Waldoboro is a town built on hills. The Waldoboro Day 5K is generally considered one of the hardest 5Ks in the state of Maine. But that doesn't have any of the hard hills. To truly run Waldoboro, you have to run the big hills. Thus begat the Waldoboro Half Marathon: the hardest road half marathon in New England (and, we would argue, the Eastern United States). We think it's one of the hardest in the country and probably has the hardest finish.
We fit as many hills as we could in 13.1 miles without having to cross Route 1.
We've crammed roughly 1,400 feet of elevation into 13.1 miles (and ~550 in the final 3.5 miles) to take you to your limit. There are 7(!) hills with a gradient of at least 10%, including 2 in the final mile. 45% of the course is uphill. It's the perfect tune-up for your fall goal race. We always say that if you can do well in Waldoboro, everywhere else is easy.
If you finish, you get a beer from Odd Alewives Farm Brewery. If you win the whole thing, you get a gift card from Moody's Diner.
Following the lead of our friends at the Millinocket Marathon, we're embracing a DIY ethos for this half. Hence our motto: "No Frills. Just Hills." There's no bands on the course. There's no expo. There may or may not be volunteers along the course. There aren't even any water stations. Let's repeat that:
If you need fluids (you'll need fluids), you need to either carry them yourself, stash them along the course, or station people along the course to hand them to you. If you need Maurten every 2 miles, then you should find someone to do that. We STRONGLY encourage you to game-plan the course and figure out what hydration you'll need and then make that work. Collaborate with your fellow runners. Work together! Having said that, you CAN have people hand you stuff mid-race. If you want to hire a food truck to serve you a burrito at mile 10, you can absolutely do that. Just don't disrupt your fellow runners or park it on someone's lawn. And bring enough for the volunteers.
You don't have people at a folding table handing you paper cups every 2 miles during your weekly long run. We're confident you can adapt.
This is partly to protect you from yourself and to give us peace of mind, but this race has a qualifying standard (like Boston, but easier!). In order to run this, you need to have run a half marathon in 2:15 or less in the last 2 years. This is not so much to keep people out as it is to make sure everyone who starts the race can finish it. This should absolutely not be your first half marathon. We just want to be confident that you'll be ok. We won't have people on the course ready to call a medic.
The complete qualification standards for 2023 are:
If you finished the race previously, you've automatically qualified. If your race result is for a different distance, don't hesitate to ask!
Please note that the 2021 Flight Deck race in Brunswick fell well short of the criteria for a half marathon, so we cannot accept that.
We do reserve the right to cancel your registration (with a refund, of course) if we can't find evidence you've met the qualification standard.
We're going to ask you to familiarize yourself with the course. Don't burn yourself out by mile 6 (that's probably the easiest one). Pacing will be tricky. We very much recommend you drive the last 4 miles at least once. The last mile will not be fun.
You can find the course here. The course records are, as follows:
M: Robert Gomez (2020) - 1:19:17.9
F: Dannielle Hadaway (2022) - 1:48:35.1
M: Judson Cake (2020) - 1:22:16.4
F: Laurie Nicholas - 1:50:20.8
If this is your first year, you get a white bib, virginal and pure as new snow.
Once you finish, you graduate to a black bib and lock in your bib number for the following year and beyond. We'll print your black bib for you every year, whether you register or not.
In order to register on Race Day, you need to have earned your black bib in a previous year. No black bib? No Race Day registration for you!
We don't do virtual races in Waldoboro.
But, we do have an option where you can run the course in the days before the race. It's perfect if you have other commitments on Race Day or you just don't like being around other people.
No, really. That's what you get. You finish at Odd Alewives Farm Brewery, where they'll be open early to serve you one of their amazing beers. They also have pizza now and trust me, it is awesome.
You also get a finisher's medal and a finisher shirt from Moody's Diner. We give you the shirt at the end. You can't just show up at the start line, pick up your shirt and go home. If you see someone in one of our shirts, you know they earned it.
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