Soak in the Beauty of Maine at the Peak Performance Maine Marathon, October 4th 2009
Head 'Down East' for a great race experience in an unforgettable place!
Posted Tuesday, 9 June, 2009
The Peak Performance Maine Marathon and Half Marathon continue to make an awesome regional event better. Come join this participant-friendly, high-quality event in beautiful Portland, Maine at the peak of New England’s Foliage season this year – you’ll be glad you did!
“I would like to start by saying that the race was amazing. The weather was perfect. The volunteers were great. This was my first marathon and, not knowing exactly what to expect, I felt so great being there. The atmosphere about the event was so positive and so contagious. I most certainly plan on returning for next year’s race”.
Focusing on Quality
It is easy to get lost in the big-city mega-marathon crush these days, but the Peak Performance Maine Marathon brings something different, unique and better; a focus on a quality experience for the runner. In its 19th running, this event has grown from a few hundred participants in 1992 to being capped at 3,000 participants last year. The surge in popularity is in part due to a race organization that knows how to focus on the quality of the event and to make sure participants have a hassle-free, world class marathon experience.
“I wanted to thank you for the great event you organized this past weekend. You can pride yourself on having a world class event”.
Destination: Portland, Maine
If you’ve never been to the rocky seacoast of Southern Maine you owe yourself a visit. Many of the participants make a weekend out of it. As soon as you roll into Portland you’ll smell the salt air, and feel the ocean breeze flowing in from the harbor and islands. A high quality race with a deep and experienced organization is one thing – but put that high quality race in a pretty little seacoast city like Portland and you’ve got a real winner. You will be bowled over by the sheer beauty of the venue at this time of year.
“You guys did a fantastic job on organizing this event. Everything was superbly done”.
The event draws marathoners and half marathoners from all around New England and also from farther afield. Being situated within a couple hours driving distance of Canada, there are a fair number of Canadians who join the ranks. Many members of the 50 State Club also come along to check Maine off their list; and this year the Peak Performance Maine Marathon will be an official reunion race for 50 staters.
“…excellent race, my first marathon! Good weather, course and people!”
The Peak Performance Maine Marathon and Half Marathon provide high-quality, reasonably sized events that are friendly to the mid-packer, back-of-the-packer, and charity runner as well as very competitive participants. The organizers want every runner to feel as if the race is focused on them, and they strive to provide each participant their own unique high quality race experience.
“I ran the half marathon this past weekend for TNT… It was a beautiful race and extremely well organized. My first trip to Maine and I enjoyed it tremendously. More importantly will you please extend our thanks from the RI chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to the members of the National Guard who marched and swept the course? It was an honor to watch them cross the finish line in memory of those members they have lost. …I will be spreading the word for next year”.
There is a large Team in Training contingent that runs the race as well – and you’ll see them out there in their purple shirts celebrating their charities. The event itself funds local Maine charities. Each year, event organizers designate a local charity as the main beneficiary of race proceeds, and entrants are invited to make additional donations to that charity. Proceeds from the 2008 and 2009 races will benefit the Center for Grieving Children, a local organization that provides support to grieving children, teens, families and the community through peer support, outreach, and education.
In 2008, $35,000 was raised through race proceeds and another $15,000 was raised in donations by race participants.
The Armed Forces get into the act each year as well with a Maine National Guard contingent marching the length of the marathon course in remembrance of fallen comrades. It’s something to see as these brave men and women, along with representatives from other services, march with flags and bib numbers signifying the number of sons and daughters Maine has lost to the current conflicts in the world.
“Thank you so very much for all of the hard work that went into making Sunday's Peak Performance Maine Half Marathon (marathon, relay) such a spectacular event! The organization of the event - from registration, to water stops, to volunteer support - was just incredible. I was so impressed with and touched by the spirit of everyone involved in the race from the runners to the spectators and everyone in between! I had a phenomenal time and hope to participate again next year! You all should be very, very proud! With heartfelt thanks”.
A great Slice of New England.
Early October in New England is foliage season, and this adds a dramatic colored backdrop to the event. The leaf-peepers will be descending on New England to see Mother Nature’s show. You can come up, run the marathon or the half-marathon and you get the seasonal splash of color as an added bonus.
Portland sits on the Southern section of Maine, about an hour northeast of the New Hampshire border. There are mountains to the west and the placid Casco Bay to the east. (FYI—did you know that Maine is the only state in the USA that borders only one other state?) The seacoast of Southern Maine is very pretty with its large harbor and long history. You can hear the bell buoys toll and watch the lobster fleet ply their trade amongst the harbor islands as you relax in one of the many pubs and restaurants in Portland. Portland is an old New England seaport with historical brick and cobblestone architecture. On Commercial Street in Old Port you can smell the sea air and hear the sound of a foghorn, and the chatter of seagulls – it’s a picture postcard Maine environment.
“I absolutely loved this race and had a PR! The people were amazing. The course was beautiful and the water and Gatorade were plentiful. I felt very well prepared and able to run my pace without being pushed or shoved. The weather was perfect! Thanks to all who helped make this happen!”
What About the Course? The Race?
The course is an out and back tour that runs up and down the coast. It is a certified Boston Qualifying course and many athletes use it for that purpose. It starts out relatively flat, has some rolling hills and some more challenging elevation gains towards the middle, and flattens out again for the finish. The start and finish are both in Portland, on the water, where there are facilities for runners to stay warm for the start and get a shower afterwards as well.
This course shows off the best of costal Maine. You start in the historic port and then hug the shoreline to be treated to sweeping vistas of Casco Bay with the typical white cottages and more palatial estates sprinkled along the course. The course support is good and organizers have focused on adding more entertainment for runners along the way.
Drum groups and bands will be sprinkled along the course to spur runners on and keep them on a mental ‘high’ for the race. The out-and-back course means that you will see the rest of the pack coming the other way as you come and go, which is great for enthusiasm.
This year the organization will be introducing the popular D-chip for greater runner convenience. Participants will also get a nice long sleeve technical shirt. The expo is open on Saturday at the University of Southern Maine Gym for packet pickup and last minute sundries.
The weather in Maine in October is perfect for racing – nice and cool. Typical temperature is 40 – 60 degrees Fahrenheit, so you don’t have to worry about overheating on the course.
Portland, Maine is quite easy to get to. Its a couple hours drive up the coast from Boston and convenient to several major airports. It is a friendly place with a history of taking good care of its visitors – they’ll make you feel right at home!
“I finished my "50 plus DC" at this event on 10/05/2008. The race director met me at the finish line, with very kind words. Everything is great about this marathon. The course is beautiful, the weather was great and the spectators are wonderful! There are plentiful water stops. The hills are just enough to break things up. This race even had an early start for walkers. Military personnel were also participating in full gear! What an inspiration! Go USA! Go Portland, Maine!”
Come on up and find out for yourself!
Maine has always had a very strong running community. Combine this passion for the sport with a well-organized event in a beautiful place and you’ve got the makings of a marathon, or half-marathon that you’ll love and remember fondly.
If you’re looking for the full package, if you’re looking for a great race in a great place, if you’re looking for a race with all the organization and none of the hassle, if you are looking for hospitality and history – look no further than the Peak Performance Maine Marathon and Half Marathon on October 4, 2009.