Overall Rating
Overall Rating (10 Reviews)
4.2
(10 Ratings)  (10 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.5
SCENERY
4.1
PRODUCTION
3.9
SWAG
4
The Gorham Savings Bank Maine Marathon, Half Marathon and Marathon Relay event features an out-and-back course with rolling hills and views of the Portland skyline, the Back Cove, Casco Bay, and peak fall foliage. The Marathon is USATF-certified and a Boston Marathon qualifier. The Half Marathon is also USATF-certified and … MORE
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Recent reviews

    hseitz FIRST-TIMER '21

    I traveled from central Illinois to run this race. This is the only marathon in Maine that's accessible by public transportation. Everything else, you'd have to rent a car to … MORE

    I traveled from central Illinois to run this race. This is the only marathon in Maine that’s accessible by public transportation. Everything else, you’d have to rent a car to get there.
    If you’re a low-budget travel runner like me, fly to Boston-Logan airport first, then take a bus up to Portland ($25 or so each way). There is only one affordable place to stay within 5 miles of the start line, and that’s the Black Elephant Hostel, about 1.2 miles away. Everywhere else on the Portland peninsula is like $300/night for some reason. Since the Black Elephant was the only cheap place in town, there were 3 other marathoners also staying in my room!
    If staying at the Black Elephant, book EARLY! Reserve a spot in June or July. They were sold out when I called on August 18th. Luckily, one bed opened up a few weeks later.
    If you do have a car, there is tons of free parking at the Hannaford supermarket right next to the start line.
    It was drizzling and ~55-60 F almost all race. You start and finish at the Back Cove park on the north side of Portland, and you run north for 6.5 miles if doing the half, 13 miles for the full. Running within a few hundred feet of the coast the whole time, with plenty of trees on either side of you. It was beautiful. Some minor hills, but nothing crazy. And for every uphill, there’s a downhill.
    There was a minor sideways gradient on some of the road for a few miles around 7-10 and 15-18. Take this into account for your stride, so you don’t hurt your ankles/knee ligaments by running unevenly. But it’s not that steep. Just a small consideration.
    Overall, I loved this course! You run past so many houses, and everyone comes out to cheer you on. Considering Maine is a small state, the crowd support here was awesome, and it feels soooo good to transition to gravel/dirt paths for the last mile into the Back Cove, which takes stress off your knees.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    brbender262 FIRST-TIMER '21

    Great Half Marathon experience in Portland, Maine. Beautiful views of Casco Bay, even though it was overcast. If you're looking for a great Fall Marathon in the northeast, definitely check … MORE

    Great Half Marathon experience in Portland, Maine. Beautiful views of Casco Bay, even though it was overcast. If you’re looking for a great Fall Marathon in the northeast, definitely check this one out.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    docdandadio FIRST-TIMER '18

    An out and back, felt downhill both ways (almost), great scenery and very well run race with lots of great volunteers. Very nice medal and shirts and great food at … MORE

    An out and back, felt downhill both ways (almost), great scenery and very well run race with lots of great volunteers. Very nice medal and shirts and great food at the finish.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    cbielinski FIRST-TIMER '17

    This is a very nice, pretty somewhat scenic course even if it is an out and back route. The race is fairly well organized with a few hiccups like the … MORE

    This is a very nice, pretty somewhat scenic course even if it is an out and back route. The race is fairly well organized with a few hiccups like the line to get your shirt and bag on Saturday before noon was extremely long.

    We got dropped off at the start and picked up afterwards which made it easier to navigate.

    Overall if Maine is on your states to run a marathon I highly recommend this one. A few items:
    – They had white tech shirts with a nice design, I hate white shirts because they get discolored quickly
    – Awesome race hats you could buy!
    – This was my 38th marathon and the first one where the official race photographers did not get a picture of me due to them moving around and running low on battery power on their cameras when I ran by. Not a big deal overall but kind of surprising considering this race has been run 27 times.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    2

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    lchristensen44 FIRST-TIMER '16

    I helped pace my daughter at this race and enjoyed every minute of it. I live in the midwest, so I loved seeing the different scenery. The volunteers working the … MORE

    I helped pace my daughter at this race and enjoyed every minute of it. I live in the midwest, so I loved seeing the different scenery. The volunteers working the water stops were great. There was one spot on the course which had some cars on it (I’m not certain they were suppose to be there) but for the most part the half course was car-free. There was one hill around the turnaround for the half. Other than that, the half course was pretty flat. The enjoyed the bag pipers they had at the start and later on the course. The expo was smaller than some I have been to but I enjoyed that runners got free products from local businesses. I certainly don’t think I’ll ever get a can of baked beans at another race. The residents along the course were encouraging too. All in all running the Maine Half was a fun experience.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    M_Sohaskey May 12, 2017 at 10:38pm

    Hopefully you saved the baked beans for *after* the race! :) This sounds like a fun one, especially since I'm a sucker for bagpipes. And as a 50 stater I… MORE

    Hopefully you saved the baked beans for *after* the race! :) This sounds like a fun one, especially since I'm a sucker for bagpipes. And as a 50 stater I definitely appreciate the recommendation for Maine. Thanks Leslie! LESS

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    [email protected] REPEAT RUNNER '16

    If you are doing 50 states, if you want a great half PR course, and if you want to participate in a well-run, great event that supports its local community- … MORE

    If you are doing 50 states, if you want a great half PR course, and if you want to participate in a well-run, great event that supports its local community- this is the race for you.

    I have done both the half and the full marathon twice. The full and half share part of the same course (the half turns around at about the halfway point).

    This race always has one of the biggest and best swag bags. Participants get a great tote bag full of samples and goodies, many from local Maine companies (what other race will give you a can of B&M baked beans). The race shirts are excellent. The medals are also gorgeous. Post-race food is plentiful- bananas, snack bars, chips, water, pizza. Parking is quite convenient with the nearby university garage.

    The local community is excellent for this race as well. Residents come out and cheer from their houses/yards. The volunteers are excellent. You get the sense that the areas *wants* you there as an athlete versus other races where you feel like a traffic inconvenience.

    In 2015 the race added pace group leaders, and had them again in 2016.

    Advice- if you see a bathroom and you need it- use it. They are spaced out a little.

    For those doing 50 states- if you want to do two races in one weekend, do the Bristol Half Marathon in New Hampshire the day before.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Maine is beautiful and this course did not disappoint. It is not a flat course and there are definitely some challenging parts with rolling hills. But the scenery is beautiful … MORE

    Maine is beautiful and this course did not disappoint. It is not a flat course and there are definitely some challenging parts with rolling hills. But the scenery is beautiful and there was actually a decent amount of crowd support for a smaller race. The swag bag is unlike any other I have received from a race. Plus the city of Portland is just an awesome place to visit.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    mikeyseymour FIRST-TIMER '14

    This was my first ever marathon. There were a lot of positives about this race. First, Portland is amazing! I love that town. Stay in the Old Port neighborhood and … MORE

    This was my first ever marathon. There were a lot of positives about this race. First, Portland is amazing! I love that town. Stay in the Old Port neighborhood and you have tons of hotels, restaurants, and shops at your fingertips. The race is within walking distance of there. The course is scenic. You start on a flat stretch by the bay. Then you spend a lot of time in the woods (on pavement) with occasional ocean views. The medal is a giant moose which is cool. I felt like I got a good sense of Maine from my run.

    The not so great: the course doesn’t really go through the city parts of Portland. I would have liked more of that. The start and finish line are in a bland spot. It’s close to the bay so the views are nice, but it’s just a bunch of asphalt. Many other races finish next to some green space so you can sit down and refuel/relax. Not the case here. I would not recommend trying to PR here as it’s pretty hilly. There are no monster hills, but they are noticeable and relentless, especially on tired legs in the second half of the race.

    This is a race worth traveling a reasonable distance (I came from Boston). Portland is a great place with lots to do. The course has a lot of beauty and gives a good Maine experience. I have now completed six marathons and this race compares favorably.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    dansolera FIRST-TIMER '14

    I was originally slated to run the full marathon but woke up with searing knee pain thanks to the New Hampshire Marathon's banked roads and steep hills. Decided at mile … MORE

    I was originally slated to run the full marathon but woke up with searing knee pain thanks to the New Hampshire Marathon’s banked roads and steep hills. Decided at mile 1 to drop to the half and finished in a very slow time for me. Despite that, the course was very pretty, tree-lined and occasionally seaside. Great organization, which included a great t-shirt, a large and colorful medal, and a swag bag full of snacks (and even a can of baked beans). Perfect weather and seamless organization too.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    My Report
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    katesonn390 FIRST-TIMER '13

    It was a gloomy day, but I still really enjoyed the course! Volunteers were all so friendly and helpful. Great post-race snack table (complete with the usual bananas, pretzels, chocolate … MORE

    It was a gloomy day, but I still really enjoyed the course! Volunteers were all so friendly and helpful. Great post-race snack table (complete with the usual bananas, pretzels, chocolate milk!)

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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  1. Races
  2. Maine Marathon & Half Marathon