LUBEC, Maine — The first Bay of Fundy International Marathon, set for Lubec and Campobello Island on June 23, has been granted status as a qualifying race for the 2014 Boston Marathon.
Hotel, inn and restaurant owners on the island of Campobello in New Brunswick and in the small town of Lubec and beyond are preparing for the large influx of runners. More than 500 already have signed up for the marathon and its companion 10-kilometer race.
The marathon begins at the West Quoddy Lighthouse in Lubec, goes up to the East Quoddy Lighthouse on New Brunswick’s Campobello Island, and returns to finish on Lubec’s Water Street — crossing the Roosevelt International Bridge and thus the border with New Brunswick twice.
Maine will now have five races that are certified as qualifiers for 2014 Boston Marathon:
Great Cranberry Island Marathon on Great Cranberry Island; Sugarloaf Marathon in Kingfield; Bay of Fundy International Marathon in Lubec; Maine Marathon in Portland; and the Mount Desert Island Marathon in Southwest Harbor.
Already more than 480 marathoners from 36 states, Washington D.C., six provinces and Uruguay have registered for the Bay of Fundy marathon, which has a June 7 registration deadline, Katherine Cassidy of Lubec, the race’s founder, said in a recent email. The event also has 205 more runners signed up for the same-morning 10K race, which takes place within Lubec. Deadline for registering for the 10K is June 22.
Cassidy first began dreaming about the marathon more than five years ago.
“I first had the idea in 2007, came up with a likely route, drove it many times alone, but didn’t share the marathon thought with anyone else until 2010,” she said. “I was always stopped by the question, ‘How do we get runners across the border, and back?’”
But a marathon committee worked for months with Canadian and American border officials to make sure each racer is pre-screened and cleared to allow them to run unimpeded across the border, she said.
Cassidy has a solid background in marathons. In the 1990s she traveled to 43 marathons in 43 countries as a freelance writer for running and athletic magazines.
Cassidy and Sue Keef of Campobello serve as the organizing committee’s co-chairs. Ron Beckwith, superintendent of Roosevelt Campobello International Park, is the marathon’s honorary chair.
Obtaining the necessary ranking to allow the Bay of Fundy marathon to be a qualifying race for the Boston Marathon of 2014 was achieved earlier this month when the course measurement and certification was accepted by the national body for long-distance running — U.S.A. Track and Field. The same paperwork details were accepted by Athletics Canada for similar certification in Canada, Cassidy said.
Cassidy said marathoners choose races with Boston Marathon-qualifying courses. The Boston Marathon maintains strict qualifying times and requirements according to age-groups.
To properly measure the course, Fundy Marathon director John Hough and a team of volunteers covered the Lubec-Campobello course on bicycles over several days to a precise 26.2 miles — twice, per certification rules.
“A huge thank you goes to all the people of Campobello and Lubec who have put up with us delaying traffic on the roads for the last month or so,” Hough said. “We also thank the staff of the Canada and USA border posts at the Roosevelt Memorial Bridge who, I think, found our repeated bicycle antics rather amusing.”
Full details of the race course and requirements can be found at www. bayoffundymarathon.com, or by calling (207) 619-1887.