Beginners shine at the Maine Marathon



Jacob Terry of Scarborough and Abby Hamilton weren’t sure what to expect from their first marathon attempt.

On Sunday, amid persistent drizzle and mid-1950s temperatures, they discovered that traveling 26.2 miles from Portland to Yarmouth and back can be quite pleasant.

Especially if you threaten a course record – like Hamilton did – or pass two runners in the home stretch around Back Cove – like you did with Terry – in the 30th Sunday of the Gorham Savings Bank Maine Marathon , Half Marathon and Marathon Relay.

“Love it,” said Hamilton, 22, who was competing in his first road race since the 2016 Beach to Beacon 10k. “I had a great group of people to work with and it was so much fun. “

Hamilton’s time was 2 hours, 39 minutes, 36 seconds. Because she spent two seconds before entering the course, her official time was four seconds behind the course record, set by Emily LeVan in 2004 (2:39:34).

“If I had known it was four seconds… well, that’s okay,” Hamilton said later, after realizing how close she was to a bonus that would have increased her price by 1 $ 500,000. “I couldn’t be happier.”

More than 10 minutes passed before another woman reached the finish line on Baxter Boulevard. Purity Munene, 34, of Columbia, South Carolina, finished in 2:50:07 to become a marathon finalist for the second weekend in a row. She ran 2:48:53 in the Quad Cities race in Moline, Illinois.

Clare Franco, 31, of Boston was third in 2:52:24 and Sarah Mulcahy, 36, of Fort Kent fourth in 2:53:16.

Hamilton showed up for both Yarmouth High and Bates College and handed out water cups at a station along Route 88 as a teenager. On Sunday, she soaked up the handmade panels, enthusiastic onlookers and even the 16-piece ukulele orchestra playing and singing on the porch of Town Landing Market in Falmouth.

“It’s such a fun race,” she said. “I loved every minute of it.”

As for Terry, who raced for Scarborough High and the University of Maine, he clearly took advantage of the last minute after knocking down former Black Bears teammate Aaron Willingham at Payson Park to take second place. Terry then caught up with Ryan Eiler just before construction on Baxter Boulevard forced runners to use the stone dust trail adjacent to the torn causeway of Mile 26.

Making his way between the runners finishing the half marathon, Terry, 24, spotted former high school and middle school teammates in the crowd at the Preble Street intersection, pointed to them and clenched his fists as a sign of triumph. The congestion of half-marathon runners coupled with the streets of the neighborhood had left him in the dark about his status in the race until he reached Payson Park.

“With 5K to go, I’m loosening up a bit,” said Terry. “I could see Aaron up the hill, so I started looking for him. Then we turned the corner (onto Baxter Boulevard) and saw the first place was just a few paces ahead, so I just tore it up.

Terry finished in 2:25:25 to win by just over a minute. Willingham, 24, of Portland, led the race for the first 22 miles in a course record attempt (2:21:12) and fell to third place before overtaking Ryan Eiler, 35, of Boston to finish second.

Eiler had taken the lead shortly before Martin’s Point Bridge in Falmouth. Eiler held on until he reached Back Cove and was passed by Kevin Greene of Terry, Willingham and Kennebunk, 29, who was third in 2:27:14, half a minute ahead of Eiler.

“I went from feeling good and having control to just struggling the last few miles,” said Eiler, who hadn’t broken 2:40 in either of his previous two marathons. “The curtain fell and there was nothing I could do about it. “

Terry wore a jersey that read Blue Collar instead of a track club, an ironic reference to adversity facing runners in northern climates such as Maine. Willingham usually finished ahead of Terry in college and had “kind of prepared” him in a long practice run recently, so thoughts of winning Sunday didn’t materialize until late in the race.

“I tried to do my own run (at a pace of 5.35 miles) the first half and then see what can happen in the second half,” said Terry. “I tried not to limit myself.

He and Hamilton each won $ 1,000 for their individual victories. The top five men and women each received a cash prize, falling in $ 200 increments behind the winners. The cash prize for the half marathon was half the money, starting at $ 500 for the winners.

In the half marathon, Jarrod Ottman, 23, of Merrimack, New Hampshire, clocked the second fastest time in race history to win by just over a minute in 1:06:31. Nick Matteucci of St. Louis was second.

On the women’s side, Aleta Looker, 25, of Somerville, Mass., Won by nearly seven minutes in 1:17:44. In a tight race for second place, Alyson Ursiny, 33, of Yarmouth edged Phoebe Oehmig, 24, of Brunswick by three seconds in 1:24:32.

By late Sunday afternoon, 791 runners had completed the marathon and 1,391 the half marathon. There were 102 relay teams. The pre-race mask tenure and channeled start corral received little to no setback, according to race director Bob Dunfey.

“It really wasn’t a problem, given how used to it at this point,” Eiler said. “For 10 seconds it was on my face, then it was off and I was in the clean air.”

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