With businesses and non-profits hurt and tourism down from Mount Desert Island to Millinocket as this summer ends, a new Acadia to Katahdin Virtual Race links people from around the world in support of the regions, behind the rallying cry of Maine Strong!
Featuring fundraising for area charities, a special “Maine Strong” award with sparkly ribbon, and support of local businesses, the new virtual race with medal is also a special way to mark Maine’s 200th anniversary for those who can’t visit Vacationland in real-life this pandemic year:
Embedded in the 240.1-mile virtual race route are pop-up photos of Acadia’s 26 peaks and Schoodic and Isle au Haut sections; some of Maine’s iconic lighthouses; stops along a virtual Stephen King tour; the Paul Bunyan statue in Bangor; the Liberty Ship Memorial in South Portland; and hair-raising views from Knife Edge on the way up to the finish atop Katahdin.
Sign up today. As the virtual edition of the 2020 Sea to Summit Series, co-sponsored by Acadia on My Mind and runmdi.org – organizers of the real-life MDI Marathon & Half (originally scheduled for Oct. 18, but now cancelled) and Millinocket Marathon & Half (still slated to be run Dec. 5 as of this writing) – this virtual race with medal also includes the entire real-life routes of those events.
And as a show of unity with another real-life race cancelled this year, the virtual race takes a special detour to include the Boston Marathon route. Although the virtual race is not connected with the Boston 26.2-miler, Crow Athletics, the sponsoring club for the real-life MDI and Millinocket races, also hosts a Boston New Years Run, with the 17th edition scheduled for Jan. 1, 2021 – Maine Strong! Boston Strong!
Since 2017 the virtual race has raised more than $1,800 for charity, with hundreds of participants from around the world, ages 10 to 70+, logging a total of more than 190,000 miles on the virtual race maps, by running, walking or hiking anywhere in the world. And to broaden the appeal for more participants, the 2020 Acadia to Katahdin Virtual Race includes for the first time an activity conversion calculator for bicycling, swimming, yoga, calisthenics, tai chi, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing (as the virtual race goes through Dec. 31).
This year’s charities: Friends of Acadia, Millinocket Memorial Library, Our Katahdin and Mount Desert Island Marathon. At least 5% of gross proceeds from the virtual race with medals will go to these 501(c)(3) charities.
And because Maine Strong! is the rallying cry, and local businesses from Acadia to Katahdin are hurting from the pandemic, we invite area restaurants, lodging operators and retailers to let virtual racers and readers of this blog know how they can be supported, by commenting at the bottom of this blog post with links to their business.
With the cancellation of the real-life MDI Marathon & Half in October, and even if the real-life Millinocket Marathon & Half, slated for Dec. 5, can’t go on, perhaps some of the runners and spectators who would have come for those events can still keep their reservations, following pandemic safety protocols, or buy gift certificates to be used when they attend a future race.
In fact, that’s what we intend to do, and we invite you to do the same – Maine Strong!
Many ways to win in the Acadia to Katahdin Virtual Race with medal
Everyone is a winner, even if you can’t complete all 10 segments of the 240.1-mile virtual race route. That’s because everyone gets a digital race bib, a digital certificate at completion of the race and emailed digital postcards upon finishing even just the first 50-mile segment of the route – all 26 peaks of Acadia – by Dec. 31. You can backdate miles to Aug. 9. Sign up today.
Plus, you get the satisfaction of knowing that your participation helps support the non-profit Friends of Acadia, Millinocket Memorial Library, Our Katahdin and Mount Desert Island Marathon, and that everyone is entered into gift giveaways from some Maine businesses, like gift certificates from Gift MDI in Bar Harbor; L.L. Bean; and Moose Prints Gallery, Moose Drop In, and Katahdin General Store in Millinocket.
And not only do you have the chance to earn the special Maine Strong medal, made by Ashworth Awards, the same company that makes the MDI and Boston Marathon medals, you also have the option of adding on medals with a lobster or moose ribbon, or a “I LOVE Friends of Acadia” or “I LOVE Millinocket Memorial Library” ribbon.
Other perks of the virtual race with medals:
- Joining a community of nearly 100 racers with a passion for all things Maine, even as they log their real-life miles in Alaska (virtual racer @OGKatie), Cambridge, England (virtual racer @TeresaM), Oregon (virtual racers @DSea, and @bgizzi and her faithful companion @Sophie) or North Carolina (virtual racers @NancyinNC and @Clipboard)
- Keeping up with far-flung family and friends, like mother-and-daughter @muddz, home in Maine, and @Livylou, away at graduate school in South Carolina, are doing via the virtual race
- Sharing Stephen King trivia with @BigRed68, who teaches at University of Maine, Orono, or @ZombieChop of Florida, who’s done the real-life King of Horror tour offered by SK Tours of Maine
- Learning about flora, butterflies and books in a virtual botany, lepidoptera and book club, as virtual racers like @MA.ME.MD.Walker, @earthmuffin and @Grin share photos or ask for audio book recommendations to listen to while logging miles in the virtual race
- Being inspired by long-distance runners like @JohnT, @BetteBoop and a host of other real-life racers, many of whom are members of Crow Athletics or have been long-time participants in Crow races like Down East Sunrise Trail Relay, Bridge the Gap as well as the MDI and Millinocket races
- Catching up with former Acadia National Park rangers, like @MoGo4Acadia and @SeaUrchin
It’s easy to join the Acadia to Katahdin Virtual Race with medal
What are virtual races, you ask? They let people from anywhere in the USA or the world sign up to run, hike, walk, snowshoe, cross-country ski or log other forms of miles, whether to raise funds for charity, earn a finisher’s medallion or just set a fitness goal.
Races can include technology-driven virtual routes that allow participants to see their progress, get a Google photo of their virtual location and check out the competition online, such as in the Acadia to Katahdin Virtual Race.
Or it can be as simple as allowing people to record their mileage via the honor system in order to get a medal in the mail. There are different themes for a virtual race with medals, and even Disney runs them. Check out what a virtual racer experience can be like in this short video by Racery, a leading provider of virtual races for nonprofits and companies, which powers our races.
- Sign up with your name and e-mail at this registration page
- The race ends Dec. 31
- You can track your daily miles any way you like, and can backdate them to Aug. 9
- Log your miles on the race page
- Racery will keep track of fun stats like your total mileage and miles per week
Thanks to Racery’s virtual race platform, which has powered our virtual challenges since 2016, beginning with the Acadia Centennial Trek. In addition to virtual races for charity fundraising like ours, Racery hosts many company virtual fitness challenges. Try Racery if you’re planning to host a virtual turkey trot or 5k this fall.