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.
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.