ACADIA NATIONAL PARK: Race the 50 States #nps edition

The plan to visit Maine was hatched on a trail in Seattle with my pal, Donna.  I was getting ready to leave Washington to move back to Ohio and she was pregnant with her first little one.  We were lamenting the end of our morning runs together and decided that we should pick a race the following year so we could catch back up.    Donna & I share a love of ice cream, travel & national parks.  MDI (Mount Desert Island)Half Marathon checked all three boxes so 18 months later, we were back on the trail again!

The COMINGS & GOINGS:   What’s great about Mount Desert Island is you can catch a flight into Boston, then drive an easy 5 hours into Maine.  Portsmouth NH & Portland ME are on the way so you can hit Maine Beer Co., Holy Donut & your choice of five million lobster shacks.  All will keep your belly full.  We made a special stop in Kennebunkport to visit Daytrip Society, a super cute paper/home shop.  Eric & I loaded up with a few trivia games, cute Maine stickers and The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts.  Did you know beavers’ teeth are orange & they never stop growing?!!!  FACTS!!

The PARK:  This was our first trip to Acadia National Park.  I was excited to take it all in, but we needed to pace ourselves – making sure our legs were ready for the upcoming 13 mile run.   The day before our race, we hit up the loop around Jordan Pond.  Its a 3.4 mile, fairly flat trail with many peeks of the pond and the Bubbles (a pair of 800 ft mountains that kinda look like boobs).  Post-race, we hit up the coast and roamed Sand Beach, Thunder Hole & Otter Cliff.  Sadly there were no wildlife sightings (where were you, otters!?!) but man the scenery was lovely.   Oranges & yellows hid in the fog and everything smelled oh-so pine-y.  Many trails and carriage roads (great for biking) were left unexplored, so we could easily go back and have lots more to see.

The RACE:  This point to point race starts in Northeast Harbor and ends in Southwest Harbor.  Early on, course hugs the coast a bit & some boats honked at us from the Atlantic.  (Crowd support – wooo!)  I won’t lie – the hills and the rain dampened my spirit a bit, but the sweet medal,  MDI Ice Cream in the finishers’ tent and two hours of girl time with Donna made it amazing.

 

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