LUBEC, Maine — Two Central Maine runners — a biology professor and a pharmacy student — were the winners of Sunday’s Bay of Fundy International Marathon.
Ron Peck of Waterville, in his second year teaching at Colby College, was the overall top finisher in 3 hours, two minutes and 10 seconds over the 26.2-mile course.
Lydia Kouletsis of Oakland, in her fifth of six years studying pharmacy at University of New England, was the women’s winner in 3:24:03.
Peck and Kouletsis were two of 220 starters in the second marathon, a number that was matched by volunteers from the cross-border and co-host communities of Lubec and Campobello Island.
Three hundred more runners finished a 10K. Those winners were Jeffrey Griffiths (38:12) of New Richmond, Ohio, winning for his second time, and Washington County’s own Shelby Greene (45:12) of Columbia Falls.
In the marathon, Peck, 38, didn’t realize he was the winner first the line on Lubec’s Water Street.
“What place did I get?” he asked. “All I thought about was the next mile.”
Peck took the lead at 22 miles from runner-up Andrew Fudge of South Weymouth, Massachusetts, who finished in 3:04:31. With that time, Fudge, 26, met his goal of running sub-3:05 and making a Boston Marathon-qualifying time.
Kouletsis, 22, was running her first marathon. She found an online training program for the marathon distance last December, and focused on this event since. She expected to run 20 minutes slower.
She ran in front from the start. At six miles, the course crossed the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial Bridge into Canada. Runners ran across Campobello Island to the East Quoddy Lighthouse at its tip, then back across the bridge and border to finish in Lubec.
One New Jersey man used the marathon occasion for a marriage proposal just after crossing the finish line.
Many runners traveled to the event with friends and family members, boosting the immediate economic impact of the event by making plans to stay up to a week longer in the region. Peck’s family, for example, flew in from Idaho and California, to see his first marathon in 11 years.
Marathon runners traveled from 36 states, four Canadian provinces, plus Iceland, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru. They enjoyed cool and misty weather on the day, undulating hills and harbor views on Campobello. They received hand-crafted pewter sea urchin-design medals at the finish line.
Women’s runner-up Jessica Rutherford of St. Petersburg, who was just one minute behind Kouletsis, loved the atmosphere. “I could have run faster, but I wanted to see all the views,” she said. “It smelled like we were running through pine-tree air fresheners the whole way.”
“You can’t smell the ocean in Minnesota,” said another runner of choosing to run this marathon.
Full marathon and 10K results are listed on the race’s website, bayoffundymarathon.com.