Bay of Fundy Marathon Race Report

On Sunday, I ran the Bay of Fundy Marathon in Lubec, ME. The race goes across the border into Canada and back to the US and it's very scenic.  It is also very hilly.  Of course...

After the Martha's Vineyard Marathon, we had a bit of time to train before Fundy and also to do some hill workouts.  I am glad my coach gave me the workouts she did because my legs, albeit slower than a limping turtle parade, were not sore during or after the race.  And contrary to Martha's Vineyard, my knee and ITB were silent; I had no issues whatsoever during this race.  Well, except the slowness, lol.

We flew into Bangor, ME, the closest city to Lubec, on Friday night.  We stayed at a nice small inn near the airport and then drove to Lubec after breakfast.  I am from a relatively small island in the Caribbean (Puerto Rico, the smaller of the Major Antilles), but have lived most of my life in big cities (San Juan, Miami, Honolulu). Lubec is a very small city, even smaller than what we have in PR and probably the smallest I've ever visited.  The few restaurants there closed at 6-7pm on Saturday and nothing was up and about after that.

We had reserved a room at the Peacock House, a nice bed and breakfast in Lubec, within walking distance from the expo location at the school and the finish line by the water (although everything was within walking distance).  It was perfect and the room was gorgeous.  I would recommend this place to anyone coming to visit.

Views of the room and from the room:

After talking to the owner and letting her know we were in town (it was early and she was still prepping the rooms), we walked to the school to do the expo.  There we picked our bags, etc., but the bib had to be picked up in Canada, to give the runners a chance to cross the border into Canada and the border into the US, get checked on each list and pick the bib up.  The shirts were tech material and long sleeve, each distance with a different color.  The bib pickup in Canada assures the runners that there was no need to carry the passport during the race.  The Detroit Marathon should learn from this experience and do something similar for their international half and full.

After that, we walked around the town, and took some pictures.

Here is Canada for when we crossed and got our bibs:

Back in Lubec after a nice lunch in one of their restaurants.  The food was amazing.  I cannot eat shellfish, but I had some very nice burger bites and fries.

Touching Canada from the US. :)  You see that mountain behind us.  That's the course!

We had dinner at one of their restaurants (before 7pm) and went back to our room to get ready.  We went to bed by 11pm with a wake up call at 5am.  I slept maybe two hours, if at all.

We woke up and got ready.  We took the car to the school and each got into a different bus (hubby for the HM, me for the full) and headed to our respective start lines.

The start line for the marathon is in the West Quoddy Park and this was behind us as we started:

The race has a 10K, an international half marathon, the marathon, and an ultra (I think it's a 52K).  Had I realized there was a 52K, I would have signed up for the it.  The difference is that they start at the school and run to our start line for the full, and then turn around and run the marathon.  The half marathon started in Canada already in Campobello Island, also known as fucking hilly land, and ran back to the United States.  All races ended at the finish line by the water.

While we waited to start I ate my typical breakfast of two Krispy Kreme donuts and a Mtn Dew, cheered on some of the ultra runners that ran by us to the lighthouse and back to run the marathon, and waited.

The bibs had chips on them, but the race was gun timed; it just needed the chips to get your time a the finish line without anyone writing down the bibs.  It is a small race, with around 170 marathoner finishers, maybe a handful of ultra runners, and the bulk of the race was the half marathoners, but I don't think there were as many as double the marathoners.  But as you can see, the race is very scenic. The area is gorgeous.

While yesterday it was cloudy, chilly, windy, and perfect for marathoning in June, the sun came out before the start and it was warm for race day.  We are both very sunburned from the race and the sun was pretty strong throughout the second half of the race.  Of course, I forgot my sunglasses in the car.

Miles 1-6
Miles 1 to 6 take us from West Quoddy into the bridge to cross into Canada to Campobello Island.  We were off and I had noticed my watch started the satellite very quickly for being in a new place, but I didn't think anything of it until I got to the Mile 1 marker and my lap had not sounded.  Doh, I had it on Treadmill mode, crap.  I had to decide whether to leave it on TM mode and lap it manually or turn on the GPS so that I could have elevation data.  I elected to do that.  Missed around 0.02 of mileage but it was worth it.  So the whole race I had to add 11mm to the time and 1.02 to the distance to know where I was.  At least that kept me busy.

The rolling hills started from the get go. I really don't recall anything flat on the race, it was either going up or going down.  The rollers were long, and I had been warned that this race was hillier than you think.  So, my plan was to run/walk 5:1 to leave legs for the second half.  It worked for the most part, until the hills got so long, I just walked the uphills after mile 15.

Splits: 10:58, 10:47, 10:27, 10:34, 10:40, 11:07 (crossing the bridge into Canada).

This was the less hilly part of the race.  According to the race website, the total elevation gain was 2400ft.  My watch had 2200 ft and that is without the first mile.

Miles 7-13.1
Campobello Island is very hilly but gorgeous.  I kept my run/walk strategy, saw my husband as he was returning back to the finish, and walked when I needed.  There are no mats in this race, but I think I crossed the 13.1 at around 2:25 so nothing too fast, nothing too slow.

Splits: 10:27, 10:38, 11:01, 11:41, 11:06, 10:41, 12:56 (fixed shoe).

Miles 14-26
Here is where I decided to walk the uphills.  Many around me were doing the same.  They were getting long, it was getting hotter, the area was very pretty, and we stopped more to take pictures, fix shoes, help people.

No matter how much I walked or stopped, I kept run/walking with the same people the last 10 miles of the race.  Two guys that were ahead of me and I would pass them while running and they would pass me while I walked.  The splits here remained in the 12s with the extra walking, with the exception of when I stopped to fix the shoe, which made those slower.

At Mile 23, I walked a hill much like this one, and I was sting by a bee.  I had three bees on top of me, hovering. I wonder if they thought my colorful outfit was flowers.  That was fun...not.

At Mile 24, one of the two guys "running" with me stopped and we could tell he had some issues, so we stopped with him and made sure he was OK.  Sounded like he was cramping and not fainting in the heat, so we said our goodbyes (the other guy and me) and kept going.

At Mile 26, I passed the guy and tell him come on, let's run until the bridge (he was struggling then and not running anymore), and he did.  We ran to the bridge, walked into the US, and as I passed through the border, I yelled "I'm an American, open the gate", like I was Elizabeth Shoe in The Saint.  Always wanted to say that. :)

After the bridge, my new friend and me started running, but he had more in the tank than me.  He finished around 15 seconds ahead of me and I crossed the finish at 5:24:56.  I didn't see him in the results for the marathon, so I wonder if he was either in the ultra, the half, or the early marathoner (walkers).  Either way, we kept each other company and made each other run faster.  Well, "run".

The medal was handmade and nice, albeit small.  Very pretty overall:

Hubby took a bunch of pictures of me at the finish.  This is my favorite. :)

This was a great race and even though I came in with no PR or fast expectations, I was still surprised at the hills, lol.  The hill training we did this time helped a lot.  I was not sore and the quads felt like they had run nothing at all.  I am sure if I had run more uphills than I did, the story would be very different.

Having said that, hoping Missoula in three weeks is as flat as they say.  Three hilly marathons in a row is as much as I'll take!


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