Tag Archives: running

And they’re off! Global field of racers start MDI virtual runs

The virtual starting pistol has just sounded for the first-ever virtual running of the Mount Desert Island Marathon and Half. Racer BenJammin has pulled out in front, Dbawn is not too far behind, and a field of nearly 100 racers from around the world, from Australia to New Mexico, is in pursuit.

acadia national park virtual runs

Travis Greaves will be logging his miles for the virtual MDI Half Marathon in the Gold Coast in Australia. (Photo courtesy Travis Greaves)

It’s not too late to join in on the fun, or to invite your friends, family and frenemies anywhere in the world to participate in this special event to help raise funds for Acadia National Park. The 26.2 and 13.1-mile virtual runs just began today, and you can log your miles over a 10-day period, ending on Oct. 16, the day of the real-life MDI Marathon and Half. Register here.

Get a digital bib, earn a special Acadia Centennial Medallion and watch your avatar move along on the map of the real-life race routes as you log each day’s mileage. You may also see a Google Street View® of where you finish for the day. Special pricing for registrants and volunteers in the real-life MDI Marathon and Half. The virtual races are co-sponsored by Acadia on My Mind, Crow Athletics and MDI Marathon as an official Acadia Centennial event.

Virtual runs are a growing fitness trend, with even Disney getting into the act. Acadia on My Mind is also sponsoring a virtual 100-mile Acadia Centennial Trek that ends on Dec. 31.

Participants get to cheer friends – real or virtual – or gently razz competitors via a message board on the race Web sites, powered by Racery.com, or via a special Facebook events page we’ve set up. Some have never run a real-life marathon or half, and some have never been to Acadia, while others have done both.

Travis Greaves, who hasn’t been to Acadia but has run real-life races, found out about the virtual runs in a Google search. “I will be running in the Gold Coast in Australia. I like the idea of virtual runs,” e-mailed Travis, whose virtual MDI Half Marathon screen name is Travisg.

Joining in on the fun are Eve Lindsey (SkiPrincess) of Bedford, NH, and Hope Matthews (Sourceress) of Portland, plus other racers hailing from places like Cuyahoga Falls, OH; Austin, TX; and Clovis, NM.

acadia national park virtual runs

BenJammin is out in front, with Dbawn not too far behind, at the start of the first-ever virtual running of the MDI Marathon. Not too late to register and join the nearly 100 racers in this and the virtual MDI Half Marathon, during the 10 days that the races are live, Oct. 7 – Oct. 16.

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On your marks! ‘Princesses,’ ‘witch’ join first MDI virtual runs

Racers with fun names like Incaprincess, SkiPrincess, TrailWitch and Sanity Clause – some hailing from as far away as Australia, Texas and New Mexico – are lining up at the start for the first-ever virtual runs of the Mount Desert Island Marathon and Half, to help raise funds for Acadia.

Acadia virtual runs

Incaprincess (Suzanne Wiegand) and husband Duane, pictured here on trails near their Cuyahoga Falls, OH, home, are running the virtual MDI Marathon together. (Photo courtesy of Suzanne Wiegand)

The virtual gun goes off on Oct. 7, and racers have 10 days to complete the virtual runs, with the final day coinciding with the real-life MDI Marathon and Half on Oct. 16. There’s still time to join in on the fun, with registration open until the end of the day on Oct. 3. Special pricing for registrants and volunteers in the real-life races.

Racers get a special Acadia Centennial Medallion, a digital race bib and the chance to see their avatar move on a map of the virtual 26.2 or 13.1-mile route with each day’s mileage entry, whether they run, hike or walk the miles, wherever they are in the world. They may also see a Google Street View® of where they finished for the day.

Virtual runs are a growing fitness trend, with even Disney getting into the act. Acadia on My Mind is proud to be co-sponsor with Crow Athletics and the real-life MDI Marathon of this official Acadia Centennial event.

acadia national park hiking

You too can earn the right to this Acadia Centennial Medallion, and help raise funds for Acadia.

Participants get to cheer friends – real or virtual – or gently razz competitors via a message board on the race Web site, powered by Racery.com, or via a special Facebook events page we’ve set up. Some have never run a real-life marathon or half, and some have never been to Acadia, while others have done both.

Incaprincess (Suzanne Wiegand) and her husband Duane, of Cuyahoga Falls, OH, are running the virtual MDI Marathon together, and have been to Acadia many times.

“Unfortunately, I won’t be running the actual MDI Marathon this year, but definitely planning on it next year!” said Suzanne, who said in an e-mail that her nickname came from an anthropology class field trip. “The nickname kind of stuck around and it has now translated into my trail running nickname. But you can just call me Inca.”

acadia virtual runs

Registration for the first-ever virtual running of the MDI Marathon and Half ends on Oct. 3.

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Acadia virtual race draws global field of runners, hikers

Sidelined by pneumonia for a few weeks, Jennifer VanDongen of Bar Harbor was behind in training for her 4th Boston Marathon. Then came the first-ever 100-mile virtual Acadia Centennial Trek, launched last month to celebrate the park’s 100th anniversary.

acadia virtual race

Jennifer VanDongen of Bar Harbor set a course record in finishing the virtual 100-mile Acadia Centennial Trek in 8 days. She ran or hiked most of the miles in Acadia, some of them with her daughters, but here she’s seen completing 13.1 of the miles at the Lamoine Half Marathon on March 5. (Photo by Bob Carroll, courtesy of Jennifer VanDongen)

“This Trek was a great motivator!” said VanDongen, outdoor track coach for Mount Desert Island High School. “I completed my daily run, then would go back out and log some miles hiking, sometimes with my daughters.” VanDongen, whose Trek name is @jennvan, crossed the Acadia virtual race finish line first, in just 8 days, logging most of her 100 miles running and hiking in Acadia, and watching her position on an online map of the Trek get updated instantly with each day’s entries.

Across the country, on the other side of the Atlantic, and from one end of Maine to the other, 153 participants have signed up so far for the free year-long Acadia virtual race. They’re logging miles by hiking, step-counting, running, biking, cross-country skiing, walking their dog, doing yoga or other workouts, whether they’re on Mount Desert Island, in Fairfield or Mars Hill, Maine, or in far-flung locations in California, Oregon, Hawaii, the United Kingdom or Denmark.

Sponsored by Acadia on My Mind as part of its Acadia Centennial Partner commitment, and hosted on Racery.com, the race helps celebrate the park’s 100th throughout the year. The virtual 100-mile route begins on Cadillac, goes over the park’s 26 peaks on MDI and along sections of the Park Loop Road, carriage roads, MDI YMCA’s Acadia and Fall Half Marathons, and ends at the real-life finish line of the MDI Marathon and Half Marathon.

There’s an optional finisher’s medal featuring the Acadia Centennial logo that will be available for purchase, to help raise funds for the park. And there’s an online guide to the virtual miles, with links to Google Maps photos and other resources that can let participants visualize where they are in the park as they pass each milestone in the Acadia virtual race.

acadia virtual race

A teacher at Lawrence Junior High in Fairfield, Maine, Marc Maheu can’t wait to hike the trails of Acadia this summer, so he signed up for the Acadia Centennial Trek to keep the park on his mind while he step-counted, rode an exercise bike and did other workouts during the off-season. He’s seen hiking the Jordan Cliffs Trail here last year. (Photo courtesy of Marc Maheu)

Some Trek participants have joined as a way to achieve their fitness goals, whether it’s training for marathons or starting a walking program. Others are inviting family, friends and co-workers as a new way to interact. Yet others are doing it to keep Acadia on their mind, wherever they may be, and whether they’ve ever set foot in the park or not.

“I make several trips to Acadia every summer to hike and bike some of the best trails I’ve ever had the pleasure to enjoy,” said Marc Maheu, a teacher at Lawrence Junior High in Fairfield, Maine, who finished the virtual 100-mile Acadia route in 2nd place, just 1 day behind @jennvan. “Since I’m almost 2 hours away, and school is still in session, I did all my miles virtually,” said Maheu, who logged his miles step-counting, biking and doing other workouts. Maheu, whose Trek name is @MNM, even invited a co-worker to join the Trek with him, and has continued to log his miles virtually on a personal “My Trek” on Racery.com, and is already up to 191 miles. Continue reading

Join virtual Acadia Centennial Trek to celebrate, help park

UPDATE 5/20/2016: Acadia Centennial Trek Medal now available for purchase, to help raise funds for the park

UPDATE 2/29/2016: New Acadia Centennial Trek page to serve as online guide to virtual 100-mile route, including mileage marker links to Google Maps views, other resources

Have you ever daydreamed about hiking all of Acadia’s 26 peaks, or walking the Park Loop Road or carriage roads, but you’re short on time or out of shape? Or maybe you’re in training for the Mount Desert Island Marathon or Acadia Half Marathon, and imagining the race route?

acadia centennial

Be part of history by joining the first-ever 100-mile virtual Acadia Centennial Trek, and have the option of buying a finisher’s medal to help raise funds for the park.

Well, your dreams can now become a virtual reality, during Acadia’s 100th anniversary year.

Join the inaugural 100-mile virtual Acadia Centennial Trek, which starts at the top of Cadillac; goes over the 26 peaks of Acadia on MDI, along sections of the Park Loop Road, carriage roads and MDI YMCA’s routes for the Acadia and Fall Half Marathons; and ends at the finish line of the MDI Marathon.

It’s a free race hosted by us, as part of our Acadia Centennial Partner commitment, to inspire people to think about our favorite national park throughout this 100th year, whether or not they’ve ever set foot in Acadia. It’s a chance to motivate us all to become more fit, think of the broader meaning of community, and ponder what Acadia does for us, and what we can do for Acadia.

Plus there’s the option to buy a finisher’s medal with the official Centennial logo, to help raise funds for the park. You can run for bling while running for Acadia!

Acadia Centennial

Optional finisher’s medal will feature Centennial logo

Sign-up for the race begins today, Feb. 26 (one of Acadia’s “three birthdays,” marking the date that Sieur de Monts National Monument became Lafayette National Park, 1919). And once at least 50 people have signed up, the race begins. You can run, hike, walk or step-count anywhere in the world, and you have through the end of the year to complete the route and log your miles.

If you prefer to bike, or you’re a wheelchair racer, all are welcome! Since biking 100 miles goes a lot faster than walking, hiking or running, pick your own handicap, whether 10 miles biking equates to 1 mile on the virtual route, or some other ratio you think is fair.

And if you’re already as fit as Gary Allen, the founder and director of the MDI Marathon, or an ultramarathoner in training, perhaps it should also be 10 miles to 1 – or maybe 26.2 miles to 1.

As virtual race director, we get to make the rules – but you get to bend them!

acadia centennial trek

The virtual Acadia Centennial Trek begins at the top of Cadillac, goes over sections of the Park Loop Road and carriage roads, and along parts of the routes of MDI YMCA’s Acadia and Fall Half Marathons, and ends at the finish line for the MDI Marathon, at exactly 100 miles.

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Where to stay, eat in fall in Acadia? Ask Acadia on My Mind!

Bubble Rock in Acadia National Park helped prove the Ice Age

Ask Acadia on My Mind!

Another in a series of “Ask Acadia on My Mind!” Q&As

If you have a question about Acadia National Park on your mind, whether you’re a first-time visitor or long-time fan, leave a comment below, or contact us through the About us page. We may not be able to answer every question, or respond right away, but we’ll do our best. See our new page linking in one place all the Q&As.

1) Love your Facebook page. We are going up to Acadia/Bar Harbor for the first time at the end of September, could you recommend any restaurants for us to try 🙂 Thanks for any help. – Nancy from Tyngsboro, MA

2) Hello. I will be visiting for the 1st time in October to run the MDI Half Marathon and am looking for some help with locale for lodging. I would like to use my car as little as possible but also be within walking distance and central to the race & Acadia. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also, I am considering bringing my dog. Thank you. – Jessica, from Southern NJ

Dear Nancy and Jessica,

MDI Half Marathon lobster claw finisher's medal

The reward for running 13.1 miles. (Photo courtesy of MDI Half Marathon)

You’re both picking a good time of year to visit Acadia National Park for the first time. Fall in Acadia can be less crowded and the weather can still be spectacular, even if peak fall foliage may not fall exactly when you’ll be be there.

With summer already half over, it’ll be fall in Acadia before you know it.

While we’re neither restaurant critics nor fast runners, we have eaten out enough in Bar Harbor and surrounding communities, and jogged the trails or read up enough on some of Acadia area races and restaurants to have some opinions. Thanks for asking! Continue reading

Running down a dream at Acadia National Park

Whether you ran the  MDI Marathon to set a personal record or just to finish, or whether you prefer easy jogs along carriage roads and village connector trails, Acadia National Park and surrounding communities offer a runner’s paradise.

Acadia Half Marathon lobster

Only in Maine would a lobster wave runners to the finish line. The MDI YMCA’s Acadia Half Marathon includes the Park Loop Road in its route.

Where else can you carve out a personal running route that could include a jaunt along the ocean, through piney woods and even up a small mountain, all within the borders of a national park?

And where else can you be cheered on to the finish by a person in a lobster costume (Acadia Half Marathon in June), or earn a finisher’s medal in the shape of a lobster claw (Mount Desert Island Marathon and associated races on Oct. 19)?

MDI Marathon lobster claw finisher's medal

Would you run 26.2 miles for this bling? MDI Marathon’s 2014 finisher’s medal. (Photo courtesy of MDI Marathon)

Runner’s World magazine recently listed Acadia National Park first out of “10 Can’t-Miss Running Adventures,” and has previously called MDI Marathon the “most scenic” and runner-up for best overall marathon. And in 2012, MDI Marathon was selected as one of the 100 best races in North America by www.bestroadraces.com.

Beyond the magnificent scenery and the fun lobster themes, there’s a community-minded purpose to races on Mount Desert Island, as well as a sense of history. Continue reading