Maine > County Open Half Marathon & Relay
Island Falls, ME • Saturday, August 10, 2013 • Course Map
This tiny town of just over 830 souls in northeastern Maine, which lies just a short drive from the Canadian border with New Brunswick, was a favorite getaway for Theodore Roosevelt back in the 1870s, when the former president visited here to hunt, fish, paddle canoe and go camping and snowshoeing surrounded by the hills and lakes here along the Mattawamkeag River.
Runners have been lacing up for more than two decades for the annual County Open Half Marathon & Relay, which bills itself as the "easternmost half marathon in the United States," thanks to its proximity to the Canadian border less than hour's drive away. The race is part of a week-long festival known as the County Open, which also features a two-day golf tournament to benefit the Health Service Foundation of southern Aroostook County.
The race follows an out-and-back course that starts and finishes at the Island Falls Municipal Building on Houlton Road, where runners begin the race Saturday morning at 8:00 AM. From there, they head out on what is mostly a flat course (with some rolling hills) on the rural roads between Island Falls and Houlton, which takes them back and forth a few times over Dyer Brook, the Mattawamkeag River and Fish Stream, past a number of wide-open farm fields along the way.
Deer are often spotted along the course and cars should be a rare sight here in this relatively remote corner of Maine, which is perhaps best known for its Bible Point State Historic Site, where Teddy Roosevelt often visited. Today, the area is also popular for fishing, canoeing, camping, kayaking as well as ice fishing and snowmobiling in the winter, along the series of trails known as the Maine Interconnected Trail System.
For runners who don't feel up to running 13.1 miles all alone, the race also offers a half marathon relay, for teams of 2 to 4 runners each -- each leg covers at least 3.1 miles.
Race Weather & Climate
Nestled along the Mattawamkeag River in northern Maine, about 28 miles southwest of Houlton and roughly 220 miles northeast of Portland, Island Falls typically sees August temperatures that average between 53°F and 76°F, while rainfall totals average just over 4 inches, making August its wettest month of the year.
On the day of the race (Aug. 10), the average low is 55°F and the average high is 78°F.
See the race route map for the County Open Half Marathon
$25 for the half marathon, if postmarked by July 15, 2013
$30 after July 15
$15 per runner, for the half marathon relay
To reserve your spot in the late summer 2013 running of Island Falls' County Open Half Marathon, visit the event website.
Official Race Website
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