30 Dec '15, 3pm

A free marathon and half in Maine aims to help a struggling town:

They had come to meet the locals, spend some money in the remaining restaurants and stores, and offer hope for plans to help Millinocket to recover by attracting visitors for recreation. And they’re planning to do it again. “As a runner and a race director, I don’t think I can fix all the problems,” said Gary Allen, director of the Mount Desert Island Marathon in Bar Harbor, who organized the Millinocket race. “But I can certainly brighten things for a day.” The run has now been scheduled for a second running next December, and 100 people have already signed up for it —twice as many as the 50 who did it the first time, and well on the way to a goal of 500. It’s an event that’s unique in another way, too: It’s free. And Allen hopes to have it certified in 2016, making it a Boston Marathon qualifier, which is bound to boost the numbers even further. The only requirement for ...

Full article: http://www.runnersworld.com/races/in-a-struggling-communi...

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