In the summer I just can’t get travel out of my mind, and after Sage’s recent post about great places to run in the West, I figured the East could use a little love too! So this weekend I’m headed as far east as I can go in the continental US – Maine!
When you take off on the road it’s great to run new trails and check out the local routes, but personally I like to plan around a race. That way I not only get to take in the sights, I also get to feel competitive and accomplished. This time, my “racecation” is planned around The Beach to Beacon 10K, where I’ll be racing toward the iconic Portland Head Light!
So with Maine on my mind, I decided to bring you this week’s Friday 5, all about why Maine is an excellent destination for your next runcation!
1. Terrific races! Beach to Beacon is a great race for tourists but Maine has many other great races too, such as the Mount Desert Island Marathon, Acadia Half Marathon, not to mention several other smaller charming local races. If you’re interested in participating in one of these races, be sure to check when registration is open. Beach to Beacon is famous, not only for the beautiful course, but for being one of the fastest races to sell out. This past year it sold out in 4 minutes and 15 seconds (15 seconds faster than in 2014!). It’s not just about having fast feet, but fast fingers too.
2. Acadia National Park: This national park has it all – ocean views, mountain vistas, forests, lakes, and much, much more! It’s one of the most beautiful and picturesque national parks in the United States. Miles and miles of trails make this a wonderful place for hiking and trail running. Runner Scott Douglas described it as “running through a painting.” How can you not check this out?
3. Lobstah! I know it’s not runner-specific, but I can’t mention Maine without mentioning seafood – sorry, herbivores! But if nothing else, running makes me hungry, and my mouth waters as soon as I think of the hefty lobster rolls at Red’s Eats in Wiscasset. Each of their rolls has one pound of unadulterated, sweet, succulent, fresh lobster. I’m also a big fan of the clam chowder at Jordan House in Acadia National Park. The broth for the clam chowder is light yet creamy, and the entire soup is very hearty. I can’t get enough of it.
4. Portland, ME It’s the largest city in Maine, but it has a small town charm to it. There are attractions of interest to just about anyone. As for us runners, lace up your shoes and bliss out on some laps around Back Cove Trail, a 3.5 mile loop trail that offers you a view of the Portland skyline. Or if you don’t mind a short drive south to Cape Elizabeth, Crescent Beach State Park has a gorgeous oceanfront 2.2-mile trail that’s perfect for an out-and-back.<
5. Lighthouses There’s something about a lighthouse that I cannot resist, which is probably the main reason why I wanted to run Beach to Beacon. The Portland Head Light is the oldest lighthouse in the state of Maine, which has over 60 lighthouses. Many of them are still active and you can visit them (list here). Make a game of running to as many lighthouses as possible!
Have you been running in Maine? What are your recommendations? Where is your next racecation?