UPDATE 5/20/2016: Optional finisher’s medal to help raise funds for Acadia now available for purchase.
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
On your marks! The starting pistol is about to go off for the first-ever Acadia Centennial Trek, a free virtual race that begins at the top of Cadillac and takes you 100 miles over mountains, on carriage roads, and along parts of the Mount Desert Island Marathon and Acadia Half Marathon.
Whether you run, hike, walk or step-count your miles, and no matter where in the world you are, your position on the map of Acadia and MDI will move along as you log your distance. Only about a dozen more participants need to register for what might just be the first of many Acadia virtual races, before this year-long event goes live.
The Acadia Centennial Trek, part of our Acadia Centennial Partner commitment, is a special way to celebrate Acadia’s 100th anniversary, share about the park and local races and places, get more fit and encourage others. And it’s a way to keep Acadia on your mind, whether you live nearby or halfway across the world, whether you’re a perennial visitor or have yet to set foot in the park. There will also be the chance to purchase a finisher’s medal to help support the park.
The first person to sign up is Christa Brey of Lamoine, who works in the marketing department of Jackson Laboratory. She’s already invited a couple of friends to join her in the virtual race. Her map icon will be “CB,” and her runner’s handle, @Christa.
“I will be running and hiking. I run (a lot) in Acadia,” Brey says in an e-mail of how she’ll log her miles. A member of Crow Athletics, which sponsors the MDI Marathon, and a veteran of races real and virtual, Brey says virtual races are a “fun way to be involved from afar.”
It’s already starting to feel like a virtual Acadia running and hiking community. Thanks for being the first to join, @Christa!
Virtual races a great motivation to get more fit, explore Acadia
Among comments by others in the virtual community, as posted on the runners bio section of the Acadia Centennial Trek page:
“I am trying to use this virtual race through my favorite place on earth, as inspiration to get more exercise,” writes @Cricker, whose map icon is “JS.”
“Logging miles – only while hiking – with husband and two energetic pit mixes. Most hikes will be in MD and ME,” writes @HikingWithPups, whose map icon is a photo of her with pup on a snowy trail. (You can upload a photo of 4 MB or less to serve as your map icon, in the bio section; else the initials of your first and last name – or nickname – will be the default icon.)
“I love hiking. We explored Acadia in 2015 and are headed to the Grand Canyon in 2016!” writes @CatsCatsCats.
Welcome all to the inaugural Acadia Centennial Trek! In a sense, you’re helping to make history, especially if the growing trend of virtual races takes hold in Acadia and surrounding communities, as it has in other parts of the country. If you haven’t signed up by the time the race goes live, that’s OK. You can sign up at any time, and have until Dec. 31, 2016, to complete the 100 miles.
We’ll be rolling out more features as this project develops. In addition to making this a virtual race with finisher’s medal (optional purchase to help raise funds for the park, details to come), we’ve set up a Facebook events page where members of the community can share, support or even gently razz each other, as the race launches and goes throughout the year.
Mileage markers on topo map, photos show where in Acadia you are
One fun way to make this race even more interactive, and broaden the sense of community, if some of you have the inclination and time:
How about adding photos, videos or comments on the Facebook events page for some of the mileage markers, as indicated in the below Garmin Connect map? (You can see all 100 mile markers by going to this link, and expanding the map.) Before you start the run, you may want to go online and see about how you can get the safest band for your Garmin activity tracker, you don’t want that slipping or breaking as you push through your race, Mobile Mob online has some that are fit for anyone to use.
For example, if you have a photo of a Cadillac sunrise you want to share, you could upload the photo to the Facebook events page and indicate that as being at the Start, or Mile 0 marker. Or if you have a photo of yourself crossing the MDI Marathon finish line, you could upload that and indicate that as being at the Finish, or 100 Mile marker.
Or you can simply upload a photo of where you actually ran or hiked, wherever you are in the world, as you log your miles for the virtual race. Running on your treadmill? Upload a photo of that!
If we have the time, we may do a page with links to Google Map photos, our own photos and videos, and other resources, for some of the 100 mile markers. As you run, hike or step-count by each marker, you can check out the page to learn more about that part of the park or community. We’d add a link to that page to the Facebook events page, and the message board of the race page.
And maybe we’ll even post virtual racing results on that page.
Just a dozen more sign-ups needed, and you’ll get an e-mail notification saying the race is going live the next day. Invite your friends, family and fellow Acadia fans, wherever in the world they may be!
On your marks, get set, go!
How to sign up for Acadia Centennial Trek, log miles
– Go to http://racery.com/r/
– Sign up by submitting your name (could be a nickname) and email using the above link
– You’ll be notified by email after at least 50 people have signed up; the race will start the day after
– Run, walk, hike or step-count anywhere, and track your miles by any means
– Reply to a daily email with your mileage for that day, or put your mileage in for earlier days – you can even upload a 4 MB or smaller photo to the reply email (if you opt out of the daily emails, you can log into your account and log the mileage for different days right on the map)
– Your place on the map is plotted instantly
– Your total mileage, runs/week, and miles/week will be tracked
– You can see activity in the trek over the last 72 hours, like another racer’s effort, make comments, or share on Facebook
– Racers can join at any time, and have until Dec. 31 to complete the course
– Optional finisher’s medal to be available for purchase at acadiaonmymind.com/
CAUTION: Don’t necessarily follow the virtual Acadia Centennial Trek route on any of your real-life exploration of Acadia. The route was drawn for the convenience of coming up with exactly 100 miles, covering all 26 peaks of Acadia on Mount Desert Island, some of the Park Loop Road, carriage roads and the routes of Acadia and Fall Half Marathons, and ending at the MDI Marathon finish line. It could be that some of the virtual route doesn’t follow any official trail, or goes up the hardest way, rather than the recommended way, up a particular mountain, or along less-than-scenic campground roads. We’d recommend getting a good topo map and hiking guide, before setting out on the trails. We’re fond of our own guides, of course (see sidebar), but you can search Amazon.com for other books or maps, or try a free app like Chimani. The sponsors of this race assume no liability for accidents happening to, or injuries sustained by, participants in the Trek. The sponsors also do not make any representations as to the conditions of the virtual routes as they apply to the actual routes at Acadia. If you are hiking, running or biking in Acadia National Park as part of the Trek, be sure to follow the rules for park passes, safety, and trail and road usage, available at nps.gov/acad.