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37th annual trek across maine 0a3b0305

37th Annual Trek Across Maine

Trek Across Maine is the largest fundraising event of its kind in the nation for the American Lung Association. In the past 36 years, this event has raised over $29.5 million, all of which goes toward the study and education of lung diseases, like COPD, asthma, and lung cancer — the #1 cancer killer in the United States. However, like most events in the past year, COVID has altered the 37th Annual Trek Across Maine. Rather than cancel the race entirely, the event will now be held virtually. You can even participate from the comfort of your home.

How the Online Event Works

For 2021, Trek Across Maine is encouraging participants to track their own progress and complete their mileage goals of either 60, 120, or 180 miles. Miles logged on indoor, stationary bike count for this event, or you can team up with friends and family and ride outdoors now that the weather is getting warmer. The objective is to gather sponsors and fundraise at least $250 for the American Lung Association. 

Everyone who raises $250 will be awarded an accomplishment medal and an event t-shirt. For riders who go above and beyond, other incentives are available the more you raise. $1,500 will earn you a $75 L.L.Bean gift card, custom cycling shorts, and a family membership voucher to Maine Huts & Trails. Raising $10,000 will win you a $500 L.L.Bean gift card, a Mission Possible gift (custom cycling jacket or $75 gift card), and all of the other incentives included above. 

Getting Started

The Trek Across Maine website makes it easy to participate in this event. For only $25, you will be given your own fundraising website, which you can personalize and let people know why you’re riding. Event organizers recommend reaching out to friends via email or social media to raise awareness and collect the most donations.

It’s not necessary to participate, but you can also join this event’s Strava club and see where you rank among riders from all around the world. The leaderboard is updated weekly and displays both individual and team rankings. We’re barely a week into this ongoing event, and the L.L.Bean team has already raised nearly $9,000.

Where to Ride

Southern Maine is a great place to ride because there are so many beautiful trails, many of which follow the coast. The Cape Elizabeth Loop is an excellent trail if you’re looking for a relaxing, scenic ride. This bike path stretches across Casco Bay, visits many of Portland’s lighthouses, and travels through Cape Elizabeth’s farmland with an optional ride to Portland area beaches.

If you’re really feeling adventurous, there’s the East Coast Greenway, a 2500 mile route from the Canadian border to Key West. I know that’s a bit overwhelming, but the part of the Greenway that crosses through central and southern Maine is fun and easy to explore. A popular section of this bike path is the stretch from Southern Portland to Old Orchard. This trail brings you right to the beach, where you have the chance to hop in the ocean and get an order of pier fries before you cycle back. This is a 40-mile round trip. If you’re looking for a longer ride, keep pedaling until you reach Kennebunkport, which is about an 85-mile round trip.

-Written by Stacy Oswald & Photo by Jay Kudva