Jacob Terry of Scarborough and Abby Hamilton weren’t sure what to expect from their first attempt at running a marathon.

On Sunday, amid a persistent drizzle and temperatures in the mid-50s, they discovered that covering a distance of 26.2 miles from Portland to Yarmouth and back can be rather pleasant.

Particularly if you threaten a course record – as Hamilton did – or pass two runners in the final stretch around Back Cove –as was the case with Terry – in Sunday’s 30th edition of the Gorham Savings Bank Maine Marathon, Half Marathon and Marathon Relay.

“I love this,” said Hamilton, 22, who was taking part in her first road race since the 2016 Beach to Beacon 10K. “I had a great pack of people to work with and it was so much fun.”

Hamilton’s time was 2 hours, 39 minutes, 36 seconds. Because she spent two seconds before entering the course, her official time was four seconds behind the course record, set by Emily LeVan in 2004 (2:39:34).

“If I had known it was four seconds … well, that’s OK,” Hamilton said later, after realizing just how close she came to a bonus that would have boosted her $1,000 prize money by $500. “I couldn’t be happier.”


More than 10 minutes passed before another woman reached the finish line on Baxter Boulevard. Purity Munene, 34, of Columbia, South Carolina, finished in 2:50:07 to become a marathon runner-up for the second weekend in a row. She ran 2:48:53 at the Quad Cities race in Moline, Illinois.

Clare Franco, 31, of Boston was third in 2:52:24 and Sarah Mulcahy, 36, of Fort Kent fourth in 2:53:16.

Hamilton ran for both Yarmouth High and Bates College and had handed out cups of water at a station along Route 88 as a teenager. On Sunday, she soaked in the handmade signs, enthusiastic spectators and even the 16-piece ukulele orchestra strumming and singing beneath the porch of the Town Landing Market in Falmouth.

“It’s such a fun race,” she said. “I loved every minute of it.”

As for Terry, who ran for Scarborough High and the University of Maine, he clearly enjoyed the final minute after reeling in former Black Bears teammate Aaron Willingham in Payson Park to move up to second place. Terry then caught Ryan Eiler just before construction on Baxter Boulevard forced the runners to use the stone-dust trail adjacent to the torn-up roadway in Mile 26.

Picking his way between runners finishing the half marathon, the 24-year-old Terry spotted former high school and college teammates in the crowd at the Preble Street intersection, pointed to them and clenched his fists in triumph. The congestion from half marathoners coupled with the neighborhood streets had left him in the dark of his status in the race until reaching Payson Park.


“With 5K to go, I let loose a little,” Terry said. “I could see Aaron up the hill, so I started going for him. Then we turned the corner (onto Baxter Boulevard) and I saw first place was only a couple steps ahead, so I just ripped it.”

Terry finished in 2:25:25 to win by just over a minute. Willingham, 24, of Portland, led the race for the first 22 miles in an attempt at the course record (2:21:12) and dropped to third before re-passing Ryan Eiler, 35, of Boston to finish second.

Eiler had surged into the lead shortly before the Martin’s Point Bridge in Falmouth. Eiler held on until reaching Back Cove and was overtaken by Terry, Willingham and Kennebunk’s Kevin Greene, 29, who wound up third in 2:27:14, half a minute ahead of Eiler.

“I went from feeling great and had it under control to just struggling those last few miles,” said Eiler, who had not broken 2:40 in either of his previous two marathons. “The curtain came down and I couldn’t do anything about it.”

Terry wore a singlet that read Blue Collar instead of a track club, a tongue-in-cheek reference to the adversity facing runners from northern climates such as Maine. Willingham usually finished ahead of Terry in their college days and had “kind of cooked” him on a long training run recently, so thoughts of victory Sunday didn’t materialize until late in the race.

“I tried to run my own race (at a 5:35 mile pace) the first half and then see what can happen in the second half,” Terry said. “I tried not to limit myself.”


He and Hamilton each earned $1,000 for their individual victories. The top five men and women each received prize money, dropping down in $200 increments behind the winners. Prize money for the half marathon was half as much, starting at $500 for the winners.

In the half marathon, Jarrod Ottman, 23, of Merrimack, New Hampshire, posted the second-fastest time in race history to win by a little over a minute in 1:06:31. Nick Matteucci of St. Louis was second.

Among women, Aleta Looker, 25, of Somerville, Massachusetts, won by nearly seven minutes in 1:17:44. In a tight race for second place, Alyson Ursiny, 33, of Yarmouth edged Phoebe Oehmig, 24, of Brunswick by three seconds in 1:24:32.

As of late Sunday afternoon, 791 runners had completed the marathon and 1,391 the half marathon. There were 102 relay teams. The pre-race mask mandate and funneled starting corral received little to no pushback, according to race director Bob Dunfey.

“It was really a non-issue, given how used to it we are at this point,” said Eiler. “For 10 seconds it was on my face and then it was off and I was in clean air.”

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