BRUNSWICK, Maine - The Trek Across Maine and the American Lung Association announced a new route for the annual bike ride in 2019 that will showcase more Maine cities and towns, plus offer a virtual option to increase fundraising. Since 1985, the annual event has raised more than $24 million and is the largest fundraising event in the country for the American Lung Association. The announcement was made today at a press conference at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, near the location of the new starting line for the event.
Organizers unveiled a map that shared the new route that is expected to have a positive economic impact for several new regions and draw more cyclists from the southern part of the state and across New England. The new route also creates efficiencies for riders and the American Lung Association to raise additional funds to help save lives by improving lung health through research, education and advocacy.
"We're really excited about the new route for 2019. This is something our current riders expressed interest in and we felt that the it would be a great way to celebrate our 35th anniversary. We are very grateful to the people and places that have helped with the event during the past 30 years. We also recognize that to maintain the success of the event and attract a new generation of riders, we need a route that will provide a different experience for our loyal riders, as well as create an opportunity to increase sports tourism in Maine by attracting more first-time riders. We also think our one-, two- and three-day options, plus the new virtual option, will be great for people who are looking to raise funds and support our mission to raise awareness about lung health and save lives," said Jeff Seyler, chief division officer of the American Lung Association.
The new route will start at Brunswick Landing in Brunswick and take cyclists through new cities and towns that include Augusta, Auburn, Bath, Belgrade, Brunswick, Freeport and Lewiston. The route still includes the popular tradition of Team Tent City at Colby College in Waterville between days two and three. The organizers also announced that in 2019. there will be a virtual Trek enabling more friends and family to participate and reward participants for exercise options that are equivalent to the Trek experience.
As part of the announcement, Seyler also announced and presented the new 35th anniversary commemorative sticker to Mary Catherine Tee, Trek participant and advocate for the Trek Across Maine for several years. The sticker is designed to celebrate the Trek's 35 years, the American Lung Association has been fortunate to work with great partners from the original route from Sunday River to Belfast, and the new route from Brunswick across several other regions in Maine. Cyclists registered for 2018 and 2019 will receive the commemorative sticker. It is also available by contacting the American Lung Association at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With the 35th anniversary in 2019, the 2018 Trek Across Maine will give riders a final opportunity to ride the original route. The 2018 Trek Across Maine is set for June 15-17 from Bethel to Belfast. The event draws cyclists from across Maine, New England and beyond to participate in the three-day event. This year, organizers added one and two-day options for participants who desire to ride a shorter distance than the current 180-mile route from the mountains to the sea.
Participants can register for the 2018 Trek Across Maine at www.biketreknewengland.org until May 30, 2018.