PORTLAND — The 19th-annual Gorham Savings Bank Maine Marathon/Half Marathon/Marathon Relay, which will traverse Portland, Falmouth, Cumberland and Yarmouth, will be held Sunday, beginning at 7:45 a.m.
Race director Howard Spear said that entries capped out Sunday at 3,500, a higher number than a year ago.
Changes this year include a timing mat at the halfway point (in Yarmouth), additional course entertainment, including Japanese drummers and bands, bigger medals and tote bags for all runners and volunteers. Four runners from Archangel, Russia (Portland’s sister city) will also take part.
This year’s beneficiary is Camp to Belong Maine, program that gives siblings separated by foster care the opportunity to reunite, strengthen bonds and create lifetime memories.
The race starts on Baxter Boulevard in Portland, near Pedro Field. The first two miles wind around the Boulevard before taking a left turn onto Bates Street. That road crosses Washington Avenue and becomes Veranda Street continuing east. The runners then merge onto Route 1 and cross Martin’s Point Bridge into Falmouth.
After a short detour to Mackworth Point, the competitors return to Route 1 and eventually veer onto Route 88, running through Falmouth, Cumberland and into Yarmouth, before turning onto Gilman Road for a 2.5-mile loop through a residential neighborhood where the race reaches its halfway mark.
The runners then return to Route 88 and backtrack the way they came. Once they return to Veranda Street in Portland, the competitors turn right onto Sherwood Street, then left onto East Kidder Street, which crosses Washington and becomes West Kidder Street, which ends at Payson Park.
The runners then exit the park, go left onto Baxter Boulevard and push for the finish line at Back Cove. Half-marathoners will turn around just after Skillins Greenhouse in Falmouth and return the way they came.
“We’re hoping for good weather,” Spear said. “We’ve been really, really lucky over the years. The main thing is for everyone to go away happy.”
For additional information on the race, visit mainemarathon.com.