PORTLAND — Runners participating in a 22-year-old Maine tradition will have a new path to follow this year.
The Maine Marathon and Half Marathon will take a temporary, westerly course to avoid construction at the Martin’s Point bridge, which connects Veranda Street with U.S. Route 1 in Falmouth over the Presumpscot River.
This year, runners will follow Route 9 north and eventually connect with Route 88 in Falmouth via Lunt and Depot roads.
The race begins at 7:45 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 6. Several roads will be closed at various times:
• Baxter Boulevard between Forest Avenue and Preble Street, 5 a.m.-2 p.m.
• Local traffic only on Route 9, Falmouth, from Ledgewood to Lunt Road, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
• Lunt and Depot roads, Falmouth, from Route 9 to Route 88, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
• Local traffic only on Route 88, Falmouth, from Depot Road to the Cumberland town line, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
• Mussle Cove Lane, Falmouth, 8-10 a.m.
• Local traffic only on Johnson Road, Falmouth, from U.S. Route 1 to Route 88, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
• Local traffic only on Gilman Road, Yarmouth, from Route 88 to Drinkwater Road, 9-11 a.m.
• Parking is not allowed on Route 88 or Lunt and Depot roads in Falmouth during the race.
The event begins near Pedro Field on Baxter Boulevard, travels through Falmouth, Cumberland and Yarmouth, and features 3,500 runners in three simultaneous competitions: a marathon, half marathon and relay race. Each competition ends where it began.
The change in course will make the race somewhat tougher, co-director Bob Aube said.
“There are definitely more hills,” he said.
The new course will also affect the turn-arounds. Runners in the half marathon will turn around at 127 Foreside Road, Falmouth, about a quarter mile before the traditional turn. Half-marathoners will also take a right turn onto Mussel Cove Lane before rejoining Route 88 for the return trip to Portland, according to the race website.
Marathoners this year will travel straight on Gilman Road instead of turning right onto Prince’s Point Road. Next, they will turn left onto Royall Point Road, then turn around after 0.4 miles and head back to Gilman Road. The course then takes an immediate right onto Larrabee Landing Road, before rejoining Gilman Road once again for the return trip to Portland.
Each year the race organizers donate most of the proceeds to Maine charities that benefit children, and local police departments. This year, the organizers will donate $50,000 to Strive, a South Portland-based program that assists young adults with disabilities.
Registration for the Maine Marathon and Half Marathon is closed. For the third consecutive year, the event has sold out, Aube said.