Due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Gorham Savings Bank Maine Marathon, Half Marathon, and Relay, originally scheduled for Sunday, October 4, will take place virtually over two weeks. Title sponsor Gorham Savings Bank will cover all virtual race costs incurred so that every virtual entry fee dollar can be donated to nonprofit race beneficiaries.
“This is obviously a difficult decision for us,” said Bob Dunfey, volunteer race director, “but we feel it’s the right one. We’re so grateful to Gorham Savings Bank for stepping up. Their sponsorship allows us to provide local charities, many of whom have seen their revenues and fundraising plummet, obtain much needed financial support.” Since its inception in 1997, the Gorham Savings Bank Maine Marathon, Half Marathon and Marathon Relay and its participants have raised more than $5.2 million for local charities. This year’s seven race beneficiaries include:
Teens to Trail an organization dedicated to connecting high school students to life-changing outdoor experiences; Wayside Food Programs, who provide food to the hungry in greater Portland; Team Long Run, who believes every child should have someone to run with; Port Resources, based in South Portland supporting people with developmental and behavioral health challenges to live meaningful lives; Pihcintu Multinational Girls Chorus, who welcomes immigrant children from around the globe and invites them to restart their lives through companionship and harmony; Shawnee Peak Adaptive, a multi-week snowsports program serving the needs of school and adult programs for individuals with special needs; and Spurwink, who provides behavioral health and education services for children, adults, and families.
“The pandemic has affected us all, and non-profits are some of the hardest hit. We’re committed to doing everything we can to help our communities and sponsoring this virtual marathon is a great way to help these important beneficiaries,” said Gorham Savings Bank president and CEO, Steve deCastro. “As you can see from the 2020 beneficiaries list, the depth and breadth of services provided fill so many important needs. We’re honored to play a small role on their path towards providing food, comfort, friendship, harmony, and education.”
Seasoned and aspiring runners who register for the virtual road race event at mainemarathon.com and pay an entry fee of $30 will have between September 26 and October 12 to run the marathon, half marathon or relay. Runners can complete their chosen race independently or on the traditional racecourse, where mile markers will be present.
Runners who have already registered for the road race have several options; sign up for the virtual race and either donate the remainder of their entry fee or request a refund for the cost difference. Already registered runners who choose not to run in 2020 can donate their entry fee, defer their entry fee to the 2021 race, or request a refund at mainemarathon.com.
Impacting Local Nonprofits
The Marathon’s 2019 beneficiaries were Eastern Trail Alliance, Girls on the Run, Portland Community Squash, Rippleffect and WinterKids. You can read more about the 2019 beneficiaries and the races’ charitable impact here. The total economic impact on the local economy from the marathon weekend is over $1.2 million.