ELLSWORTH — Marathon runners often traverse entire cities, counties and even states to reach their final destinations. One race this weekend took it even further.
Local runners were among the many who traveled to the Downeast stretch of the U.S.-Canada border for Sunday’s Bay of Fundy International Marathon. The event featured a full marathon, half-marathon, ultra marathon and 10K and took runners between Lubec and Campobello, N.B.
“I love the Bay of Fundy races,” said Franklin runner Lisa Kearns, one of 592 runners competing in the four-race event. “[It’s] one of my favorite places to race and visit the towns in that area.”
In the marathon portion of the event, Jamie Anderson of Amherst was the top local finisher with a time of 3 hours, 22 minutes, 39 seconds. Andrew Tiemann of Ellsworth placed 17th with a time of 3:44:57, and Harlan Brown of Bar Harbor placed 70th with a time of 4:55:51 to give the race three Hancock County finishers.
In the half-marathon, two Dedham runners earned top-10 finishes with Karl Zukauskas placing fifth with a time of 1:32:26 and Lilian Calderwood crossing the finish line as the top female finisher with a time of 1:35:44 and place of eighth. Other local finishers included Sara Hunt of Dedham (14th), Daphne Lang of Orland (26th), Laura Anderson of Bar Harbor (63rd) and Christa Brey of Ellsworth (80th).
“I wanted just to get out there and see how I could do,” said Brey, who placed in the top third of the 285-runner half-marathon field. “There’s always a lot of people, but everybody’s always able to spread out pretty quickly.”
In the 10K race, Nick Brown and Jada Wensman of Ellsworth placed fifth and sixth with times of 44:54 and 45:00, respectively. Tom Murphy of Ellsworth (14th), Kearns (28th), Lloyd Harmon of Ellsworth (56th), Michael Buss (69th), Robin Emery (108th) and Ryan Connolly (120th) of Lamoine, Ken Huitt (127th) and Lydia Madrid (128th) of Orland and Cheryl Murphy of Ellsworth (140th) rounded out the local finishers.
At the end of the day, the event’s bravest runners crossed the finish line to conclude the 31-mile ultra marathon. In that race, Bar Harbor’s Emily Rusiecki finished with a time of 5:56:02 to place 10th of 18 competitors.
The 438 runners crossing the U.S.-Canada border were required to check in a day or two before the event and display their passports prior to the race. Registration sites were present on both the American and Canadian sides with runners being bused across the border to the proper starting locations if necessary.
“They’ve made it so they can keep track of everybody while also making sure there’s nothing disrupting the race,” Brey said. “There’s no stopping once you get to the border.”
With nearly 600 people competing in races of different lengths and difficulty levels, runners finished at all hours of the morning and afternoon. Yet regardless of the races in which they were competing, the mood at the finish line was a festive one.
“When you get to the finish line, the streets of Lubec are lined with runners greeting each other and cheering you on,” Brey said. “It’s a great experience.”