A century ago, in two very different parts of Maine – the Acadia National Park of today and the once-booming mill town of Millinocket – these distinctly special events occurred:
- Acadia became the first eastern national park, and its “undistinguished” mountains got renamed as part of the effort, with Green now known as Cadillac and Newport as Champlain, among others
- Millinocket established a library in memory of the native sons who lost their lives during World War I “for the rescue of human rights”
To mark the 100th anniversary of Acadia’s creation as a national park and the naming of iconic Acadia peaks, as well as to celebrate the Millinocket Memorial Library Centennial, a new Acadia to Katahdin Virtual Race begins Aug. 2, to help raise funds for the two regions, and connect fans of these special parts of Maine, no matter where in the world they may live.
Sign up now and you can earn up to 4 different lobster and moose-themed medals for logging your running, hiking or walking miles anywhere in the world. Watch your avatar move on the virtual race map, along the 26 peaks of Acadia and the real-life Mount Desert Island and Millinocket Marathon & Half Marathon routes, and end atop Katahdin, Maine’s highest mountain.
New this year, the virtual race route features 8 specially themed segments, and even if you can’t complete all 328.5 miles by Dec. 31, you will get digital milestone postcards emailed upon finishing each of the following segments:
- 26 Acadia peaks (55.2 miles)
- MDI Marathon & Half Marathon route (26.2 miles)
- Millinocket Marathon & Half Marathon route, plus the first ascent of Katahdin (57.7 miles)
- Acadia’s Park Loop Road (25.3 miles)
- Schoodic National Scenic Byway (28.8 miles)
- Stephen King-themed segment, from Deer Brook Trail in Acadia to University of Maine, Orono, with special stops in Ellsworth and Bangor (62 miles)
- Acadia’s carriage road (37.3 miles)
- Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, plus final ascent of Katahdin (36 miles)
Also new this year: Customized pindrops embedded in the virtual race map with special images and messages, highlighting 26 Acadia peaks and Millinocket, Baxter State Park and Katahdin Woods and Waters sites, and virtual racers’ past achievements – click on one of those red pindrops, and you might find yourself mentioned or pictured!
The pindrops also test your knowledge by asking “Where in Acadia?” and “Where in Millinocket?” and feature fun facts like at what time of year is Cadillac the first place to see the sun rise in the US – not the summer! – and how to avoid the lines by buying a park pass online. (Local businesses along or near the virtual race route can sponsor a customized pindrop with a photo and link to their website by contacting us.)
The virtual race runs from Aug. 2 through Dec. 31, and includes the entire real-life route of MDI Marathon & Half that’s happening Oct. 20, and the Millinocket Marathon & Half that’s happening Dec. 7. You can backdate running, hiking or walking miles to Aug. 2, if you happen to join after the start. And you don’t have to complete all 328.5 miles of the virtual race route to earn a medal.
Co-sponsored by Acadia on My Mind and organizers of the real-life MDI and Millinocket races, the Acadia to Katahdin Virtual Race is also the virtual edition of the Sea to Summit Series, where runners who participate in both the real-life MDI and Millinocket races can earn a special Sea to Summit finisher’s medallion.