Vulcan’s Fury Trail Race |Race Recap

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Race Location: Pawtuckaway State Park

Race Date: October 13, 2018

Race Managed/Timed By: Acidotic Racing

Organization of Bib Pick Up: Bib pick up was day off race with plenty of time before start of race.

Organization of Race: The organization was great; plenty of people issuing out bibs. Timing was done through chips. Very well organized.

vulcans_fury_map_1080Course Description: The morning was cold and wet it had been raining on and off throughout the night. The leaves were many hues of reds, yellows and oranges. The course slippery, rooted and bridges covered with a hue of green. We were told to slow down when crossing the bridges because the green was moss and with the rain it was super slippery. The trails were winding single track that opened up to dirt roads and you gained elevation as you climbed up devils staircase to North Mountain and South Mountain. The end of the race takes you through windy trails that make you feel like you are going in circles then you hit the road for the last stretch home.

Spectators/Energy: The volunteers are awesome and there were 3 water stops with heed, candy, water and gels.

Swag: The satisfaction of finishing.

After Party: BBQ and beer

Other Thoughts/Comments:: Doing it again next year.

~ Jessica H.

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Midnight Owl 15K |Race Recap

indexRace Location: North Conway, NH

Race Date: 7/28/2018

Race Managed/Timed By: Mount Washington Valley Skating Club

Proceeds to Benefit (if any): Mount Washington Valley Skating Club

Organization of Bib Pick Up: Smooth and easy! The start point and bib pick up were in Schouler Park in the center of North Conway. There was plenty of parking around the park. The area was well-lit (it was nighttime, after all!). And there were plenty of volunteers on-hand to answer questions.

Organization of Race: It was pretty simple–leave any time after 9:30 p.m. and try to be one of the first five people to cross the finish line after midnight without using a timing device. Leave whenever you think will get you there on time. They had a pace chart set up–so, look at your typical pace for the distance, and it told you what time you should leave to reach the end by midnight.

There were volunteers at most course turns, or at least arrows directing us to turn. There were reflective mile markers. And three water/Gatorade stops. Police were present at two road crossings.

We were directed to wear reflective vests/clothing and to carry a headlamp or flashlight. At least half the field did one or the other. Some people were really not visible; other people had really cool reflective gear!

There were 70-80 people (runners and walkers). And although everyone started at different times, most of us ended within 5 minutes of midnight!

Course Description: We started by Schouler Park in North Conway. There wasn’t really a start line (no tracker on the bib), but we were pointed to a general area to start from! We did a partial lap around the park and then out onto the main road (Route 116) and past shops and restaurants for about a half mile. We turned left onto River Road and it got dark. Good thing for those headlamps!

After a half mile or so on River Road, we turned left on West Side Road, and that’s where most of the running occurred (about 6 miles of it). It was a decent road, nice wide shoulder for much of it. There were some hills, but nothing that felt unmanageable.

We turned right onto Route 116 in Conway and ran another half mile or so to a left turn onto West Main Street. We were in the home stretch … except we had to do about a mile loop! We saw the finish line, passed it, and ran through a neighborhood and sort of industrial area (hard to see–it was dark!) to loop to the finish at Ham Arena.

Spectators/Energy: There weren’t spectators, other than the volunteers at the course turns and water stations. Most runners were friendly and supportive, but it was a very quiet course. I think it would be hard to do this alone, unless you’re really OK with running on a dark, unfamiliar route in the middle of the night!

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Swag: A really cute t-shirt design and a complementary carved wooden “medal.”
They had special awards with a choice of raffle items–the “early bird,” for the first person to cross the finish line, the youngest and oldest runners, the person who came the furthest (with other cute names that I don’t remember), and for people who ran in another race earlier in the day (I won one of those!). And there special prizes for the first five people who finished after midnight (a mosaic hot plate).

After Party: They had cookies, watermelon and water at the Ham Arena. So, that was a little lame. And they made everyone stick around for the awards before bringing in the shuttle to take them back to Schouler Park.
Other Thoughts/Comments: This was a really unique event. It was a fun challenge–how well do you know your pacing?! I would do it again, especially if I could find a decently priced room to stay in the area. It was a long ride home after running for almost 2 hours!

If you’re looking for a challenge, and something a little unusual, I would HIGHLY recommend this race. If you know your pace, it’s a good chance to win a race!

 

~ Alicia C.

Down East Sunrise Trail Relay | Race Recap

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Race Location: Ellsworth to Eastport, Maine

Race Date: 7/20-7/21/2018

Race Managed/Timed By: Crow Athletics

Proceeds to Benefit (if any): The Down East Trail Coalition, who maintain the trail

Organization of Bib Pick Up: Bib pickup is at the starting line of the relay 30 minutes before your team’s start time. Teams have a staggered start depending on the estimated finish time of the team. Start times run from 5:30 p.m. Friday to 1:00 a.m. Saturday.

Organization of Race: The race was well-organized; we received our start time the week of the race & the race started on time. There were a lot of details provided on the website and in the driving, running, and race packets. On the course there were markers at the hand off points, and markers at tricky turns for both runners & drivers. Once the race started, there wasn’t much oversight. There were port-o-potties at a few exchange points but not at most; there was no oversight at the exchange points, & there were no medical personnel. The course is broken into 16 legs and teams can have a maximum of 8 people. Teams have to run a 12 minutes mile or faster.

Course Description: The trail system is gorgeous, as are the surrounding areas. The race is 102.7 miles total, with 85 on trails and the rest on roads. The course is broken into 16 legs. The Down East Sunrise Trail is a rail trail with a mostly sand & gravel surface. The exchange points were pretty easy to find & had enough side of the road parking for teams. There were 42 teams this year, which was double their team number from last year. This is the 5th year of this race. At the leg 13 exchange point, the ATV club offered bathrooms & homemade breakfast starting at 3 a.m. The race organizers hope to build more local support in coming years. Eastport is the eastern most city in the US and the sunrise is spectacular to see as a runner or from the car! The sunrise started around 3:30 a.m.

Spectators/Energy: The teams and runners were very supportive of one another, and there was a positive, albeit tired, energy throughout the entire relay. There were no spectators on the trails, but teams cheered on runners along the road portion of the race & the downtown Eastport finish line. Mostly the energy was from runners & teams supporting each other.

Swag: A hefty medal with the state of Maine & rail road ties. The ribbon around the medal shows all of the legs of the relay! In order to keep costs low, the shirt was for sale, and not part of the registration cost.

After Party: Was held at the Quoddy Bay Lobster restaurant. Wait times were long, so we just got ice cream & hung out for awards to be given.

Other Thoughts/Comments: This was my first relay, so I can’t compare it to Reach the Beach or other relays. I loved the experience and the challenge of this relay, and also being able to explore northeastern Maine. It has a rustic feel since it is on trails, and has few facilities available, but I think that adds to the unique challenge and adventure of this race.

~ Erin M.

Goffstown Berry Classic | Race Recap

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Race Location: Goffstown

Race Date: July 21, 2018

Race Managed/Timed By: Granite State Race Services

Proceeds to Benefit (if any): Goffstown Historical Society

Organization of Bib Pick Up: The organization of the bib pick up was an easy and pleasant experience. The volunteers greeted me with their happy faces and offered to keep my bag under their table.

Organization of Race: The race was very organized through Granite State Races as well as providing plenty of spectators and other volunteers to make the event run smoothly. Each participant was provided with a map of the course at the time of registration. There were enough spectators/volunteers to direct us on the right path and also give us the enthusiasm we need to keep the positive energy flowing. Last, the Goffstown Historical Musesum was open so we were able to use their restroom before and after the race.

Course Description: The course started across the street from the Goffstown Historial Society. We ran to the intersection of Parker Station Road and Rt. 114. Police officers provided their assistance by stopping traffic so we could run across the street on Rt. 114. We then turned left on to Parker Station. I believe this is where our first water stand was at but I am not sure since I didn’t take a cup. Next, we crossed Howe Bridge and turned left onto River Road. We ran east on River Road then turned left onto W Union Street. At the turn, we were greeted with volunteers who provided us with water. We continued to run on W. Union Street till we had to turn left on Rt. 13. We ran on Main Street then directed to take a a left on Church Street. We continued running north on Church St. till we hit the intersection of Rt 14. We were then greeted with police officers who helped assist us to run across the street to continue running west on Rt. 114 back to the Goffstown Historical Museum. Overall, the race was a beautiful 5-mile loop along the Piscataquog River and through Goffstown village. The course was provided with enough water stations and spectators to help us complete the race.

Spectators/Energy: All of the spectators provided a lot of energy and cheered us on during the course of the race.

Swag: The first 50 runners received a maroon Goffstown Berry Classic T-shirt and at the end of the race we were treated with some yummy strawberry shortcake. It was absolutely delicious!

Other Thoughts/Comments: Can’t wait till next year’s race!

~Kat K.

Hugh Holt Memorial 5 Miler | Race Recap

IMG_6646Race Location: Raymond NH

Race Date: 7/8/18

Race Managed/Timed By: 3C Race Productions

Proceeds to Benefit (if any): Scholarships for children in the summer program in town.

Organization of Bib Pick Up: Bib pick up is in the lobby of the middle school. I arrived about 5 minutes before the race started, grabbed my bib and shirt, and was ready to go.

Organization of Race: This race is tiny! There were about 45 people there this year. The timing and organization is very low key, but it works since it’s so small. There is no starting arch or anything, but a little S spray painted on the ground in front of the school. There are water stops every mile (yay!) where the volunteers also yell out the time on the clock. One weird thing is some times the water stop is randomly on the other side of the road. Timing is done manually, so there are no chips on bibs.

Course Description: The first mile or 1.5 is pretty flat. Then it’s rolling hills for the whole rest of the way. Some of them are kind of big, but most aren’t too long. It’s doable!

Since the course is not posted online, here is the turn-by-turn:

  1. Start at Iber Holmes Gove Middle School.
  2. Right out of the school onto Epping St.
  3. Left onto Church St.
  4. Right onto Main St.
  5. Left onto Old Manchester Rd.
  6. Left onto Batchelder Rd.
  7. Left onto Old Fremont Rd.
  8. Left onto Main St.
  9. Finish on Main St. at the commons about .25 from the start

Spectators/Energy: This race is during the Raymond town fair, so there are some spectators on the common that you pass during the first mile and at the finish. The rest of the race is through back roads and is pretty quiet.

Swag: Cotton t-shirts for the first 60 runners. Since it’s so small everyone got a shirt.

After Party: Water, sports drink, some fruit and snacks on the common.

Other Thoughts/Comments: I’m not really sure why this race is so small. Raymond is in a great location between the seacoast and Manchester and everyone is always looking for 5 milers and 10Ks! A lot of the runners (out of the 43) are actually pretty fast. I ran a 10:30 average pace and I finished 34/43. There is no reason all those normal people runners shouldn’t come out and enjoy this loop! It’s also extremely cheap at only $20.

See you out there next year!

~Jessie A.

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.

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.