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Waldoboro is a town built on hills. So many 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. Are we missing some hills? Yes. But we don't think you'll mind.
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.
Last year, locals set up impromptu water stations in their driveways. So there might be some water stations, but you should still plan ahead.
You don't have people at a folding table handing you paper cups during your weekly long run. We're confident you can adapt.
This is partly to protect you from yourself and to give us piece 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 2020 are:
If you finished the race in 2019, you've automatically qualified. If your race result is for a different distance, don't hesitate to ask!
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: Bryan Lamoreau - 1:30:19.9
F: Catherine Huang - 1:54:23.1
M: Jason Bigonia - 1:38:40.8
F: Barb Daggett - 2:09:28.0
We'll have very limited race day registration from 9am to 9:30am. In order to register on Race Day, you will need to have easy-to-verify evidence of meeting the qualifying standard. Basically, have the Strava activity up on your phone or something like that.
We're projecting a start time of 10am, with the goal of putting finishers at the brewery within a certain window. We may adjust the start time closer to Race Day by a few minutes.
Based on feedback from last year, we've increased registration from our inaugural pricing. Where will that extra money go? Toward more signs and various other course markings.
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. We encourage you to have your family meet you there with food from one of Waldoboro's wonderful restaurants like the world-famous Moody's Diner or Barstow Farms. Much like the Millinocket Marathon, we're asking that you spend the money you'd normally spend on an entry fee in town. You won't regret it.
Waldoboro's businesses do a fantastic job of supporting our races in town, so there's a chance we'll be adding to this, but Odd Alewives has a "bring your own food" policy and a lot of picnic tables, so it's a really nice place for a post-race lunch.
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