The Shipyard Maine Coast Marathon Adds Half Marathon, Half Marathon Relay and 39.3 Challenge--Excitement is Building
Set for the weekend of May 8, 9, 10, 2015, the Shipyard Maine Coast Marathon is evolving. It’s the best of old and new, and the innovations have the New England running scene buzzing. The Marathon on Sunday has much the same course made famous from 1980 to 1986—gorgeous views and point-to-point along the coast. They have added the Half Marathon and Bosom Buddy Half Marathon Relay on Saturday to provide a terrific run for everyone. The inventive 39.3 Challenge combines both, back to back. Enjoy these awesome courses in a wonderful locale, and so much more!
Posted Tuesday, 17 March, 2015
You couldn’t ask for a better place to run and enjoy a fantastic weekend getaway. The coast of Maine is beautiful anytime, but especially so in May. This will be the 11th running of the Shipyard Maine Coast Marathon—run from 1980 to 1987 and reprised in 2013--and the inaugural run for the half marathon and Bosom Buddy Half Marathon Relay. If you take the 39.3 Challenge, you will run the half marathon on Saturday, May 9, and then the Shipyard Maine Coast Marathon on Sunday, May 10. And you will then have bragging rights unlike any other event in Maine.
This will be a tremendous running weekend with the mild spring weather of the Maine shoreline. From the Health and Fitness Expo and packet pickup on Friday afternoon and evening through the terrific post race party with Shipyard beer garden at the finish at the Biddeford campus of the University of New England, this is really special.
It will also be the first Maine road race to offer the free RaceJoy Mobile App; please see details below. What a way to expand on a great race, offering something for every runner from beginner to Olympian--race exposition, terrific awards, free race photos, Shipyard brews, live bands, and a spectacularly picturesque course for both distances; it all adds up to a wonderful opportunity for a memorable race experience.
And this will be the first of a series called the “Close to the Coast”, which is evolving as we write this, but will definitely include the popular Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon and 5K in Portland, running July 11, 2015; and possibly the Rock Lobster Relay, a 200-mile coastal relay from Bar Harbor to Portland, which is in the planning stages. First check out these great races in that unique place that is the beautiful, scenic Maine Coast from Kennebunk to Biddeford: Maine Coast 26.2.
The Shipyard Maine Coast Marathon and associated events provide a terrific run for everyone. Yes, for everyone. The Bosom Buddy Half Marathon Relay includes two legs, 7.25 miles and 5.85 miles. The Half Marathon offers 13.1 miles, of course and the Marathon 26.2; combine them both for 39.3 miles and you have a challenge for every level and ability. It’s a great race in a beautiful place.
New for this Event and New in the State of Maine--Free RaceJoy Mobile App
The Shipyard Maine Coast Marathon, Half, Relay, and 39.3 will be the first racing event in the State of Maine to offer runners and spectators a free app for Apple and Android phones. Anyone can download the app free of charge here: Mobile App and select the Shipyard Maine Coast event.
You can register for a race through the app. If you’re already registered you can lookup your bib number and save time at packet pickup. Best of all, for a small fee, if you wear your phone during the race, spectators will be able to track you live along the entire course! If you don’t wear your phone during the race the app will still send you or your friends a message the moment you cross a timing mat including: the start line, split mats along the course, and the finish line.
The app will send you instant results after the race and make posts on social media (Twitter & Facebook) if you want to share information with your friends. The interactive maps will not only allow you and spectators to view the courses in Google Maps, but you can also get directions to water stops, restrooms, medical stations, local restaurants, lodging, and the nearest airport. Download the app today and check out the Shipyard Maine Coast event.
What Else is New for 2015?
The Shipyard Brewing Company of Portland has signed on as the Title Sponsor.
The May, 2015 edition of the Shipyard Maine Coast Marathon, Half Marathon, Bosom Buddy Relay, and 39.3Challenge offers a lot more than just the new distances. It certainly will be an ideal opportunity to enjoy a weekend or a mini vacation in the Kennebunk-Kennebunkport area, no matter which race option you choose.
And several other additions and options bring you a something of a “custom” race with what you choose to include.
First, a portion of the proceeds from the Half Marathon and Bosom Buddy Relay will be given to their named charity, the Southern Maine Health Care Center for Breast Care, and race organizers encourage all runners to run for this charity or another of their choice to enhance the experience and the feeling of accomplishment. Check out their “Inspiration Page” on the race website: Inspiration Page
The party begins as soon as you cross the finish line. Once you’ve taken a moment to collect yourself and cool down you could grab a free shower or go straight into the big party tent in the finish area. That’s where you’ll find one of the many live bands playing throughout the weekend. As of this writing we know that on Saturday the 4-piece surf band “Curse Of Kona” will be playing using traditional instruments. This is also where you’ll find the Shipyard Beer Garden. As part of their sponsorship Shipyard Brewing Company will provide each participant with two complementary beers assuming you are 21 or over. The race organizers will also have commemorative Shipyard beer mugs on sale at the Expo.
Also new this year, the Shipyard Maine Coast Marathon has been awarded the 2015 RRCA Maine State Marathon Championship! In addition to winning a prize from the race organizers you could also receive a Championship prize.
And the field limit for the marathon has been increased to 1,000, with 1,200 allowed for the inaugural Half Marathon.
Several options: You may purchase a tech short sleeve T-shirt--women’s and men’s sizes—or a custom running hat if you wish. That way you are not automatically paying for something unless you want it.
Also, you may choose to use a mobile locker from The Mobile Locker Company’s mobile locker service. These will be located at the marathon start in Kennebunk and then driven to the finish line in Biddeford for you. This may come in handy for extra warm-up clothing but especially if you choose the VIP Packet and T-shirt pickup option. That is, for a small fee, you can pickup your bib and purchased items at the start of the marathon so you can avoid a separate trip to Biddeford and have everything available when you finish.
Also as an option, you can choose to ride the shuttle from the finish to the start of the point-to-point marathon rather than having someone drop you off. Again, this is available as an option for a small fee.
This will be fun, folks—fun on the run. Every participant—in each of the race events—will be treated as a special guest. Every runner is treated as an elite athlete at the Shipyard Maine Coast Marathon and related events. These innovations are exciting!
Register Now and Get Your Discount
Just for reading this article you can get a DISCOUNT here--When registering you can receive a $5.00 discount with this article, simply use Promo code: CoolRunning2015 upon checkout—and this applies for any of the events. That is, you must manually enter the code into the form field called “Promo Code” when registering online (This is not available for mail-ins and not available for race-day registration.
Speaking of savings, please register before midnight on December 31 and the fee will be $10.00 less than January 1 to March 30, 2015; then there will be an additional $10.00 charge for late registration, April 1 to race day, so just do it now.
Keep in mind that there are additional discounts for the following: Veterans of the original marathon in the 1980’s (1980’s Alumni Runners), all active duty military personnel, current fire and police personnel, as well as students. Contact Race Director Charles Melton at: firstname.lastname@example.org to get these promotional codes.
Why the Maine Coast?
This will be a Boston qualifier for 2016 because the course is USATF-certified.
It will be more than a race weekend. It is a perfect chance for a weekend get-away, a mini vacation on a quiet, and always beautiful, Maine Coast. You will find plenty to keep you busy that weekend in the Kennebunk-Biddeford area, and it is remarkably quiet and peaceful—before the beach-going throngs appear. So all the while, you can simply enjoy the quiet ambience of this coastal treasure.
Packet Pick Up Options
The race packets and purchased items will be available through the Health and Fitness Expo on Friday from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The Expo will be held in a large tent near the start of the Half Marathon and the finish line of all the races—opposite Sokokis Hall on the University of New England Biddeford Campus. Half Marathon and Relay Packet Pick up will also be available on Saturday morning from 6:00 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. (Half Marathon and Relay start will be at 8:00 a.m. in waves). The Expo will open on Saturday from Noon to 6:00 pm for the Marathon.
Sunday, Marathon race day pickup will be available in Biddeford from 5:45 to 6:30 a.m. prior to the shuttle to the start. Lastly, you can take that VIP option and have your packet and items delivered to the start from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. (Marathon starts at 7:30, all paces). The start is at the Kennebunk High School, 87 Fletcher Street, Kennebunk, Maine. (Please note there will be NO parking at the High School---drop off only—and there will be NO shuttle going back to the start at the conclusion of the race.)
Marathon, Half Marathon, BOTH, or Relay--Events For You
Everyone can participate; there is a race for all. She may run the marathon, while he runs the half or the relay. Two friends may get together for a reunion—a great weekend to catch up, and participate in the relay. People will come from all over the country to enjoy this. It is recognized by the Fifty States Half Marathon Club, Marathon Maniacs, and Fifty States Marathon Club.
This marathon is simply one of the best for first-time marathoners, but it is also popular with veterans. The new rule--every runner is treated as a guest.
Consideration is given to all paces and abilities. For example, the Marathon course will be open for 6 hours and 30 minutes. The Shipyard Maine Coast Half Marathon and Bosom Buddy Relay will have a time limit of three hours, 15 minutes, with a trailing shuttle bus to pick runners up and take them to the finish if needed. Relay teams will have different colored bibs, which will identify runners by event.
The Half Marathon and Bosom Buddy Relay will run a loop course, with start and finish close together on the University of New England Campus. The Shipyard Maine Coast Half Marathon and Bosom Buddy Relay start on Hedley Reynolds Way, located between the Harold Alfond Forum and Sokokis Hall. (It has the same finish line as the Marathon.)
The Half Marathon and Relay course enjoys some of the same roads and pathways as the marathon, and will pass between ponds and beaches, circumnavigate Biddeford Pool, pass rugged rock formations with beautiful views of pounding surf and the horizon of the Atlantic beyond. It will also pass salt marshes and lovely beach side homes, and catch sights of the harbor with a variety of boats. The Relay handoff point will be the entrance of Gilbert R. Boucher Memorial Park (Bath House Beach).
The description of the marathon course is similar but obviously encompasses much more exquisite coastal scenery, and includes beautiful Victorian homes and other architectural delights in Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and along Cape Porpoise, Goose Rocks Beach and Fortune Rocks Beach. Wood Island Lighthouse sits just off the coast.
The Half Marathon course is smooth and mostly flat with a few rolls. There are just enough slight inclines to relax the muscles. The Marathon course is mostly flat for the first ten miles. There are quite a few rolling hills from mile 11 to mile 22 that can take their toll if you start too fast. The courses are monitored by police and volunteers, with aid stations and port-o-lets in the right places. They are very creative at the aid stations (they could also be called “cheering stations”), offering not only water and Gatorade but fruit, candy, and cookies and more.
Runners will enjoy the essence of Coastal Maine—picturesque and historic. The events tour scenic towns, villages, marshes, ponds, rugged rocky coastline, and beautiful beaches.
Awards and Rewards
Awards will be given for the top three women and men, and they have five year age groups in both the Half Marathon and Marathon. Additionally, there are Clydesdale and Filly divisions, 190 to 210 pounds, and 211 and above for men; 140 to 160, and 161 pounds and above for women. Runners can compete in age groups as well as Clydesdale/Filly divisions, so there are plenty of opportunities to bring home some hardware.
If you’re one of the elite runners who completes the 39.3 Challenge you’ll receive three finishers medals – one for the half marathon, one for the marathon, and a third “39.3” medal that commemorates your accomplishment. In additional you’ll receive a very nice running jacket with “39.3 Finisher” printed on the back side.
Perhaps the best new reward of all given to each participant is the free high-resolution race photographs provided by Gameface Media. Professional photographers will be positioned along both races courses as well as the start and finish. In about a day or two after the race participants will receive notification about how they can view, download to their computer, and share on social media images of themselves during the race.
It is a large tidal pool, located off Saco Bay south of the mouth of the Saco River near the town of Biddeford. It is approximately 6 miles southeast of downtown, to which it is connected via State Route 208. The town of Kennebunkport is 3.7 miles southwest, connected via State Route 9.
Biddeford Pool is the site of Maine's first recorded permanent settlement, then called Winter Harbor (not to be confused with present-day Winter Harbor, Maine). In the winter of 1616-1617, Richard Vines, a physician, resided here as part of the colonization efforts of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, lord proprietor of Maine. An early village developed on the north side. In 1708, Fort Mary was built near the pool's entrance.
The deepest part is the “gut”, which is naturally dredged by tidal current. Consequently, this is the area where most boats are moored. Wood Island Light is located about a mile offshore to the northeast.
Biddeford Pool is bounded by the mainland to the south and west, by Hills Beach to the north, and by East Point to the east. The area is a popular summer destination for visitors. The pool is surrounded by tall grass salt marshes that are home to a variety of birds and other wildlife. East Point Sanctuary, maintained by the Maine Audubon Society, is considered to be one of the premier birding spots on the northeast coast. Mile Strech Road is a sandy strip of beach which connects the neighborhood of Biddeford Pool to the mainland.
The Right Race, the Right Time
There are years of tradition here, going back to the original in 1980. They have taken the best of the historic race and melded it with new innovations and options—a distance medley of sorts.
Set your goals now for 2015, and include this one on that list. The Shipyard Maine Coast Marathon, Half Marathon, Bosom Buddy Half Marathon Relay, and 39.3 Challenge is your opportunity for a wonderfully memorable weekend at one of the Northeast’s most beautiful locations—and a race you will not forget. Be there.