Maine Coast Marathon Runners Sent Down a Dead End Road

The course was lengthened by 1/2 mile for about half of the participants . The error costs some runners a chance at Boston.

Due to an error that led runners down  a dead end street, about half of The Maine Coast Marathon’s  participantswere sent down a dead end road. The mis-routing resulted in an extra 1/2 mile being added to the course.

In contrast to the issues at The Woodlands and Treasure Coast Marathons, The Maine Coast Marathon is still eligible to be used as a Boston Qualifier since all runners ran the actual, certified course. Some ran the actual course, and then some.

Of course this is of no consolation to those for whom the extra time cost them a chance to run Boston in 2018. Judging from the responses to the post from Maine Coast, there were more than a few that were affected.

The marathon posted another apology this morning.  At this point the race director is attempting to take full responsibility for the error.

We could very easily go out on the course and certify the extra distance. The problem is, by their own admission, many runners realized this was a mistake and did not run to the end of this road. This means that there is no set amount of distance that we can add to their race.

 

 

Since not all runners ran the same distance, I agree that it would be impossible to calculate adjusted times for Boston Qualifying purposes. The B.A.A. would not accept adjustments where they could not validate the actual distances run.

Again, this is very unfortunate for the runners involved.

The Maine Coast Marathon is owned by Giddy Up Productions. This is not the first issue with a race owned by Giddy Up.

http://www.pressherald.com/2014/07/20/john-rolfe-on-running-race-official-works-to-correct-half-marathon-blunders/

In this article from 2014, it references an incident where runners were led down an incorrect route, resulting in a short course for some. The race director for that race, and current owner of Giddy Up Productions, Erik Boucher,  responded during the height of the criticism to one runner:

I would be grateful if you didn’t run this race again. The sport needs less whiners.

He did later apologize for that comment.

The 2014 article also referenced an instance where runners were led onto an open highway (inside construction cones) also leading to a short course in a 5k.

It is my opinion, that after runner safety, the top priority for race directors should be course accuracy. and to make sure that the course is marked at ALL turns and that volunteers or employees 100% know the course. These types of errors seem to be happening more often than they should.

 

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-Derek


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Maine Coast Marathon
16 Comments on this post.
  • John
    15 May 2017 at 11:46 am

    Said it once, I’ve said it before: If a race is going to charge an exorbitant amount of money like Maine Coast Marathon does, then GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER race director (s)! And before they start claiming this is a “honest mistake” they are clearly aware that this was possible and thoroughly negligent. If they took every precaution (which I’m sure they didn’t), then take some of that 95.00 race fee and put it into the race logistics–stop using a volunteer for such an important job. Their primary responsibility is to make sure the course is accurate, provide proper on-course directions and adequate hydration/nutrition on the course: There’s no excuse and this RD and race production company should be avoided at all costs since it’s not the first time.

    • Mr T
      15 May 2017 at 3:42 pm

      First. Their fees are actually quite reasonable compared to other marathons. Second this has happened with other Marathons. Im not sure why Derek is singling out this marathon but I have a guess.

      Unlike most Rds who offer no refund option. This race actually allowed me to get a refund when I couldn’t do the race last year. They had a small fee associated but nothing more. Most marathons would have just said “tough luck” and kept my money for doing absolutely nothing. That in my book makes the 100x more runner friendly than other races. Also when did people stop taking responsibility for not knowing the course?

      • Brian Glotzbach
        15 May 2017 at 5:11 pm

        The point is that it shouldn’t happen at all.

        I’m glad they offer a refund option and I’d like to see more races do the same. The fee also seems reasonable and for that they should be supported as well.

        But that doesn’t change the fact that runners were sent the wrong direction. For someone who is trying to run a Boston Qualifying time and has presumably put a lot of effort into training to accomplish this it is paramount that the course is accurate. We’re not talking about a 5K where someone can run one the following week if a mistake happens.

        The bottom line is that everyone associated with the race should know the course and make sure that there’s no opportunity for runners to be led the wrong direction. When I run a race, I know the course as well as I can, but I also expect the course officials to not direct me the wrong way. This happened once in a Turkey Trot that I ran where the lead motorcycle led us the wrong way and ended up cutting off about .25 miles because he turned one street too soon. We all followed him, and even though I knew it was wrong what was I supposed to do – go the right way while everyone else followed the lead bike?

        Know the course and direct people accordingly. That’s not too much to ask for.

      • John
        15 May 2017 at 5:25 pm

        Let me guess: “Mr T” is associated with the owners of this or another race company? So obvious. Also, sick and tired of the non-runners and race directors (like the RD of this and other races have done in the past) blaming the runners: Obviously, when someone is waving, directing, leading you and is a race official (volunteer or not) you follow them. Clearly the critic (not plural) has a guilty conscience being the RD of this race (or a friend), is someone who will never BQ, or has never been involved in competitive running. Anyway, keep up the good work derek.

  • John
    15 May 2017 at 11:58 am

    and let me be clear: the (and all race) volunteers are extraordinary! They should be set up to easily succeed and just be an help; The onus is on you, Erik Boucher and Giddy Up Productions! Volunteers weren’t put on this earth to save and make you money. And maybe it’s time for you to get out of the marathon racing (all racing business) if you cant handle the simple tasks and this isn’t the first time

  • Show Me the Money
    15 May 2017 at 2:32 pm

    Somebody needs to come up with an honest, full disclosure site that reviews races!!

    Too many races reviews I see are from amabASSadors who are nothing but a shill for the race and/or they do not pay for the race!

    Twice in three year this BS happens at the same race? WTF!!!

    • John
      15 May 2017 at 5:27 pm

      I think this site is turning into a defacto honest source for race critiques.

  • Betsy
    15 May 2017 at 2:52 pm

    I’m one of those runners who should have qualified yesterday but didn’t because of the extra .5 I ran. I don’t understand why they can’t make adjustments. I imagine anyone trying to qualify for boston was likely wearing a GPS watch. Our Garmins all show the extra we ran. The timing of the auto emails and syncing with apps like Strava prove we didn’t mess with our Garmins immediately after crossing the finish line. Looking online, it appears that the Portland Oregon Marathon adjusted the times in a similar situation and maybe Charleston did too? 17 hours before race time, the Maine Coast marathon posted “The marathon course will be recertified prior to the race and will continue to be a Boston qualifier race. We will need to add an approximately 1/2 mile out and back somewhere on the course for the marathon.” For all of us rule followers who are worried about making sure we don’t cut a course and fully earn our BQ, of course we followed the instructions of the woman in the neon vest with the flag. I knew the out and back was supposed to be around mile 20, but the weather was so horrendous, I figured they must have had to move it. A refund is small consolation after running a BQ time and knowing that still isn’t enough to run Boston.

    • John
      15 May 2017 at 5:37 pm

      Betsy, I am so sorry to hear about that and infuriated for you and others who “trusted” this RD. Shame on them! Once, OK but this has happened before. They are, however, laughing all the way to the bank.

    • Jennifer
      16 May 2017 at 10:08 am

      They claim they can’t add 0.5 miles to everyone’s result and adjust because not everyone ran the whole 0.5 miles. It sucks! I agree they should be able to look at GOs data and adjust properly.
      I hope you run another marathon and can qualify again. Bay State in Lowell is supposed to be a really good one to qualify.

  • Mr T
    15 May 2017 at 3:33 pm

    So you’ve moved on to attacking races now. I bet ANYTHING the RD didn’t want to pay you for your “services” so you do this.

    • derek murphy
      15 May 2017 at 3:47 pm

      I’ve posted on the others that I have been aware of Marathon of Treasure Coast and Woodlands. I reported on this race, I didn’t attack them. You should be very careful making accusations. You have a long history of making inaccurate assumptions and accusations.

    • Show Me the Money
      15 May 2017 at 4:20 pm

      So you think this is some kind of revenge move because maybe Derek was turned down by the race director, to make sure nobody cheated to BQ?

      This is the SECOND time in 3 years this race has screwed up. People put a ton of hard work and effort into BQ!! It is reasonable for those people to expect EVERY race that claims to be a BQ, that the course is right and the people directing runners know what they are doing!

      • John
        15 May 2017 at 5:32 pm

        As I wrote above, MR T may be a Race Director or friend of one who Derek has exposed as being lax on cheaters, inadequate course markings.. Keep up the great work, Derek.

  • Sam
    15 May 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Can’t you use a little spray paint at confusing intersections to help keep people on course?

  • Hormel Chavez
    18 May 2017 at 7:49 am

    Laughing at the comments at this article. I’m not sure what is more pathetic — (1) a bunch of self-absorbed, the-world-revolves-around-me runners who are “outraged” about having to run an extra half mile; (2) the commenters on this article, who clearly have zero experience in organizing events of any magnitude; or (3) this site itself. I’ll leave it to future readers (all six of them) to sort it out.

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