Mainers sparkle at Maine Marathon
The Maine Marathon/Relay/Half Marathon had a change of course this year, but still delivered, especially for fans of Maine runners.
The 22nd running of the race, which traverses Portland, Falmouth, Cumberland and Yarmouth, utilized Route 9 into Falmouth, instead of Route 1, due to construction on the Martin's Point Bridge.
Saco's Rob Gomez was the marathon champion, posting a time of 2 hours, 24 minutes, 22 seconds, to pace a field of over 1,100 runners.
The women's marathon champion was Leah Frost of Round Pound, who posted a time of 3:00:52.
The half marathon was captured by Auburn's Moninda Marube (1:08:13). Baring Plantation's Sarah Mulcahy won the women's half marathon in 1:23:42.
Over 2,400 entrants took part in the half marathon.
Grant Berthiaume, of Tucson, Ariz., was the fastest of four wheelchair participants (2:19:57).
The relay champion was S.O.L. (2:59:24).
"Everyone we talked to loved the course," said race co-director Howard Spear. "I'm glad it didn't rain. It was good running weather, but it was a little chilly for the volunteers. We had a good turnout and a couple Mainers won. That's always nice. We had four wheelchair racers this year. We hardly ever get one."
As always, there were some interesting sidebars as well.
"A couple ran and then got married," said Spear. "A couple from Illinois set a Guinness world's record after competing in a half marathon in their 50th state in under 100 hours total. We had 10 bands on the course. That's almost one for every two miles. We may have even more next year."
STRIVE, an organization which serves teens and young adults with intellectual and emotional difficulties, was this year's charity beneficiary. STRIVE was also the beneficiary in 2012 and received over $60,000. This year's amount was unavailable at press time.
The 23rd version of the race will be held Oct. 5, 2014.
"We hope to go back to the old course, although a lot of runners preferred this one because it went through more neighborhoods," Spear said.