Portland, Maine every year in late September. The marathon course is 26.2 miles long and loops back onto itself so that all runners end the race where they started. The marathon was started in 1978 and has been held every year since. Runners are able to use the Maine Marathon as a qualifying race for the larger Boston Marathon. The performance of each runner is recorded using disposable electronic chips that are attached to the back of the numbered bibs that are worn.

The Maine Marathon course is 26.2 miles long although half of that distance is actually the return trip along the original 13 mile stretch. The course starts in downtown Portland where runners initially circle the northern side of Back Cove. This leads to the Martin Point Bridge that crosses the water providing views of the Atlantic Ocean. Runners move through Falmouth and mainly see very large and sometimes historic homes along the side of the roads as well as dense forest. The course continues into the sparsely populated areas of Yarmouth where everyone makes a large loop and then moves back towards Portland to complete the final leg of the race.

The Marine Marathon is notable for some participants because it is a largely flat course with the exception of some slight hills that appear near the center of the route. The major highways on the course are closed for nearly the entire day and the path moves through populated neighborhoods so that there are always homes, stores or other structures nearby. The weather is sometimes an issue in September in Maine. The early morning start normally sees temperatures in the 40s with highs in the afternoon averaging in the 60s. Rain and heavy fog is not uncommon.

The Maine Marathon consists of three individual races that are all held at the same time. The main marathon covers the entire course. The relay also covers the entire course but is run in segments by a team of four people. The half-marathon stops in the middle of the course and then returns to Portland. The half-marathon serves as the state championship race with participants competing for larger prizes than those in the other competitions. The number of people who can take part in the Maine Marathon is limited to 3,500 each year. Early registration is suggested since it is a popular race for Americans and Canadians.

The course for the Maine Marathon is exceptionally friendly for spectators. A large portion of the route is actually located in developed areas. This results in large gatherings of people along the sides of roads near restaurants, stores and at key points such as the loop in Yarmouth. There are water stations and portable toilets space around the course. Anyone who is arriving to watch the race is normally allowed to park in the lots of nearby retail establishments until the race comes to an end. A final celebration ceremony is held in Portland where trophies and awards are given to the winners.