MDI Marathon named into Maine Running Hall of Fame – run it virtually now!

Congratulations to Mount Desert Island Marathon for being named into the Maine Running Hall of Fame! Proud to co-sponsor the virtual edition of this iconic race (and that of its sister race, Millinocket Marathon & Half) with you!

virtual races with medals

The Acadia to Katahdin Virtual Race is the virtual edition of the Sea to Summit Series, which includes the real-life route of the Maine Running Hall of Fame MDI Marathon. Register now. (Image courtesy of

If you’re running the MDI Marathon on Oct. 14, or the Millinocket race on Dec. 8 – or just dreaming about doing it one day – why not join the Acadia to Katahdin Virtual Race as part of your training – or your daydreaming?

The Virtual Edition of the Sea to Summit Series entry page is live now. You can log your running, hiking or walking miles anywhere in the world. You can backdate your miles to July 20 (which happens to have been the start of the Down East Sunrise Trail Relay), and log them through the end of the day Dec. 8, after the running of the real-life Millinocket race.

run mdi

Run MDI – virtually! The yellow highlight shows the real-life MDI Marathon route, embedded in the Acadia to Katahdin Virtual Race map. Join the fun and see your race avatar move along the marathon route, to Acadia’s 26 peaks and beyond! (Image courtesy of

The actual routes of both real-life races are embedded in the virtual race map, as highlighted in the accompanying images. You get a Google Street View photo, where available, for where you land on the map for that day’s ending mileage.

You earn a special 3″ gold medal featuring a raised profile of Katahdin and the Bubbles, strung on a red ribbon with the words “Acadia to Katahdin Finisher.”

You help to benefit Friends of Acadia, Our Katahdin and Millinocket Memorial Library. And you’re entered into giveaways of Acadia, Millinocket and Stephen King-themed gifts. (Up to six sites associated with the King of Horror are embedded in the virtual race map. Anyone who lands on one of those sites, or outside the office of one of the three charities benefitting from this race, gets an extra entry in the giveaway.)

virtual race

Run Millioncket – virtually! Do the loop once for the half, twice for the full marathon. Register now! (Image courtesy of

Racers signed up for the real-life MDI or Millinocket races get special virtual race pricing.

Medal is made by Ashworth Awards, the same company that makes the MDI and Boston Marathon medals. Race is powered by Racery: Virtual Challenges.

At least 5% of gross proceeds go to benefit the Acadia and Millinocket-area charities. Last year’s Cadillac to Katahdin race raised $800 for the three charities combined.

Everyone who enters earns this 3″ gold medal. (Photo courtesy of Ashworth Awards)

Read all about the virtual race here.

Everyone is a winner, even if you can’t complete the 338-mile course by Dec. 8.

That’s because everyone who signs up will be helping to benefit charity, will earn the special Acadia to Katahdin Medallion, and will be entered into giveaways of Acadia, Millinocket and Stephen King-themed gifts.

Register now, and you can backdate your miles to July 20.

Virtual race builds friendships, community and local economies

Gary Allen, director of the real-life MDI and Millinocket races, and Sea to Summit Series, likens the impact of the races he’s launched as “a pebble tossed into still water,” with ever-widening rings of positive influence and inspiration. The rings have spread so far and wide, especially with his starting the free Millinocket Marathon & Half in December 2015 to provide an economic boost to the old mill town, that Allen has been profiled in Runner’s World, Down East Magazine and elsewhere.

virtual runs

If you can’t do the real thing on Oct. 14, the next best thing is the Acadia to Katahdin Virtual Race. (Image courtesy of

Just as the real-life MDI Marathon & Half have extended the Acadia area’s season beyond Columbus Day, and the Millinocket Marathon & Half have brought a boost just before the holidays to what was called Magic City because it grew so fast in the paper mill heyday, we hope this virtual race can be like another one of Allen’s pebbles tossed in still water, to help bring more funds and recognition to these two very special parts of Maine.

The virtual race fee includes the Acadia to Katahdin Medallion; a digital bib and finisher’s certificate; and participation in the virtual race, which displays Google Street View photos where available, of where you virtually are based on your day’s ending mileage.

virtual race

Dec. 8 is the running of the Millinocket Marathon & Half, and also marks the end of the Acadia to Katahdin Virtual Race. (Image courtesy of Crow Athletics)

Medals will be mailed as participants finish, beginning Oct. 14, domestic postage included, with an extra charge for international shipping.

We first teamed up with MDI Marathon in 2016 in co-sponsoring the MDI Marathon and Half Marathon – Acadia100 Virtual Edition, as a joint Acadia Centennial Partner commitment to celebrate the 100th anniversary and help raise funds for the park.

We continued that fund-raising partnership with the 2017-2018 Cadillac to Katahdin Virtual Run, which ended just as the Acadia to Katahdin Virtual Race began.

Register now, and you can backdate miles to July 20. (Image courtesy of

Virtual race has real-life meaning for individuals, charity – plus bling!

In the couple of years that we’ve been hosting virtual races, we’ve seen people sign up as a special way to mark Acadia’s Centennial, as extra motivation to train for the real-life MDI Marathon & Half or Millinocket Marathon & Half, as another chance to hike Acadia’s trails, and as a way to recover from illness or achieve a health and fitness goal.

And for those who are into bagging Acadia’s 26 peaks or rewarding themselves for running or walking, the chance to earn what’s been described as Olympic-quality medals is yet another reason to sign up.

Participants from as far away as Scotland and Australia have joined in, and racers have ranged in age from 10 to 70 and over.

Details of medal’s red satin ribbon


It’s easy to join the Acadia to Katahdin Virtual Race

What are virtual races, you ask? They let people from anywhere in the USA or the world sign up to run, hike, walk, snowshoe, cross-country ski or log other forms of miles, whether to raise funds for charity, earn a finisher’s medallion or just set a fitness goal. Races can include technology-driven virtual routes that allow participants to see their progress, get a Google photo of their virtual location and check out the competition online, such as in the Acadia to Katahdin Virtual Race. Or it can be as simple as allowing people to record their mileage via the honor system in order to get a medal in the mail. There are different themes for virtual races with medals, and even Disney runs them. Check out what a virtual racer experience can be like in this short video by, which hosts our races on its online platform.

  1. Sign up with your name and e-mail at this registration page
  2. The race starts on July 20 and ends Dec. 8
  3. You can track your daily miles any way you like, and can backdate them to July 20
  4. Log your miles on the race page
  5. Racery will keep track of fun stats like your total mileage and miles per week
Dolores Kong & Dan Ring

About Dolores Kong & Dan Ring

Dolores Kong and Dan Ring are co-authors of the Falcon guides Hiking Acadia National Park and Best Easy Day Hikes Acadia National Park, and also blog at They’ve backpacked the 270-plus miles of the Appalachian Trail in Maine, and are members of the Northeast 111 Club, having hiked all major peaks of the Northeast. Dolores is a former staff reporter at The Boston Globe. Dan is a journalist and former Statehouse bureau chief in Boston for the old Ottaway News Service and for The Republican, the daily newspaper for Springfield, Mass. They are married and live in New England.