Maine Coast Half & 5K

Maine Coast Half & 5K

Maine Coast Half & 5K

( 9 reviews )
66% of reviewers recommend this race
  • Kennebunk,
    United States
  • May
  • 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon, Relay, Other
  • Road Race
  • Event Website

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Juan J. Arrieta

Cypress, Texas, United States
36 26
"Scenic course; race day logistics issues"
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management
Juan J. Arrieta's thoughts:

Scenery - Enjoyed the views in the majority of this point-to-point course, in particular the segments that are adjacent to the beach and crossing various marshes. Felt the connection with nature during those blocks and it made me happy and thankful to be out there.
Swag - The zip-up hoodie we received for running the half is as good as advertised; it is a neat, clean looking design that can double up as winter running gear, for warm-ups, or just to kick-back and hang out. I’m sure that I’ll get tons of use out of it in the future. The medal and ribbon design are distinctive and look great as well.
Communication - We received several emails in the weeks leading up to the race with general information and details about the race.
Food - There was plenty of post-race food to be had and easily accessible in open tents adjacent to the finish line. There was plenty of fruit and an assortment of nuts and snacks, ice cream, beer, and pizza. I had a slice of pizza and the ice cream and they were both excellent.
Adjustment/Response to issues - While there was a major issue with the availability of parking at the designated locations, the organizers responded accordingly by extending the availability of shuttle buses to the start area and delaying the start time of the race by approximately 45 minutes.

Areas Which Need Improvement:
Logistics/planning - I am not sure whether the race organizers were simply not expecting for there to be as many participants as there were, but the race morning logistics for parking definitely did not go as planned. The directions from organizers were for half marathon runners to either park or be dropped off at the local junior high school. However, when we arrived in town, the line of cars to access that parking lot stretched approximately 1.5 miles and was moving extremely slow. So much so that it took us more than a half hour just to get to the parking lot, past the time in which the last shuttle was supposed to leave for the start line. The first thing we noticed was that the line of runners waiting to load shuttle buses was extremely long; there were a few hundred in the queue. A policeman then informed us that the parking lot was full, and that we would now have to park at the high school lot which was some distance away. He was also the one who informed us that the race start had been pushed back to the parking issue as well as the departure of the last shuttle bus. So we then drove to the high school, parked there, and followed other runners who knew of a shortcut path back to the shuttle bus location at the junior high. Something clearly has to change going forward with those race day parking logistics, because they definitely did not work well this year.
Distance from last mile marker to finish line. There were 3 of us in our group, and for the first 12 miles, our watches were all marking us at about 0.1 off against each mile marked on the course, and that is fine–no one expects the watches to be a perfect match with the mile markers. But, if at the race marker/sign for mile 12, your watch still marks the same difference of 0.1 and says you are at 12.1, it would be logical to expect for the finish line for a half marathon to be at your watch's 13.2 or so. But no, the finish line was nowhere in sight at 13.2 and it wasn’t until nearly a quarter of a mile later when we finally crossed the line at 13.42.
Checked gear bags at finish line - After we crossed the finish line, one of the first things I went to do was to grab my checked gear to change my shirt and grab my jacket. I was informed at the information tent that the checked gear bags had not arrived yet and therefore were not available. It is a bit puzzling to me how a set of gear bags cannot be transported from one point to another just a few miles away and not be available more than 2 hours later. Since I still had to grab food and refreshments, etc. I was okay with waiting a bit longer for the checked gear to arrive, but there was a participant who had run the 5k and had already been waiting for more than an hour for her checked gear to arrive and was understandably very frustrated with that delay.
Course elevation description - The race website describes the half marathon as “The entire course sits just above sea level with no significant hills.” Personally, I don’t feel that is an accurate description, and neither does my Garmin/Strava stats and graphs. Are there a TON of hills? No. But there are some for sure and there are 3 of them that are long and significant and clearly stick out on the graphs. A better, more accurate description would be: “A mostly flat course with some (or three) long hills at miles 5, 8, and 12.” I would rather be provided an accurate course description so that I can prepare and plan accordingly than deal with something that is more of a surprise on race day.
Hydration stations: While the volunteers were friendly and helpful, there were at least two hydration stations where things were not going smooth---runners had to wait in line while water cups were being filled because there weren't any ready to be handed out at that moment.
Race results not posted online in a timely manner: As of this moment, 48 hours after the race, the results have not been posted online. I am not concerned about mine in particular because I wasn't attempting a particular personal time at this race, but nevertheless want to see the results because I was pacing another runner in our group and I'm also quite curious to find out how many runners participated in each distance in the event etc to see if it matches my estimates based on the runner crowds we saw on race day.

Overall, even though I enjoyed the course scenery and really like the swag, I am not sure I would sign up for this race again unless I hear that the logistics issues with the parking have been resolved in the future.

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