Monday, February 18, 2008

2008 New England Racing Series Ideas

Now that the new year is in full swing, the NE Runner Calendar is out, and for the most part, many of the road racing series' have announced their 2008 schedules, I'd like to take some time to point out some other races besides the obvious USATF-NE Grand Prix events that we all know and love....

Now if you are are just the run-of-the-mill (no pun intended) runner like I am, and you run and race for fun like I do, then you may want to know about some other fun race series' out there that you can take advantage of this coming season. Some of these I ran last year, and others I ran back in my previous running life (in the 1990s).. I am trying to figure out all the races I want to run and really do love running up in NH as opposed to picturesque (sarcastic) Ollie or Baystate (I love Lowell...but that October... i'm getting depressed already).

[The USATF-NE Grand Prix]

We all know about the big series that we'll run to show everyone how awesome the Merrimack Valley Striders are...

But there are some others around that you may find fun and competative, that will fit nicely into your spring/summer/fall road racing schedule...

[2008 Seacost Road Race Series]

Aside from the USATF NE GP races, there is also a very cool series up on the NH seacoast called (cleverly enough) the Seacoast Road Race Series. I actually prefer this race series to the USATF NE GP series because 3 of the 8 races are in Portsmouth (two are right in downtown) which is one of my favorite places to be. Also, you need to only finish 6 of the 8 races to get a very cool SCRR jacket. Check out the series information here.

The races:

Quickies about my experience at these (from just this past year)...

The Redhook 5k, held on Memorial Day weekend is at the Redhook Brewery (yes, a brewery, Matt) at Pease Int. Tradeport right off of R-16 in Portsmouth. It is flat and fast. I ran this last year and had a blast... The start was featured on the cover of 2007 NE Runner Event Calendar (pic from the 2006 race of course). [photographic evidence from 2007]

Market Square Day is an awesome time even without the race. The whole downtown area is one big party..lots of shopping, eating, etc. All the bars are open early and all day (Matt). This had been part of the USATF-NE GP once before... Relatively quick 10k even with the rolling hills in the middle. Big prize money too...just ask Caroline :). [photographic evidence from the 2007 event...overcast and drizzly, but fun nonetheless]

Harbour Trail 5k is another fast 5k although I only got through slightly over 1 mile of it last year before calling it a day (thats what you get for playing 5 hours of roller hockey the day before...never again...Fernando didn't know that, but now he does). During the race, a Jr. high school kid in high-tops pulled up next to me and asked me what the mile split was...when I saw the first number of the time, I told him and then promptly whipped my singlet off (a-la Dennis Rodman after a double-technical) and pulled over. Revenge this year.

[2008 New Hampshire RR Grand Prix]

These races seem to be pretty good and have had some nice large fields last year. I know the 10 miler is hilly (as part of the USATF-NE Mountain Running Series).
Quickies about my experience at these (from just this past year)...

Bedford Rotary 12k - This was (up until this point) my longest race ever. As part of the USATF-NE GP last year, it was a horrific experience for me personally, but this is a very solid race early in the season. I'm pretty sure there were some hills...I blacked out a few times so I can't really remember.

[2008 NE Runner Pub Series]

If you get REALLY thirsty after you run, you may want to keep these in mind as well. They also do a jacket or shirt or something if you compete in X amount of these races....Usually NE Runner will update their site with the info in late winter although it doesn't look like they've done anything about it just yet. Most of these sites still have last year's info on them so I will let you Google these to get the info if you are thinking of running any of these...

  • Doyle's Emerald Necklace 5M - Jamaica Plain, MA - [5M] - Sun, April 13 - [07 Results] - 1809 finishers

  • Irish Village 5M - W. Yarmoth, MA - [5M] - May 10 - [07 Results] - 191 finishers

  • Pat Polletta Winner's Circle 5K - Salisbury, MA - [5K]- July 2 - [07 Results] -139 finishers
  • Khoury's Summer Sizzler - Somerville, MA - [4.13 Miles] - July 13 - [07 Results] - 222 finishers

  • Bobby Bell 5 Miler - Haverhill, MA - [5M] - Oct 12 - [07 Results] - 271 finishers
  • Paddy Shillelagh 3M - West Newton, MA - [3M] - Oct 19 - [07 Results] - 1332 finishers

[2008 La Sportiva USATF New England Mountain Running Circuit]

And lastly, for the die-hard or just plain insane...there's always running up hill for hours on end...

If you have comments or stories about any of these races, please let me know...

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