Two years ago, I ran the Mystic Places Marathon. It was one of my favorite marathons that I have run to date, and I figured that I would run it again some day when I was closer to my goal of running one in all 50 states.

Last year, the Mystic Places Marathon was renamed to the Mystic Country Marathon and Niantic Bay Festival.

This year, they have cancelled the marathon. Rather than a marathon and 10 mile race offered in tandem that go throughout town and into many different neighborhoods, they are putting on a two loop half-marathon that stays within the park in conjunction with a 5k that also stays within the park.

Here is the email that I received from the race director:

Dear Past Mystic Places/Country Marathon Participant,

I would like to thank you for participating in our event. It has been Southeastern Connecticut’s largest participatory athletic event since its inception. Mystic Coast & Country, an owner of the event, recently decided to dissolve its ownership of the race.

The race committee has decided to put on the Niantic Bay Half Marathon & 5K on September 30, 2007. For race information visit The Niantic Bay Half Marathon & 5K will continue to be staged in the picturesque Rocky Neck State Park. The two loop Half Marathon course will be flatter and more scenic than the marathon course was while a 5K race will be added. Both events will start and finish near the beach. After the race, participants will enjoy an outdoor beach party with live music, food and beverages. The race field will be limited to 1,500 participants. The new event will continue to benefit numerous local charities.

On Sunday, September 30, the Half Marathon and 5K race will start and finish at East Lyme’s Rocky Neck State Park. The two loop half marathon course will run around Rocky Neck State Park and Giants Neck. The 5K course will be run entirely within Rocky Neck. Participants will enjoy an event t-shirt, sports massage, chip timing, on course entertainment, and a post race snack. We have over 300 volunteers committed to making sure you enjoy our race.

I will continue to coordinate the event and hope you will run in our race. Mohegan Sun is the presenting sponsor of the Niantic Bay Half Marathon and 5K. Nearly all of the marathon’s sponsors will continue to support the event. Current committed corporate sponsors include: Tee’s Plus Screen Printing Company, Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, Tri-Town Foods, WTNH, Smith Insurance, Goldblatt, Bokoff, and Company, Levine Distributors and Michelob Ultra, Dunkin Donuts and Doran Brothers Worldwide Moving & Storage, Inc. The AMTA CT Sports Massage Team will also continue to supply complimentary massages for race participants.

For race information and to register online, visit or call (203) 481-5933. For information on volunteering or sponsorship opportunities call (203) 481-5933. I appreciate your past support and hope you can run in our new event.


John Bysiewicz, Race Director

I am a little disappointed; I hope that they bring the marathon back a decade or so down the road so that I can run it again. I will also have to let a few of my friends know that this is no longer an option, since they were planning on running it (based on my recommendation) if either of them failed to get into the New York City Marathon through the lottery.