Your Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon, 5K and Lobster Bake Brings a Great Running Event to Portland, Maine
Yes, it’s waterfront road racing in Maine’s largest city and through its famous Old Port district. The Old Port has become a national magnet for shoppers, foodies, craft beer enthusiasts, and now runners. It has so many options in terms of eclectic shops, award-winning restaurants, breweries at the forefront of the craft beer movement, a working waterfront with ferries, commercial ships, and pleasure craft of all types; and Casco Bay with its 365 islands. The Old Port is an attraction for many, and on July 11th, 2015 it will draw several thousand runners and spectators for a terrific running tour of it all, including the picturesque Back Cove.
Posted Tuesday, 31 March, 2015
The excitement is building for Maine’s biggest half marathon in Maine’s largest city, Portland. The Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon and 5K will run the second Saturday in July, and offer the New England (and beyond) running community a summer race in a destination place. They have planned well for you with innovative amenities and a terrific course. The organizers are taking care with every detail and operate with sustainable practices, and they partner with many worthy charities and fundraisers.
The race has a very unique venue with start and finish, registration and post-race party centered around the Ocean Gateway Terminal on the waterfront—international ferry and cruise ships regularly dock here and passengers take in all that the Old Port has to offer. In fact, the starting chute is actually in the queuing lanes right on the harbor pier where vehicles lineup to board the ferry; and the finish line is directly in front of the Ocean Gateway’s Visitors Center.
Old Port Half Marathon
While the event includes a pre-race Health and Fitness Exposition and Lobster Bake, and a rocking post-race party, the greatest superlative is the course itself. The half marathon course starts at the Ocean Gateway and proceeds along eclectic Commercial Street where you’ll run in a traffic-free lane, passing many 19th century brick and stone buildings containing shops, galleries, bakeries, restaurants, and pubs; also passing the Casco Bay ferry terminal, a shipping container terminal, and working waterfront piers with a strong smell of fish.
The course tours stately mansions in the West End neighborhood and enjoys sweeping water views from the Western Promenade and Eastern Promenade, and circumnavigates the Back Cove tidal basin before returning to the Ocean Gateway for a glorious, triumphant finish.
The first half of the half marathon course is on Portland’s streets, while the second half is primarily trails and parks and completely closed to traffic. There are excellent course maps and descriptions on the race website along with all the necessary details on registration, lodging, pace groups, T-shirts, course support, bag check, photos, results, and more. Perhaps the best way to wrap your mind around the course is to watch the 12-minute narrated video that shows you the entire route from start to finish.
The 5K is open to all—veteran runners, beginners, walkers, and people with strollers. It is net downhill and features breathtaking views of Casco Bay since it starts up high along on the Eastern Promenade and then winds its way down to the 12-foot wide paved Eastern Prom trail. In the last 1.5 miles the trail runs along the edge of the water and remains very flat right up to the finish line.
The half marathon blasts off at 7:00 a.m. when it’s relatively cool, beginning along the edge of the water from the Ocean Gateway’s international ferry queuing lanes. The 5K kicks off at 7:20 a.m. on Cutter Street, just off the Eastern Promenade. However, both finish in the same location at the Ocean Gateway.
The organizers plan three Party Zones along the course during the last half of the race to keep spirits and energy levels high. Each will include music, cheering volunteers and spectators, hydration, and misting tents to cool off. They will be located at 8.6, 11.5, and 12.2 miles for the half marathon and at 1.5 and 2.3 miles for the 5K race. They are an innovative addition, and a welcome one. There are 10 water stops in all for the half marathon and 3 for the 5K event.
All half marathon runners will be awarded a beautiful finisher’s medal which can be engraved and personalized as an option.
And the field limit for the half marathon has been increased to 4,500 —check the website; there is no cap on the 5K. Old Port Half Marathon
Watch the Video Taken by a Drone Helicopter
There’s an amazing video available on the race website and YouTube that shows what the venue looks like from a bird’s eye view. Based on footage taken from a drone helicopter you can see sweeping views of the Old Port, Ocean Gateway, Casco Bay, and the Back Cove.
Portland is a fascinating city and its legendary Old Port a true gem with character. Portland becomes even more alluring and captivating when you “run it”—tour its streets, trails and byways on foot with several thousand enthusiastic endurance athletes. This is why there is so much zeal building for the Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon and 5K.
One of the many reasons for so much fervor about the event is that it is the home port, so to speak, of the Shipyard Brewing Company. Shipyard is the title sponsor, and the half marathon course runs by the Brewery at about 5.7 miles. This will serve as a reminder of the two complimentary cold brews that each participant will receive at the finish.
Longtime charity partners and beneficiaries of the Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon and 5K include Habitat for Humanity, Portland Trails, and the Cancer Community Center, and each helps with the volunteer effort for the event. It’s also expected that 200 to 300 participants will run in the half marathon to benefit the New England chapter of Team Challenge and fundraise for cures for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis - two painful, debilitating, and seldom-discussed digestive diseases.
New for this Event and New in the State of Maine--Free RaceJoy Mobile App
A new technology is percolating through the running community that could become the next must-have amenity offered at large-scale races. The Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon and 5K and the Shipyard Maine Coast Marathon, Half, Relay, and 39.3 Challenge [http://mainecoast262.com/] will be the first racing events in the State of Maine, and among only a few events in the Northeast, to offer runners and spectators a free mobile app for Apple and Android phones. Anyone can download the app free of charge here: RaceJoy Mobile App and select the Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon and 5K event.
While people have become accustomed to the notion of tracking runners’ times at split-mats, and receiving a text message containing a finishing time, few have experienced the interactive and social nature offered by a mobile app specifically designed for racing events. First of all 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 on a Google Map along the entire course using their phones!
Spectators can send Cheers to runners during a race. A proximity alert will sound off on a spectator’s phone when their runner gets within ¼ mile of their location. A Meet Up feature enables runners and spectators to easily find each other after a race when they’re lost in a sea of people with no known landmarks. 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 half marathon and 5K courses in Google Maps, but you can also get directions to designated parking lots, water stops, restrooms, medical stations, local restaurants, lodging, and the nearest airport. Download the app today and check the Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon & 5K. RaceJoy Mobile App
Also New for 2015 – Old Port Lobster Bake
What better way is there to spend a Friday evening than to attend an authentic Maine Lobster Bake overlooking the Casco Bay while drinking a craft beer and listening to live music? You should plan a mini-vacation and come early just so that you can attend the Old Port Lobster Bake. The pre-race packet pickup will take place on Friday, July 10 from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Ocean Gateway.
During that same period you can check-out the vendors at the Health and Fitness Exposition and check-in at the beer garden to enjoy a cold Shipyard brew. Beginning at 5:00 p.m. the live music will start and you can sit down to enjoy the best pre-race meal that you’ve ever had. For those who are not interested in eating lobster and clams, as an alternative you can buy a meal ticket for grilled chicken or a Blue Mango Veggie Burger.
In another innovative addition, you may choose to rent a locker from The Mobile Locker Company’s locker service if you’d like to secure important things like car keys, wallets, and extra running gear instead of leaving it in your vehicle. The lockers will be conveniently located near the half marathon start and finish line at the Ocean Gateway. Otherwise you can opt to use the free but unsecured bag check-in service that utilizes a 1-gallon Ziploc baggy.
Artistic Race Shirts --100% Recycled Polyester and 100% Made in the U.S.A
A great deal of effort has been made by the organizers to design a high-value race shirt that people will appreciate for a long time. As an option you may purchase separately a tech short sleeve T-shirt. That way you are not automatically paying for something unless you want it.
Each year local artist Andrew Cook, known for his “Lobstering Is An Art” collection [http://lobsteringisanart.com/], creates a unique design based on the Old Port ship motif logo. The designs are pieces of art themselves and each year they tell a different story. The shirts come in women’s and men’s sizes and are woven from 100% recycled polyester (think 8 – 10 plastic bottles).
While nearly all other race shirts in circulation today are manufactured in another country, these shirts are made entirely in the U.S.A. – that way you also have an option to support American workers if you want. The colors of the men’s and women’s shirts are different, and each year they are chosen by popular vote on the event’s Facebook page. Like their Facebook page [https://www.facebook.com/oldport] and keep an eye out for the poll, which is usually conducted in early February.
FREE Race Photos
It’s too bad that more races don’t do this: among the innovative amenities that you receive are free high-resolution race photos. Often at other races you have to pay an arm and a leg just for one photo of yourself. Shortly after the Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon & 5K, runners will receive a notification letting them know where they can view multiple race photos. You can then download your favorites to your device or share them with friends on social media (Facebook and Twitter).
Get Your Cool Running Discount by Registering Now for the Half Marathon
Just for reading this article you can get a $5.00 DISCOUNT here--When registering simply use this link, which includes the discount: Cool Running Registration Discount
This applies for the half marathon only. (It is not available for the 5K, and not available for race-day registration).
Speaking of savings, please register for the half marathon before midnight on May 9th, 2015; beginning May 10th there will be an additional $10.00 charge for late registration through race day, so just do it now.
For the 5K you can save $5.00—same cutoff dates as above. Keep in mind that there are additional discounts for the following: All active duty military personnel, current fire and police personnel, as well as students.
Be a Part of the Fifth Annual Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon and 5K
In the Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon and 5K, they will present a jewel for the running community. And after five years they keep working to make it better and better. This is for everyone from the swiftest to the back of the pack runners in both events. Think summer and sign up for an outstanding running experience—either the Half Marathon or the 5K. Don't delay; they have a history of selling out. This is your chance, but please do not plan on race day registration. Do it now, save money and set your goals! Then plan and get ready to experience a great run through the Old Port and along Casco Bay.