Maine Strong! Virtual race with medals aids MDI, Millinocket

With businesses and non-profits hurt and tourism down from Mount Desert Island to Millinocket, a new Acadia to Katahdin Virtual Race links people from around the world in support of the regions, behind the rallying cry of Maine Strong!

virtual race with medals

Made by the same company that makes the MDI and Boston Marathon medals, this virtual race medal features a sparkly red border and heart and glittery white ribbon. Sign up now to earn the right to this Maine Strong medal. (Image courtesy of Ashworth Awards)

Featuring fundraising for area charities, a special “Maine Strong” award with sparkly ribbon, and support of local businesses, the new virtual race with medal is also a special way to mark Maine’s 200th anniversary for those who can’t visit Vacationland in real-life this pandemic year:

Embedded in the 240.1-mile virtual race route are pop-up photos of Acadia’s 26 peaks and Schoodic and Isle au Haut sections; some of Maine’s iconic lighthouses; stops along a virtual Stephen King tour; the Paul Bunyan statue in Bangor; the Liberty Ship Memorial in South Portland; and hair-raising views from Knife Edge on the way up to the finish atop Katahdin.

Sign up today. As the virtual edition of the 2020 Sea to Summit Series, co-sponsored by Acadia on My Mind and – organizers of the real-life MDI Marathon & Half (originally scheduled for Oct. 18, but now cancelled) and Millinocket Marathon & Half (still slated to be run Dec. 5 as of this writing) – this virtual race with medal also includes the entire real-life routes of those events.

And as a show of unity with another real-life race cancelled this year, the virtual race takes a special detour to include the Boston Marathon route. Although the virtual race is not connected with the Boston 26.2-miler, Crow Athletics, the sponsoring club for the real-life MDI and Millinocket races, also hosts a Boston New Years Run, with the 17th edition scheduled for Jan. 1, 2021 – Maine Strong! Boston Strong!

virtual race with medals

You can backdate miles to Aug. 9, no matter where in the world you log them, and see your avatar move along the virtual race map. Register here. (Image courtesy of Racery)

Since 2017 the virtual race has raised more than $1,800 for charity, with hundreds of participants from around the world, ages 10 to 70+, logging a total of more than 190,000 miles on the virtual race maps, by running, walking or hiking anywhere in the world. And to broaden the appeal for more participants, the 2020 Acadia to Katahdin Virtual Race includes for the first time an activity conversion calculator for bicycling, swimming, yoga, calisthenics, tai chi, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing (as the virtual race goes through Dec. 31).

This year’s charities: Friends of Acadia, Millinocket Memorial Library, Our Katahdin and Mount Desert Island Marathon. At least 5% of gross proceeds from the virtual race with medals will go to these 501(c)(3) charities.

And because Maine Strong! is the rallying cry, and local businesses from Acadia to Katahdin are hurting from the pandemic, we invite area restaurants, lodging operators and retailers to let virtual racers and readers of this blog know how they can be supported, by commenting at the bottom of this blog post with links to their business.

With the cancellation of the real-life MDI Marathon & Half in October, and even if the real-life Millinocket Marathon & Half, slated for Dec. 5, can’t go on, perhaps some of the runners and spectators who would have come for those events can still keep their reservations, following pandemic safety protocols, or buy gift certificates to be used when they attend a future race.

In fact, that’s what we intend to do, and we invite you to do the same – Maine Strong!

virtual race with medals

Detail of the Maine Strong glittery ribbon. (Image courtesy of Ashworth Awards)

virtual race with medals

No matter where in the world you log your running, walking or hiking miles, your virtual race avatar starts on the top of Cadillac, then advances over the remaining peaks of Acadia, before jumping to the MDI Marathon course, during the first 2 of 10 segments in the Acadia to Katahdin Virtual Race. Register here. (Image courtesy of Racery)

Many ways to win in the Acadia to Katahdin Virtual Race with medal

Everyone is a winner, even if you can’t complete all 10 segments of the 240.1-mile virtual race route. That’s because everyone gets a digital race bib, a digital certificate at completion of the race and emailed digital postcards upon finishing even just the first 50-mile segment of the route – all 26 peaks of Acadia – by Dec. 31. You can backdate miles to Aug. 9. Sign up today.

virtual race with medals

Even if you can’t finish the full 240.1-mile course by Dec. 31, you’ll get this emailed digital certificate after you complete the first segment of about 50 miles, to mark your having “scaled” all 26 peaks of Acadia. There’s a total of 10 segments, with an emailed digital certificate after the completion of each one. Sign up here.

Plus, you get the satisfaction of knowing that your participation helps support the non-profit Friends of Acadia, Millinocket Memorial Library, Our Katahdin and Mount Desert Island Marathon, and that everyone is entered into gift giveaways from some Maine businesses, like gift certificates from Gift MDI in Bar Harbor; L.L. Bean; and Moose Prints Gallery, Moose Drop In, and Katahdin General Store in Millinocket.

And not only do you have the chance to earn the special Maine Strong medal, made by Ashworth Awards, the same company that makes the MDI and Boston Marathon medals, you also have the option of adding on medals with a lobster or moose ribbon, or a “I LOVE Friends of Acadia” or “I LOVE Millinocket Memorial Library” ribbon.

Other perks of the virtual race with medals:

virtual race with medals

Other medal options feature moose and lobster ribbons ($10 each). On the left is the multi-moose ribbon, in the center, the lobster ribbon, and on the right, the neon moose ribbon. Pick your medal option when you register here.

  • Joining a community of nearly 100 racers with a passion for all things Maine, even as they log their real-life miles in Alaska (virtual racer @OGKatie), Cambridge, England (virtual racer @TeresaM), Oregon (virtual racers @DSea, and @bgizzi and her faithful companion @Sophie) or North Carolina (virtual racers @NancyinNC and @Clipboard)
  • Keeping up with far-flung family and friends, like mother-and-daughter @muddz, home in Maine, and @Livylou, away at graduate school in South Carolina, are doing via the virtual race
  • Sharing Stephen King trivia with @BigRed68, who teaches at University of Maine, Orono, or @ZombieChop of Florida, who’s done the real-life King of Horror tour offered by SK Tours of Maine
  • Learning about flora, butterflies and books in a virtual botany, lepidoptera and book club, as virtual racers like @MA.ME.MD.Walker, @earthmuffin and @Grin share photos or ask for audio book recommendations to listen to while logging miles in the virtual race
  • Being inspired by long-distance runners like @JohnT, @BetteBoop and a host of other real-life racers, many of whom are members of Crow Athletics or have been long-time participants in Crow races like Down East Sunrise Trail Relay, Bridge the Gap as well as the MDI and Millinocket races
  • Catching up with former Acadia National Park rangers, like @MoGo4Acadia and @SeaUrchin
    virtual race with medals

    The special “I LOVE Friends of Acadia” medal helps raise extra funds for the non-profit that does so much for the park. The version of the medal with the raised profile of the Bubbles and Katahdin is sold out, so instead, it’s the classic lobster- and moose-themed medal. ($12 each)

    virtual race with medals

    You also have the option of choosing the special “I LOVE Millinocket Memorial Library” to help raise extra funds for that non-profit when you sign up for the Acadia to Katahdin Virtual Race. ($12 each)

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

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 a virtual race with medals, and even Disney runs them. Check out what a virtual racer experience can be like in this short video by Racery, a leading provider of virtual races for nonprofits and companies, which powers our races.

  1. Sign up with your name and e-mail at this registration page
  2. The race ends Dec. 31
  3. You can track your daily miles any way you like, and can backdate them to Aug. 9
  4. Log your miles on the race page
  5. Racery will keep track of fun stats like your total mileage and miles per week

Thanks to Racery’s virtual race platform, which has powered our virtual challenges since 2016, beginning with the Acadia Centennial Trek. In addition to virtual races for charity fundraising like ours, Racery hosts many company virtual fitness challenges. Try Racery if you’re planning to host a virtual turkey trot or 5k this fall.

More scenes from the Acadia to Katahdin Virtual Race with medal

virtual race with medals

The Millinocket Marathon & Half course, and a virtual marathon up Katahdin, are featured in this year’s virtual race. Sign up here. (Image courtesy of Racery)

virtual race with medals

What you get emailed upon completing Segment 2, the virtual MDI Marathon, between mile 50 to 76 of the virtual race.

virtual race with medals

For the first time, Isle au Haut, the most remote part of Acadia, is included in the virtual race. Get this emailed to you after completing Segment 3, miles 76 to 90 of the virtual race. There are hidden Google Street Views of Western Ear and the whale bone at the Acadia ranger station if you land in the right spot on the virtual race map, along with photos embedded in red pindrops.

virtual race with medals

Segment 4 features 5 lighthouses, along with the Liberty Ship Memorial and Fort Preble, between miles 90 and 100 of the virtual race.

virtual race with medals

Segment 5 features the Bridge the Gap Race course, along with surprise Google Street Views from the top of Penobscot Narrows Bridge, between miles 100 and 110 in the virtual race.

virtual race with medals

Segment 6 is between miles 110 and 127, featuring stops along the Stephen King virtual tour, and the famous Paul Bunyan statue in Bangor.

virtual race with medals

The first segment of the Down East Sunrise Trail Relay, also unfortunately cancelled this year, lives on in Segment 7 of this virtual race, which also takes you to the Schoodic section of Acadia, between miles 127 and 160.

virtual race with medals

Segment 8 marks the completion of the Boston Marathon route, between miles 160 and 187 of the virtual race.

virtual race with medals

Segment 9 features the Millinocket Marathon & Half route, between miles 187 and 213 of the virtual race.

virtual race with medals

Do a virtual marathon up Katahdin to complete Segment 10 and all 240.1 miles of the virtual race, and you can start all over again in Acadia.

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.