Rain doesn't dampen Maine Marathon

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The 20th annual Maine Marathon/Half Marathon/Relay was run amid surprising conditions Sunday: rain.

For the first time this century, weather was an issue, but the race, which traverses Portland, Falmouth, Cumberland and Yarmouth, succeeded nonetheless.

“It was a tough day because of the weather,” said race co-director Howard Spear. “It’s the first time in my 14 years we’ve had rain.

“Considering the conditions, I’m probably more amazed this year than I’ve ever been with the race. I thought the numbers would be way down, but it never thinned out. I couldn’t believe it. The spectators were there all day and the other that amazed me was the volunteers. There were no reports of anyone not showing up.”

The overall marathon winner was a Mainer, Evan Graves, of Caribou, who had a time of 2 hours, 36 minutes, 53 seconds.

Stephanie Crawford, of Dover, N.H., won the women’s competition in 3:07:06.

Andrew Combs, who once ran at Bowdoin, was the winner of the half-marathon in 1:09.20. Former Scarborough High standout Chris Harmon was runner-up (1:10.40).

Scarborough’s Kristin Barry, was the fastest female in the half-marathon for the second time in three years (1:19:27). Barry is the course record holder. Former South Portland High star Andrea Giddings was third (1:25.27), four seconds in front of someone you may have heard of, Joan Benoit Samuelson.

The marathon relay was won by a group calling itself the “Small Point Striders.” Josh Rice, Cyrus Martin, Portland’s John Herrigel and Freeport’s Morgan Cuthbert had a time of 2:57.39.

The top women’s relay team was “The Quick Chicks,” featuring Scarborough’s Amy Lilley and Lisa Chaisson, Jess Ward of Lyman and Denise Curry of Windham (3:08:00).

The mixed division was won by four runners representing Bath’s Hyde School, Cody Mitchell, Zach Bettencourt, Laura MacDonald and Bridget West (3:03:26).

“There weren’t many surprises in the race itself,” said Spear. “I heard Saturday that (Samuelson) was thinking of running the marathon, but that she wouldn’t decide until morning. She ran the half-marathon. She got the last bib number, even though we capped out.”

In all, 3,500 runners registered. Spear estimated that there were around 900 marathon finishers, just under 2,000 half-marathon finishers and close to 90 relay teams.

Camp to Belong Maine, an organization that connects and reunites siblings who have been separated because of foster care or other out-of-home care, was this year’s charity beneficiary. While this year’s total wasn’t available at press time, in 2010, Camp to Belong Maine received $35,000.

Next year’s race will be held on Sept. 30. It will be the marathon’s 21st edition.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Sidebar Elements

Caribou’s Evan Graves hits the finish tape as he wins Sunday’s 20th annual Maine Marathon in a time of 2 hours, 36 minutes, 53 seconds.

Scarborough’s Kristin Barry won the women’s half-marathon for the second time in three years, finishing in 1:19.27.

Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.