This race review was provided by my wife, Erin Moore.

The Maine Coast Half Marathon: 600 women and One Lucky Guy

Erin Moore at the Maine Coast Half MarathonThe second annual running of the Maine Coast Half Marathon got under way at 9:00 this morning. The weather was perfect for running and overall the day was as enjoyable as it was challenging. However, this young race has considerable room for improvement. The race drew 601 finishers, 600 women… and One Lucky Guy.

The Course

This 13.1 mile course wound through the beautiful area of York Village and included picturesque landscapes, the sound of the waves hitting the sand and a not insignificant number of hills! The race began with a semi-circle around York High School, but once we turned out of the driveway, the rolling hills began to challenge runners right away. However, having trained for hills thanks to my husband choosing many of my training routes, I found the hills quite manageable.

Right smack dab in the middle of the race there was one quite steep hill, but it was short, so runners who chose to walk or jog slowly did not loose much momentum from it. There was also a hill in the 12th mile that I was not such a fan of, my legs already about to give way at that point. But, there were also some flat portions of the course, particularly along Long Beach Avenue (a/k/a Route 1) which, not surprisingly, ran just along the edge of the ocean. This section, along with a few others, drew some pretty good cheering crowds which helped keep the event upbeat.

The Race

There were water stops approximately every 2–2½ miles, which seemed to be perfect spacing considering the temperature (not too warm, but quite sunny) and the course. I know I took water at each station. Volunteers were also handing out Accelerade at several of the aid stations and it appeared that they were handing out some form of energy gel in the middle of the race, though I had not seen any notice that the gel would be given out.

Since I had been training with GU, I carried two packets with me and took them at miles 4½ and 8½ (at water stations) and did not use whatever they were handing out.

Now for the things I would like to see improved.

  • The bathroom problem. There were a few port-a-potties on the course, but it looked like they did not bring any extra port-a-potties to the start/finish of the race. There was one on an athletic field. The apparent rationale was that the high school was open and people were able to use the bathrooms therein. However, the only bathrooms I heard anyone mention were the locker rooms and one other first floor bathroom. There were, not surprisingly, long lines at those first floor bathrooms. After all, it was a race for women. In the future, if the race organizers don’t want to bring in port-a-potties, they should really be sure there is a map of where the bathrooms are or someone directing women to them. They should also list the number of stalls outside the bathrooms, because it can be a real drag to learn after waiting in line for 20 minutes that there was only 1 stall to service that line.
  • There was very little in the way of food after the race. I spotted pieces of banana, pieces of bagel and pizza (I saw only pepperoni, but there may have been other kinds). Personally, when I’ve finished running 13.1 miles at what for me was a significant effort, pizza is just not the best of ideas. In the future, I would like to see more post-race food options.
  • Finally, I must say that part way through the race, I adopted a new goal – to make it through the race without getting run over. I realize that the area is pretty busy and quite touristy. Shutting down the streets for a few hours is probably not feasible, but there were some points during which I was cringing at how close the cars were coming to some of the runners. If this race is going to expand to the desired cap of 1500 runners, the race organizers and the town will need to find some way to limit the number of cars on the road during the race. One suggestion: advertise the race in town more. After the race, my husband and I went to lunch. Several people mentioned that they knew nothing about the race until they saw the women running by.

One Lucky Guy (OLG)

Though billed as an all women’s race, the race officials conduct a lottery to select one guy to run amongst the women. The men paid a $10 lottery entry fee and the OLG is selected randomly. The proceeds of the lottery help support the York schools’ cross country and track teams. In addition to getting to run in this all-women race, the OLG receives a special race shirt and a prize for his significant other along with “fame and fortune for one day.”

This year’s OLG was Reade Brower from Camden, Maine and a member of the Rock Coast Runners. His story can be read on the race’s website. Reade finished first, of course, for the men, with a time of 1:58:40.

The Stats

Dorothy Zullo at the Maine Coast Half MarathonSo I guess you want to know who won. Sheri Piers of Falmouth, Maine and a member of the Dirigo racing team won with a time of 1:17:29. She was followed by Kaitlin Anelauskas of Medfield, MA and Tara Cardi of Warwick, RI. Yours truly finished 124.

The Significant Others

In addition to the half marathon run, there was a half marathon walker’s division and a “significant other 5K” designed to allow significant others, families and friends participate in the day.

Dorothy Zullo of Wakefield, RI finished first in the walker’s division, with a time of 2:17:06. The 5K was won by John Mentzer of Portsmouth, NH with a time of 17:31 and the first woman was Hannah Hastings of Cambridge, MA with a time of 19:53.

(Full Results5k ResultsPhotos)