Mont Vernon 5k & 10k | Race Recap

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Race Location: Mont Vernon, NH

Race Date: May 19, 2018

Race Managed/Timed By: 5k Sport

Proceeds to Benefit (if any): Neighbor to Neighbor

Organization of Bib Pick Up: Easy peasy. It’s a small race, so I walked up to bib pick up about 30 minutes before the race and got my bib and my shirt. There was no line for day of registration, either.

Organization of Race: Not much online presence and no early bib pick up, but the actual race day organization was great. Everything was laid out, the announcer kept on top of things, and a fun atmosphere. Parking is a bit hit and miss since the race is part of the Spring Gala so it can get a bit crowded.

Course Description: Hilly 5k course with the 10k going back out for a second lap. You go right through the center of Mont Vernon, then out past the post office and off into the back roads. In the 10k, it was about 450 feet of elevation gain. Both the 5k and the 10k go up Grand Hill one time. On the second lap the 10k skips that (thank goodness). It’s a lot of quiet back roads and running up cul de sacs. There’s one water stop at the two mile mark. Wooded, pretty, quiet run with a spectacular view at the top of Grand Hill. You’ll be tempted to stop for a picture.

Spectators/Energy: At the finish line and through the middle of Mont Vernon, there are spectators cheering for you. The rest of the course is just you and the trees. It’s a small race and not at all crowded or loud. For the 10k second lap, there were only 15 runners and you’re out there pretty much by yourself.

Swag: Cool t-shirts with the Mont Vernon cow.

After Party: Short award ceremony and free massages

Other Thoughts/Comments: Quiet, small race. If you want the opposite of lots of loud music and crowds, this is the race. Not for someone that hates hills. I’ll probably do it again next year.

~ Catie P.

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Stonyfield 5K | Race Recap

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Race Location: Kingston, NH

Race Date: May 11, 2018

Race Managed/Timed By: LOCO Races

Proceeds to Benefit (if any): LOCO does donate to charity, but this race was not for a specific charity.

Organization of Bib Pick Up: Day of bib pick up was organized and easy. Located at a big tent near the parking and start area (that was later the beer tent).

Organization of Race: The Stonyfield 5k is usually very organized. The new location this year was no different. Plenty of parking and porta potties. It was nice that parking was close to race start, etc. instead of in lots across the street, etc. like at the former race location. They did not close the road where the start/finish was until close to race time so it made getting there and parking easy. There were 1,150 walkers and runners. They had walkers start at the back of the start area.

Course Description: The course runs through residential side roads in Kingston, NH. It includes 4 small hills–just enough to make you work a little–and lots of turns. The course was not closed to traffic but was well marked and the roads were not heavily traveled by cars anyway. If you ran the previous Stonyfield 5k course in Londonderry, this course was easier in comparison.

It’s a family friendly event and there is often a race or obstacle course for the children. Many families choose to run or walk the race together.

Spectators/Energy: The energy of the Stonyfield 5k has always been great! As far as spectators, they were mainly at the start/finish area. However, a few of the families living on the course did come out to cheer on the runners.

Swag: If registered in time, you get a shirt at bib pick up, but no other swag. Previously, they were cotton. This year they were tech shirts and came in a men’s or women’s cut. However, there are many vendors on site giving away samples to take or consume, as well as the opportunity to win additional items. Age group winners usually receive some LOCO swag and maybe something from one of the vendors. Each bib included 2 beer tickets, this year and last year; Harpoon was the beer sponsor.

After Party: Awesome! Lots of samples from vendors as well as hot dogs, a beer garden, and live music.

Other Thoughts/Comments: This race is part of LOCO’s Will Run for Beer Series so it usually draws a big crowd of runners and also has a large amount of walkers. It’s a fun event for families and friends to enjoy together. The “fair” of vendors is free to the public–you do not have to race to attend and enjoy the fun and free stuff!

~ Amanda N.

Martha’s Vineyard Marathon | Race Recap

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Race Location: Martha’s Vineyard, MA

Race Date: May 19, 2018

Race Managed/Timed By: USA Endurance

Organization of Bib Pick Up: At our time of bib pick up, which was the middle of the allotted time frame, there was only one person working the table. They had numbers for you to line up at according to your bib number placed on a list, but it didn’t matter because there was only one person at the table. They had you sign a second waiver as well. Not sure why (I know shame on me for not reading it) because we already signed a waiver when we registered for the event. They did add an additional same day bib pick up, but I heard scuttle that it was also unorganized and they gave out incorrect information.

Organization of Race: Awful. They had conflicting information on their website in different places. They only advertised for pacing up to 4:30 for the marathon, but had additional pacers available (ultimately I was pleased to see the addition, but it would’ve been nice to know about in the first place). Mile markers were moved, mile markers were also stolen, the final water stop was unmanned when many of the “slower” racers went through, there were nearly no bikers for first aid support and a portion of the course that had been promised to be paved by race day was not, resulting in running on dirt road.

Course Description: Miles 1-15 were bike path around a state conservation area. With two exceptions (one being a very pretty farm and the other being an airport) there was only short trees with little variation to look at. Miles 16-20 were around a marshy area which was pretty in some spots and had beautiful large houses to view. Miles 21-24 were through town with lots of turns, sidewalks where you contended with cars entering and exiting businesses along the route (you had to run on the sidewalk because the roads were too narrow to run with the cars). Miles 24-26 were mostly ocean views and crossed two bridges (one of which was the “infamous jaws bridge” but having crossed it, I still don’t know which one that was. The finish takes you through a field where you’re concentrating on your footing so you don’t trip or roll an ankle before the finish.

Spectators/Energy: None. Literally none. There was one family out cheering around mile 15 and that was it with the exception of the family members of those running who make the ferry trek out to the island to support their loved ones.

Swag: Decent. A tech t-shirt, a cute print buff and a cross shoulder bag and the finisher medal is cool.

After Party: None. After paying over $100 you cross the finish line and get a choice of bottled water, Gatorade and a banana. That’s it.

Other Thoughts/Comments: Unless they put some serious thought into making this race itself better (the island dwellers aren’t going to participate and make the race spectacular) then they should not continue to hold this race. Martha’s Vineyard is pretty, we enjoyed our time there, but we enjoyed it because of each other, not because of the island. The course is just meh, and they should be ashamed of themselves for their lack of after race food, amenities and the such. Also of note, many of the shops/restaurants weren’t open yet to enjoy either.

~ Nicole G.

Big Lake Half Marathon | Race Recap

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Race Location: Alton, NH

Race Date: 5/19/18

Race Managed/Timed By: Loco Races

Organization of Bib Pick Up: Organized bib pick up, separate line for shirts.

Organization of Race: I thought the race itself was well organized, there were plenty of signs and volunteers at any corner. There could have been a few more signs around the registration/start line area because I mostly relied on the people calling directions out.

Course Description: Hilly. Hilly. Hilly. Beautiful scenery, flat first few miles before an approximately 2 mile climb up towards the parking lot for Mt Major in Alton before coming down through rolling neighborhoods from miles 7-10. Last few miles back down Route 11 towards Alton Bay.

Spectators/Energy: The stretch on Route 11 was a little quiet, the water stop had a lot of energy which helped. Some spectators were out in the neighborhoods and at big intersections. Lots of spectators at the end as you ended at Shibley’s on the Pier in Alton.

Swag: Technical t-shirt and a medal.

After Party: I have heard it’s good, pizza, beer, and ice cream but I personally didn’t try it.

Other Thoughts/Comments:: Train on hills! Its beautiful (and hey now its my PR so I guess you could say its a PR-able course)

~ Danielle F.

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Retreat Sponsor Spotlight: Port City Pretzels

Our next sponsor is Port City Pretzels! They’ve generously donated snack packs for each of our retreat attendees.

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Port City Pretzels is female owned and operated right here in Portsmouth, NH. Their tasty lineup includes flavors like tasty ranch dill, feisty hot, and cinnamon sugar. Yum!

Their pretzels are available at some smaller specialty stores (you can look up locations HERE) and on their website at www.portcitypretzels.com. Be sure to check them out!

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Retreat Sponsor Spotlight: NoxGear

NoxGear has donated a Tracer 360 light up vest to be raffled off at our retreat!

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Safety is important to our group and visibility during early morning or evening hours is critical. This vest lights up in a variety of colors and has a reflective waistband. They even have a version for your pup!

NoxGear offers our group a 35% off discount of full price items when you use SRTTNH at checkout.

Shop NoxGear Here!

Sugarloaf 15K |Race Recap

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Race Location: Sugarloaf, Maine

Race Date: 5/20/18

Race Managed/Timed By: All Sports Events

Organization of Bib Pick Up: Very organized and easy to get in and out. Barely any lines. However, we were required to be present to pick up bibs, no picking up for friends/family, which can be difficult for a destination race. Pick up was 3-7 p.m. so it was assumed you would be coming up the day before and staying the night. Early morning pick up was offered, but logistics were unclear.

Organization of Race: The race seemed decently organized. Meeting locations and transportation was very clear. A warming bus was available at the start of the 15k. There were enough portopotties at the very start of the race, however there was no hand sanitizer in them. Shuttles were provided from the hotel to the start of the race, but I prefer drop-off so I don’t have to be there as early. There was a small convenience store at the start that allowed us to wait inside. Warnings were announced prior to the race start time. Runners did not line up by pace so there was a fair amount of dodging for at least 2 miles. Water stations were available every 1-2 miles with both water and Gatorade. I did not see fuel or medical care during the course. There were no race provided portopotties between the start and the finish. Many runners darted into the woods around the half way point. Medical support was available at the end of the race, as well as many massage tables. Warming blankets and water were right at the finish. I was texted almost immediately with my race results. Mile markers were every mile and very clear.

Course Description: Road running along a very scenic river. It was not a closed course, so cars and trucks were driving in both directions during the run. If you stayed with a group, the cars seemed more likely to move over, however there were a few cars that came way too close and were going much too fast. Other than a police officer at the start of the race, I did not see any police or course marshals along the route until the finish line. Running on the side of the road was difficult and not at all flat. The course was mostly down hill with a few rolling hills, but was hard to enjoy because all I could think about was my expanding bladder!

Spectators/Energy: Very few spectators, but the ones that were there cheered for everyone. Lots of cheering at the finish line but was definitely a small crowd. Some spectators drove along the course cheering, following their runners.

Swag: Long sleeve tech shirt, actually looks pretty nice and I ended up running in it. Women’s medium was true to size and fit nicely. Swag bag had granola, Sugarloaf stickers, printed logistics for day-of. The finishers medal was a wooden carved medal that was shared for both the 15k and marathon finishers.

After Party: Lots of snack options at the end of the race: 2 types of soup, pastries, bagels with peanut butter or cream cheese, granola, bananas and oranges and other snacks. I did not walk thru the entire food tent. There was a large tent for massages with many tables available.

Other Thoughts/Comments: I ran this race just so I could be at the marathon finish to cheer on a friend, otherwise I would not have driven so far for a 15k. The course was nice, but I was too preoccupied with having to pee, not being able to run in the middle of the road and worrying about cars at my back. I also thought I had read that there was fuel available but did not see it. I am fine running close to 10 miles without fuel, but I don’t think that’s true for everyone. I was surprised there was no medical support on the course, especially considering it covered the last 9 miles of the marathon course. However, there were many medial staff at the end of the race, one even approached me and asked me a bunch of questions before he would let me go. I’m glad I ran it, but I won’t run it again. Running with 2-way traffic and no portopotties is a no-go for me!

~ Suzanne A.