Tag Archives: running

Acadia, Millinocket fans join forces for virtual race 2017

Jessica Jourdain was only 4 when she moved away from Millinocket, but her heart and mind never left. Now, she’s lining up for the first-ever Cadillac to Katahdin Virtual Run that’s just begun, and running the real-life Millinocket Half Marathon in December, to help raise funds for her struggling hometown.

virtual race with medals

Jessica Jourdain and her husband Justin ran the Millinocket Half Marathon last December in subzero weather, and are hoping for warmer temps this year. Weather won’t be a concern during the Cadillac to Katahdin Virtual Run. (Photo courtesy of Jessica Jourdain)

Judy Lackey took early retirement from her job in health care IT in Connecticut earlier this year, but longs to move to Maine, where she’s been running road races to explore different towns, from Portland to Castine. Now, she’s signed up for the Cadillac to Katahdin virtual race 2017, and the Millinocket Half Marathon, to learn more about the state both virtually and in real life.

Maureen Fournier sells park passes and provides visitor information as an Acadia National Park ranger, but on her days off she goes hiking, whether the trails of Acadia, Baxter State Park, Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument or elsewhere. Now, she’s joining the Cadillac to Katahdin virtual race 2017, to both help raise funds for Acadia and Millinocket, and give her another reason to hike.

“I’m excited to do the race,” said Fournier, who goes by the virtual race trail name of @RangerMo and uses a hiking boot as her avatar on the virtual race route. “It’s all so healthy.”

@RangerMo, @JessicaJ (Jourdain, an office administrator in Sanford, ME) and @Judylackey are among the scores of participants from around the country that have lined up so far for the virtual race, an epic 200-mile journey that starts on the top of Cadillac, the highest point on the US Atlantic seaboard; includes the real-life routes of the Mount Desert Island Marathon & Half (being run Oct. 15 this year) and the Millinocket Marathon & Half (being run Dec. 9); and ends atop Katahdin, the highest point in Maine and northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.

One racer from Morrill, ME – who goes by the virtual race name of @Robrn2000 and has a real-life goal of running 1 marathon a month, and a total of 1,500 miles in 2017 – was first out of the gate, logging 5.2 miles before 7 a.m. this morning.

What’s a virtual race, you ask? It lets people from anywhere in the world sign up to run, hike, walk 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 and check out the competition, such as in the Cadillac to Katahdin Virtual Run, or 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 national-park themed virtual races, and even Disney runs them. Check out what a Cadillac to Katahdin virtual racer experience can be like in this short video.

Co-sponsored by Acadia on My Mind, Mount Desert Island Marathon & Half and Millinocket Marathon & Half, the Cadillac to Katahdin Virtual Run helps raise funds for the nonprofit Our Katahdin, Millinocket Memorial Library and Friends of Acadia. The Cadillac to Katahdin race is also the virtual edition of the first-ever 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.

Register now for the virtual race, and you have 117 days, from Aug. 15 to Dec. 9, to run or walk 200 miles, anywhere in the world. If you register late, you can backdate daily mileage to Aug. 15. And if you can’t complete the 200 miles by Dec. 9, you can log any additional miles needed on another virtual race that we’ve sponsored, the Acadia Centennial Trek.

virtual race with medals

The day had barely dawned, and @Robrn2000 was first out of the gate with a 5.2 miler. Register now to join the first-ever Cadillac to Katahdin Virtual Run, and watch your race avatar move along the 200-mile route, from Cadillac to Katahdin. (Image courtesy of racery.com)

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New Cadillac to Katahdin virtual race aids Acadia, Millinocket

The connections between the Acadia and Katahdin regions run deep, through history, among residents and visitors – and now, with the first-ever virtual race that starts on Cadillac and ends on Katahdin, to help raise funds for the two areas.

virtual race

Announce your participation in the first-ever Cadillac to Katahdin Virtual Run by sharing this social-media friendly graphic. Register now. (Image by racery.com)

Runners and walkers anywhere in the world can join the 200-mile virtual race, and earn a special Cadillac to Katahdin Medallion to mark the achievement. The race runs from Aug. 15 through Dec. 9, and includes the routes of the real-life Mount Desert Island Marathon, Half & Relay that’s happening on Oct. 15, and the Millinocket Marathon & Half that’s on Dec. 9. Register now.

Co-sponsored by Acadia on My Mind and organizers of the real-life MDI and Millinocket races, the Cadillac to Katahdin Virtual Run will help benefit the nonprofit Friends of Acadia, Our Katahdin and Millinocket Memorial Library. The Cadillac to Katahdin race is also the virtual edition of the first-ever 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.

Gary Allen, director of the real-life MDI and Millinocket races, and Sea to Summit Series, likens the impact of the races he’s launched as “a pebble tossed into still water,” with ever-widening rings of positive influence and inspiration. The rings have spread so far and wide, especially with his starting the free Millinocket Marathon & Half in December 2015 to provide an economic boost to the old mill town, that Allen has been profiled in Runner’s World, Down East Magazine and elsewhere.

virtual race

The 3″ gold Cadillac to Katahdin Medallion features raised lobster claw and pine tree. (Image by Ashworth Awards)

Just as the real-life MDI Marathon & Half have extended the Acadia area’s season beyond Columbus Day, and the Millinocket Marathon & Half have brought a boost just before the holidays to what has been an economically challenged Katahdin region, we hope this virtual race can be like another one of Allen’s pebbles tossed in still water, to help bring more funds and recognition to these two very special parts of Maine.

And just as more real-life visitors to Acadia are heading inland as part of their vacation, with the addition of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument last year, may our blogging about the new Cadillac to Katahdin Virtual Race spur people to learn more about both regions, whether they’ve ever set foot in Vacationland or not.

Register now for the virtual race, and you have 117 days, from Aug. 15 to Dec. 9, to run or walk 200 miles, anywhere in the world. If you register late, you can backdate daily mileage to Aug. 15. And if you can’t complete the 200 miles by Dec. 9, you can log any additional miles needed on another virtual race that we’ve sponsored, the Acadia Centennial Trek.

virtual race

Are you up to the challenge of the 200-mile Cadillac to Katahdin Virtual Run? The Bubble Rock image at the top of Cadillac, the highest point on the US Atlantic coast, represents Acadia on My Mind. The finish line is atop Katahdin, the highest point in Maine. (Image by racery.com)

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Running pioneer has deep roots in Acadia hiking

One in a series about Acadia National Park hiking trails

Robin Emery is well known in Maine as a trailblazer and champion in women’s running, but many people may not be aware of her deep connections to Acadia National Park hiking.

acadia national park hiking

When asked to act like she owned Emery Path, Robin Emery cheerfully obliged, and kiddingly said she’s charging a small hiking fee to benefit the family.

Emery, 70, a teacher in Ellsworth Elementary-Middle School, has hiked in the park since she was a teenager, including along a namesake trail, Emery Path. Emery is so familiar with the Acadia backcountry that when asked to identify a photo of a path from virtually anywhere in the park, she can almost always correctly say where it was taken.

“I have been all over these mountains,” she said.

During a recent sunny afternoon, she paused at the sign to Emery Path, located off the Sieur de Monts Spring parking lot, before a trek from Emery to Schiff Path and to the peak of Dorr Mountain.

“If you guys want to come, it is going to be a small fee,” she joked with a couple of friends at the trailhead. “The Emery family will get the proceeds.”

She said it’s “awesome” that a trail has her name, but she did not know that it was recently returned to its historic name of Emery Path, after being known as the Dorr Mountain East Face Trail. Emery said she does not research the history of the Acadia National Park hiking trails and generally does not know their names. She just knows where they lead.

acadia national park hiking

One of Robin Emery’s favorite views, of Dorr, Cadillac and Kebo, as seen from inside her car.

The memorial path is named after John Josiah Emery, whose 1895 “cottage,” known as the Turrets, is now owned by the College of the Atlantic. But it’s unclear if there’s a long-lost family connection, according to her cousin John, the keeper of the family geneaology that dates back to 1649.

Emery moved back to Maine in 2000 to live year-round after teaching in Massachusetts for nine years and said she feels a powerful connection with the state and Mount Desert Island. On the drive to Sieur de Monts, she advises friends to “get ready” before stopping her car near the intersection of Kebo Street and the Park Loop Road and pointing to three prominent mountains framed on the horizon.

“That is my favorite view on the whole island, almost, right here. That is Dorr, Cadillac and Kebo.” Continue reading

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