A number of runners at the Maine Coast Marathon in Biddeford ran additional distance because participants were directed “off course by a volunteer.” The incident occurred around the 20K point of the race as runners did an out-and-back on a dead end road.
A statement on the Maine Coast Marathon page states that approximately half of the field was affected, resulting in upwards of 0.5 miles (800m) of additional distance tacked on to their race. The statement notes that the Maine Coast Marathon remains a Boston Marathon qualifier as the affected runners completed more than the necessary distance rather than less. According to results, the marathon featured 643 finishers.
This leaves things a little confusing for those who will use this race as their BQ. It’s unclear how the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.), the organizers of the Boston Marathon, will assess runners who narrowly missed their respective standards. Not all affected runners covered the same amount of additional distance beyond 42.2K.
“We could very easily go out on the course and certify the extra distance,” the race notes. “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’s no set amount of distance that we can add to their race.”
Official race announcement
We want to sincerely apologize for an error that was made on the marathon race course today. During the race, we learned…
Race director’s follow-up statement
Good morning.What happened on our marathon course yesterday at mile 12 was very unfortunate. I have spent countless…
“A mistake was made and ultimately, it is my responsibility,” race director Charles Melton said in a follow-up statement posted to Facebook on the morning of May 15. Biddeford, the site of the May 14 marathon, is located approximately four hours southeast of Sherbrooke, Que. in southern Maine.
UPDATE (May 16): The race director emailed participants with additional information. Details here.