BAR HARBOR – It isn’t officially fall on Mount Desert Island until the running of the MDI Marathon.
This year more than 1,300 runners are expected to take to the island roads on Sunday, Oct. 19, to race through some of the most scenic 26.2 miles in the country.
A half-marathon and team relays are scheduled that same day for runners looking for a shorter challenge.
Crow Athletics of Bar Harbor organizes the race, which has been heralded as one of the premier marathons in the county by magazines such as Runner’s World and Men’s Health.
The race also raises money for local nonprofit groups.
The marathon itself starts at 8 a.m. at 200 Main Street in Bar Harbor and follows a course along the eastern side of the island and around Somes Sound to the finish line on Main Street in Southwest Harbor.
The half-marathon begins at 8:30 a.m. and begins at the intersection of the Neighborhood and Manchester roads in Northeast Harbor and also ends in Southwest Harbor.
Teams running the relays split the course, with two-person teams handing the baton off at about the halfway mark and three-person teams handing off at 8.5 miles and again at 18 miles.
Runners can pick up their race packets, timing chips, bib numbers and other information at The Atlantic Oceanside Hotel and Conference Center in Bar Harbor either Friday, Oct. 17, from noon to 5 p.m., or Saturday, Oct. 18, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
On Saturday night, runners and others can load up on carbs at a pasta dinner at Mount Desert Island High School. The dinner, sponsored by the MDI Music Boosters, runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the dinner are $18 and $16 for children under the 12.
The menu includes penne pasta with the choice of vegetarian, meat or seafood sauces, along with a salad, garlic bread and chocolate cake with ganache topping.
The featured speaker at the dinner is Alexi Pappas, who helped lead the University of Oregon to NCAA titles in cross-country during the 2012 season and, in 2013, an indoor track title. She is a professional runner with the Nike Oregon Track Club Elite.
Last year’s winner of the marathon in the men’s division was Louis Luchini. The win was a three-peat for the Ellsworth runner, who in 2012 set the course record at 2:30:41.
First among the female runners was Leah Frost of Glover, Vt. who ran the course in 2;59:45.
More information about the races can be found online at mdimarathon.org