By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,685)
It’s not the Rio Olympics of 2016, but it’s still pretty darn exciting for Portland 2016.
The rocky terrain and cold waters off Sweden are similar to that of the Islands off Portland. Those are two of the three salient reasons that the Islands off Portland were chosen to be the venues for the first annual Otilo-styled SwimRun happening tomorrow morning said Sarah McLarty, a veteran of the overseas sports challenge. (See below right photo.)
McLarty, who suffered a dislocated and broken knee cap during her most recent race, finished the course despite her serious injury. She addressed 135 teams of two people in each team, this afternoon at the Portland Holiday Inn describing how the “tethering” of team members to each other works – a new experience for many of the athletes. Athletes that mhn.com met came from all over the country – from San Diego, Dallas, North Carolina, New York and up the Maine coast to Northport. Each team paid $400. to participate in this groundbreaking event in the US.
Jeff Cole, Race Director, and a resident of Cumberland County, gave the athletes an overview of the SwimRun course. It included a detailed description of the course. (See left photo.) Athletes take an early morning Casco Bay Lines Ferry to Chebague Island from where the marathon begins. The race ends at the Lions Club on Peaks Island and should be ending starting as early as around 10:30 am.
The 4 miles of swimming and 10 miles of running winds around
beaches and water courses among several Casco Bay Islands including House Island and others. Cole also advised athletes what to do in the unlikely event of a medical emergency – either on land or in the water. Although the weather is expected to be cool and cloudy, no threatening weather is expected to interfere with the early morning race. Storms could arrive in the late afternoon when the event is concluded.
Cole’s final note was to ask the athletes to respect the privacy of many of the islanders. In fact, the islanders willingness to support this marathon, was the third reason that the islands off Portland were selected as the site for this new venture in the US. Please clean up after yourselves and don’t leave any litter on the course. “We want to come back here next year” Cole told the athletes. The implementation and use of flotation equipment that each athlete must carry was also explained. The meeting ran from 3:00 pm – until almost 5:00 pm at the Spring Street Holiday Inn.
Although new to the US. this marathon has been a popular event overseas for about a decade. “Six hundred teams applied for 135 slots” said Kim Cole, wife of Jeff, Race Director. “If all goes well, we expect to be back next year.”
The first Swim/Run marathon will benefit the Travis Mills Foundation,, for disabled veterans. Mills who served in Iraq is expected to be at the finish line on Peaks Island tomorrow.