BAR HARBOR — The 40th annual Mount Desert Island YMCA Fall Half marathon and 5K will be run on Saturday, Sept. 16, starting at 7:30 a.m. The races are a fundraiser, supporting access to the YMCA through scholarship programs such as Membership for All and Send a Kid to Camp.
The half marathon course is beloved by runners from around North America for its views from inside Acadia National Park. Mike MacKinnon of Prince Edward Island was last year’s winner, finishing in 1 hour, 17 minutes, 18 seconds. Tammy Slusser, 51, of Monroeville, Pa., was the first female finisher. More than 300 runners completed the half marathon and more than 100 runners ran in the 5K.
Runners line up at the starting line on Main Street near the town athletic field, loop around West Street, up West Street Extension and into the park. The race continues all the way around Eagle Lake, down Eagle Lake Road to Cromwell Harbor Road and finishes back at the ball field.
Jennifer VanDongen is the race director. While the half marathon is full for runners, the YMCA is still seeking volunteers to help before, during and after the race.
“I’m really excited,” said Tommy Parham, the YMCA’s executive director. “This is a unique fundraiser, and I’m so proud to be part of a race that is so highly regarded on a national level.”
Community partners include the MDI Hospital and The First National Bank, who staff two of the five water stations throughout the race course. Acadia National Park staff help sweep the race and assist where needed throughout race day.
The Half Marathon and 5K are open road races, so all drivers should be cautious as they drive Main Street, West Street, Route 3 and the Park Loop Road on Sept. 16.
Since 2008, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust has been the title sponsor for the half marathon and 5K, and Acadia Inn has been the lodging sponsor.
Local sponsors include Witham Hotels, Maine Coast Creations, Bar Harbor Baking Company, A Slice of Eden, Cool as a Moose, Mount Desert Spring Water, Hannaford, Royal Promotions and Subway. Maine Coast Creations, Bar Harbor Baking Company, A Slice of Eden, Hannaford, Mount Desert Spring Water, Subway, Mount Desert Ice Cream and Royal Promotions also support the event with in-kind donations.