RACES: Public Safety Relay

Since 2008 the Mount Desert Island Marathon has been proud to host the Public Safety Relay for recognized departments, featuring teams consisting of five members. 

This friendly competition is loosely patterned after the popular tradition of NYPD and NYFD members who annually run in the New York City Marathon with bragging rights going to the winning department!

Public Safety Relay Registration

Registration ➤Public Safety Relay

Registration is open! Click HERE to sign up today!

How far is each leg? The first four legs are each 6-miles in length. The final fifth leg is 2.2-miles. Hand-offs are at miles 6, 12, 18, and 24. Course maps are below.
How do I register my team?  Your Team Captain will contact the race committee to obtain a registration code. They will then complete the registration process and name your team. This step secures your team's spot in the team division.
How do I register myself? The remaining team members will register to run by choosing "Join and Existing Team" and selecting their team name from the drop-down menu on the registration page. They will enter their personal information and pay their individual entry fee.

Entry fees are waived for Public Safety Relay Teams. In lieu of entry fees we encourage individual departments to launch fundraising campaigns around their team's participation in support of the Maine Special Olympics thru our Beyond the Finish Line Charity Fundraising Program.

2019 Registration deadline: October 15th

No new registrations will be accepted at the Pre-Race Expo. There is no day of race registration.

Registration for the Public Safety Relay is limited and may close before the published registration deadline without notice. The race committee recommends signing up well in advance if you are training and planning to participate.

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Confirmed Public Safety Relay Entrants

Click HERE to confirm that you are registered to run.

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Public Safety
General Information

Start TIME & Location ➤Public Safety Relay

October 20th, 2019 - 8:00AM (eastern time)
200 Main Street, Bar Harbor - Maine

There is no early start time option for the Public Safety Relay. If you are walking the Public Safety Relay please self-seed yourself in the starting field so that faster runners are in front of you. We ask that you do this to help avoid collisions between participants in this congested area.

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COURSE TIME LIMIT ➤Public Safety Relay

There is an 7-hour course limit. This means that your team must be able to maintain an average pace of 16-minutes per mile.

The course and finish line will close at 3:00PM for all events.

Please note: There is no Early Start available; all teams will start at 8:00AM.

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Pre-Race Expo ➤Public Safety Relay

Bib numbers and other race materials must be picked up at our Pre-Race Health & Fitness Expo, located at the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel's event center. Expo hours are as follows:

  • Friday: 3PM - 7PM

  • Saturday: 10AM - 5PM

  • Address: 119 Eden Street, Bar Harbor, Maine 04609

There is no day of race registration or bib number pick-up. Please plan accordingly.

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Bib Numbers ➤Public Safety Relay

All Public Safety Relay participants will be assign personalized ORANGE bib numbers. In the event that a teammate is fundraising for charity through our CrowdRise platform, they will be assigned PURPLE bib numbers. 

Each team member will be issued TWO (2) bib numbers. The bib with your name and number must be worn clearly visible on your front. The bib that says “RELAY” must be worn on your back. (The back bibs are intended to help full marathoners identify relay teams from individual competitors. Relay teams will be disqualified if all members are not wearing both bib numbers at all times.)

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Transportation ➤Public Safety Relay

Personal transportation is required in order to participate in the Public Safety Relay. It is the individual team's responsibility to have their runners in place at the appropriate hand-off zones.

  • Public Safety Relay Instructions & Driving Directions HERE

Teams must display the official "Public Safety Relay" vehicle pass on their dashboard at all times during the race. This credential will be issued to your team captain at the Pre-Race Expo. Only two designated vehicles per team shall be permitted.

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Race Day Parking ➤Public Safety Relay

Bar Harbor (Start) - All parking options in downtown Bar Harbor are an easy walk to the starting line, located at 200 Main Street.

Please note that both paid and permit parking rules are not enforced until 12:00PM on Sunday. (This means that you will need to pre-pay for parking; if you select two hours, you will be able to park until 2PM.) See complete parking guidelines and maps online HERE.

DO NOT park on Main Street south of the starting line! (i.e., the marathon course.)

Paid and permit parkin grules in Bar Harbor will be enforced during MDI Marathon weekend. See included map of downtown Bar Harbor for parking locations. In addition to paid parking, there is also free parking available at Conners-Emerson School, located at 11 Eagle Lake Road. Finally, permit parking will be lifted on race day on the following streets: Glen Mary Road, Shannon Road, Park Street, and lower Ledgelawn Ave (south of Park Street only). See PDF linked above.

Exchange Zones - Please park as directed in your driving directions. See PDF linked above.

Southwest Harbor (Finish) - There is NO PARKING at the finish line or on Main Street in downtown Southwest Harbor. The nearest parking to the finish line is located at the Seal Cove Road Shops as you enter Southwest Harbor on Rt. 102.  It is an easy 10-minute walk to the finish line. See PDF linked above.

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AWARDS ➤Public Safety Relay

Medallions: All finishers will receive the holy grail of medallions: Our world-famous CRUSHER CLAW!

Top Three Awards: The top three teams in each relay division (2-Person, 3-Person & Public Safety) will be awarded.

Note: There is no formal awards ceremony. Teams may claim their awards as their team division is filled. It is the competitor’s responsibility to check posted results and claim their awards near the finishing area before they leave. Awards will not be mailed.

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Public Safety
Course Information

Course Description ➤Public Safety Relay

Our certified 26.2-mile foot race begins in downtown Bar Harbor, where the first mile out is slightly downhill, which will allow runners to warm up before the first hill; a 150-foot climb from mile one to mile three. This incline will carry runners over the ridge between Champlain and Dorr Mountains. Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the immediate Atlantic Coast at 1,532 feet, will cast its shadow on the early miles of the course.

Route 3 then gives back a downhill sweep from miles three to six in the village of Otter Creek, where runners meet the sea and those famous ragged cliffs & headlands at the southeast tip of the Island. (The first Public Safety Relay [PSR] hand-off is at Mile 6.) The small hill from mile six to seven will not be noticeable because runners will enjoy spectacular scenery along the Hunters Beach Trail.

There is a long, gradual downhill from mile seven to mile nine, then a series of rolling, curving vistas which overlook Seal Harbor, and the Cranberry Isles. At mile 10 rolling hills reveal unparalleled scenes, and the village of Northeast Harbor is visible across the ocean. (The second PSR hand-off is at Mile 12.) Runners will enter Northeast Harbor, one of six villages along the course --quaint and attractive all-- and reach the halfway mark just beyond the town.

The halfway point is also near the mouth of the only true fjord on the Atlantic Coast, lined with the pink granite that makes up most of the area, Somes Sound nearly bisects the entire Island. The second half of the race is literally on the edge of this remarkable topographical marvel.

The low point on the course, will come at mile 16 along the eastern shore of Somes Sound. This is followed by a slight rise to mile 17, and then a sharp incline from 17 to 18, heading up to the cliffs of the interior end of the fjord. (The third PSR hand-off is at Mile 18.) Running hills makes for powerful camaraderie! Mile 19 is a giveback downhill, and then the gradual ascent from mile 20 to 25 begins in Somesville, the quintessential New England village. (The final PSR hand-off is at Mile 24.)

Mile 25 will be the high point of the course, literally and figuratively, and affording great views. And it will be all downhill from there. The final 1.2 miles to the finish line in charming Southwest Harbor descends; yes, that last 2,000 meters will be all down. But what a sky-high feeling of accomplishment it will bring!

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Course Maps & Profiles ➤Public Safety Relay

PSR Leg 1 - Click HERE to view on MapMyRun

PSR Leg 2 - Click HERE to view on MapMyRun

PSR Leg 3 - Click HERE to view on MapMyRun

PSR Leg 4 - Click HERE to view on MapMyRun

PSR Leg 5 - Click HERE to view on MapMyRun

Rules of the road ➤Public Safety Relay

The Marathon, Half-Marathon, and Team Relay are all run on the same course. The Marathon & Team Relay start in Bar Harbor, while the Half-Marathon starts in Northeast Harbor.

Portions of our course are open to local traffic. Please be respectful of our neighbors who are sharing their roads with us. Course marshals and public safety officials will be directing traffic at key intersections. Please be aware of vehicles around you. If wearing headphones, which we strongly discourage, please remove one ear bud and keep the volume down. (Noise cancelling headphones are strictly prohibited!)

Our Marathon distance has been measured on the LEFT side of the road, FACING oncoming traffic. Do not run far out in the traffic lane, or cross the center line, over to the right side of the road or you will not be running the entire 26.2-mile distance, and you will risk being disqualified. It is very important to note that parts of the course will remain OPEN to local & volunteer automobile traffic.

The ONLY sections of the course closed to thru-traffic are along Cooksey Drive approaching Seal Harbor (approx. miles 6.2 to 8.3) and along Somes Sound on Sargeant Drive headed out of Northeast Harbor (approx. miles 12.3 -17.5). On these sections of the course that are closed to thru traffic, runners should use caution, but may take the shortest possible paved route, on either side of the road, to cover the accurate marathon distance. (Note: Even on the sections of the course closed to thru-traffic, there may been limited local traffic or course volunteers.)

It is the participant’s responsibility to know the course.

Disqualification: Anyone seen running or walking on the RIGHT side of the course, (except along Cooksey Drive or Sargeant Drive –see above) will be doing so in an unsafe manner and in violation of the rules of the event. Since the course has been measured on the LEFT facing traffic any such violation may result in running less than the full distance and the participant risks immediate disqualification.

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Public Safety Relay Rules

Legs & Exchanges ➤Public Safety Relay

Individual runners may not complete two consecutive legs.
(This means that all Team Relay participants must hand-off to another teammate after completing one relay leg.)

If a relay runner is not in place at the time an incoming team member approaches the exchange point, the incoming runner must stop and wait until their next runner arrives.

Important: Leg exchange zones are not considered “finish lines” in the sense of post-race amenities. Your team vehicle should be equipped with any food/beverages you might require once completing your relay leg. The Official Finish Line is located in Southwest Harbor, and this is where all finishers are awarded medals, and also site of the Bar Harbor Bank Post-Race Runner Hospitality Tent. Please plan accordingly.

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Finishing ➤Public Safety Relay

Your team vehicle should park at the Seal Cove Shops at the intersection of Seal Cove Road and Route 102. (See PDF linked above.) The first runners should join their final runner at this intersection and run the final 700 yards of the marathon route together. Be sure that the final runner crosses the finish line first for fair and accurate timing. All team members must be present to collect their finisher medals.

If the first runners choose to go to the finish line area to wait before joining their final runner, they must stay completely clear of the timing mats. (This means that they should not walk south beyond the Finish Line, even if they are out side of the barricades.)

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Public Safety
Relay Past Results


Public Safety Relay Team Champions

2018 Maine Warden Service 2:56:23
2017 Maine Warden Service 3:08:04
2016 Maine Warden Service 3:28:36
2015 Maine Warden Service 3:21:49
2014 Maine Warden Service 3:21:57
2013 Maine Warden Service 3:15:37
2012 Maine Warden Service 3:04:09
2011 Maine Warden Service 3:00:48
2010 Maine Warden Service 2:55:29*
2009 Maine Warden Service 3:08:39
2008 Mount Desert Police Department 4:29:18


The Mount Desert Island Marathon is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Entry fees, including optional meal add-ons, coaching programs, club memberships, etc. are non-refundable. No exceptions. (See transfer & deferral information on FAQ Page.) This policy applies to all entrants and is in effect whether your plans change, you are injured, or have an unexpected family emergency / business emergency / medical emergency / etc. This means once you have paid your entry fee you will not receive a refund if you cannot participate, or if the course has to be changed, or if the event is cancelled due to weather, natural disaster or other unforeseen circumstances. The race committee reserves the right to accept or reject any entries.

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