Hike Acadia’s 26 peaks – in real life, or virtually! – and earn this gold medal

The Acadia to Katahdin Virtual Race Medals are in!

You, too, can earn this Acadia to Katahdin Finisher’s Medallion, and help benefit Friends of Acadia, Millinocket Memorial Library and Our Katahdin while you’re at it. Sign up now.

Whether you love hiking Acadia’s 26 peaks or Katahdin, or are in training for the Mount Desert Island Marathon or Millinocket Marathon & Half – or just love seeing a Google Street View photo of one of those real-life places pop up as you enter your walking, hiking or running miles in the virtual race course for the day – you, too, can earn this special medal.

Well on their way to earning the Acadia to Katahdin Finisher’s Medallion: Virtual racers @mak321, who got a virtual race photo recently from one of Acadia’s 26 peaks; @Tootsiepopp27, from another of the 26 peaks; and @JakeD, “near” the real-life MDI Marathon finish line. (Can you guess “Where in Acadia?” @mak321 and @Tootsiepopp27 are? See photos below.)

Won’t you join @mak321, @Tootsiepopp27 and @JakeD and others from around the country in the Acadia to Katahdin Virtual Race to help raise funds for Friends of Acadia, Millinocket Memorial Library and Our Katahdin?

Proud to co-sponsor the Acadia to Katahdin Virtual Race with Mount Desert Island Marathon and Millinocket Marathon & Half as the virtual edition of the Sea to Summit Series. Racers signed up for the real-life MDI or Millinocket races get special virtual race pricing.

“Where in Acadia?” is virtual racer @mak321? You, too, can get a virtual race photo from the Acadia or Millinocket regions or elsewhere in Maine, no matter where in the world you log your walking, hiking or running miles. Sign up now. (Image courtesy of racery.com)

Between now and Dec. 8, racers are virtually heading over the 26 peaks of Acadia, along the real-life MDI and Millinocket Marathon & Half routes, passing by the offices of the 3 charities benefiting from this virtual race, skirting by at least 6 sites associated with Stephen King, and finishing on Katahdin, the highest point in the great state of Maine.

Log your walking, running or hiking miles anywhere in the world, and see your race avatar move along the virtual race map, getting a Google Street View, if available, for the place you land for the day.

Earn a gold medal with a raised profile of the Bubbles and Katahdin, featuring a red ribbon that says “Acadia to Katahdin Finisher.” 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.

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.

And find yourself virtually transported to Acadia, Katahdin or the MDI and Millinocket Marathon, with a Google Street View photo like one of the ones pictured in this blog post.

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.

Imagine seeing the real-life runners in the Mount Desert Island Marathon & Half approaching this finish line. This is the view that virtual racer @JakeD, who’s in training for a real-life race, got recently. Sign up now. (Image courtesy of racery.com)

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 racery.com-powered virtual race, which displays Google Street View photos where available, of where you virtually are based on your day’s ending mileage.

Medals will be mailed as participants finish, beginning Oct. 14, if not sooner, 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.

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

“Where in Acadia?” is virtual racer @Tootsiepopp27? Sign up now and you can get a virtual view of an Acadia peak of your own. (image courtesy of racery.com)

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.

And it’s a fun way for distant family and friends to stay in touch.

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 racery.com, 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

Register now, and you can backdate miles to July 20. You have until Dec. 8 to complete logging your miles. If you don’t want to do the full 338-mile course and end atop Katahdin, you can just do 85 miles and get all of Acadia’s 26 peaks in. (Image courtesy of racery.com)

Imagine yourself bagging the 26 peaks of Acadia, along with other virtual racers, and you, too, can find your race avatar moving along this map. It takes only about 85 miles to get all of Acadia’s peaks in, as well as the real-life route of the Mount Desert Island Marathon & Half. Sign up now. (Image courtesy of racery.com)


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 acadiaonmymind.com. 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.