- Scenic race that is held every October on Mount Desert Island in Maine
- A main qualifying races for the Olympics and the Boston Marathon
- 26 miles of terrain...watch the racers all along the way
Overview: When it comes to challenging and inspiring marathons, the Mount Desert Island Marathon on Mount Desert Island in Maine is sure to please both competitors and spectators. It is held during one of the area’s most beautiful times of the year, fall when the autumn leaves are in full color and the scenery is simply breathtaking. Best of all it is one the country’s main qualifying races for those wishing to qualify for the Olympics and the Boston Marathon.
Where: Twenty-six miles of area in the town of Bar Harbor. You can watch all along the way.
Cost: Free for spectators. Entry fees vary for runners and walkers.
Details: The Mount Desert Island Marathon can take up to six and a half hours to run or walk, but provides a challenging and tough route that encompasses some of the most stunning areas of the Acadia Region. Runners, walkers, and spectators are treated to views of Acadia National Park, a fjord, mountains, ocean type bluffs, quaint villages, scenic towns, and numerous lakes.
The race starts in Bar Harbor and there are plenty of spots for spectators to watch. These include Seal Harbor Beach, Asticou Corner, Northeast Harbor (downtown), Sargeant Drive, the RA corner, Somerville, Somerville Fire Station and Southwest Harbor (downtown), the finish line location. In fact, the marathon covers over twenty-six miles.
A special Mount Desert Island Marathon dinner is held just outside Bar Harbor on Eagle Lake Road from 5:30 pm until 7:30 pm for participants and spectators. However, advance bookings are highly recommended as door tickets are limited.
Participants in the Mount Desert Island Marathon have to pick up their bib numbers on the day before the race. Bibs cannot be picked up on race day but can be obtained from the marathon’s host, a designated local hotel. All entries are non-refundable and non-deferrable. Racing packages can only be collected at the marathon’s designated pre-marathon expo.
Special transportation for participants’ baggage is provided by the marathon organizers. The baggage drop off point is the Village Green (Bar Harbor) and only one bag is allowed per participant. Warm clothes are recommended to be packed in each bag for use at the end of the race.
Mount Desert Island Marathon organizers provide varied amenities to participants. These include a course map, water, and sports drinks every two miles, emergency first aid stations, end of race showers and outdoor restroom facilities.
Varied age groups can run or walk with certificates and prizes for the top winners in each age group class. Separate divisions are available for male and female participants. However, each competitor receives a marathon t-shirt, professionally taken photos and certification for those with qualifying times for the Boston Marathon and potential Olympic level try-outs.
The race is highly popular and there is ample amount of parking available. However, many spectators walk to the starting line and finish line. Alternatively, special bus service is provided for free to both spectators and marathon participants, running from Bar Harbor to Southwest Harbor. Buses run from 9 am to 3 pm.