This past weekend was a first for me. I did two different half-marathons on back to back days. Saturday was West Virginia, Sunday was New Hampshire. Probably not an issue for the seasoned and in-shape athletes and runners. It could have been the five hour plus drive from West Virginia to Connecticut, then another three hours from Connecticut to New Hampshire? Or maybe it was the heavy winds still ripping through the north east? But it was a conditioning issue and a heavy legs issue. Which all points back to training.
But with that said, I completed the seventh state in the fifty states half-marathon bucket list. With New Hampshire checked off the list and the goal to complete the New England region by 2018 all I have left is: Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, and Vermont to go. If I wanted to complete the Mid-Atlantic region I’d only have Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina to go. Maybe I’ll reconsider.
The skies were clear and the wind was in full swing, I really do enjoy beach races and coastline runs (more on that). But there was a bit more than just a nice run by the beach.
Expo Overview: It wasn’t as much of an expo comparatively to Philadelphia or Baltimore, but it had a higher energy feel than West Virginia (granted this is the 11th running of the Hampton Half-Marathon, a much bigger organization, Loco Runners, and finally there were close to 1,500 people signed up for both events, West Virginia had at most 150 people).
The registration was in a hotel because after the race they had a food bar for all the participants and a lot of local beer companies brining their craft beers in. Winners got a bucket of different craft beers and other prizes.
Sneaker Review: It will continue to be the only show I will race in, Nike Vaporfly 4%. It’s Nike’s Fastest shoe. Designed for greater energy return, a full carbon plate support and return of energy in runners. I wore a different pair of the Nike’ fastest iteration and they were just as great. Lightweight, supportive, incredibly breathable.
Course Overview: It was a great day for a run, if it was not for the winds up 15-18 miles per hour. Most of the course was flat, through miles five through seven running through parts of neighborhoods there were tiny hills. It wasn’t a confusing course like West Virginia, and it was a giant loop.
There were some challenging parts of the course due to flood damage from the day before. So stretches of miles three through five and eleven through twelve there were giant puddles that you couldn’t avoid. The course had a nice mix small support groups and cheering water stations which made the run better.
I do wish I had video of the waves crashing against the barriers that were built in on the straightway stretch of the course. I was running from mile 10-12 and the winds had picked up and waves were crashing into the barriers and water was shooting onto the course. It was cool, annoying that my feet got really wet but really sweet to see and probably would have made for a nice picture.
Closing Thoughts: A well-organized affordable half-marathon on the coast of New Hampshire. Ranging from $59.00 – $79.99 (depending on when you register), it is a really fun race. If it wasn’t for the wind, the conditions would have been ideal. It’s a flat course overall that allows for you to potentially run a personal best.
The food they have for participants at the end which is always a nice plus. While my legs were fried and dead, the drive back to West Chester was the worst part about it. But Loco Races, the company who puts on the events, reminds me a lot of the NYCRUNS or New York Road Runners, who puts on a different set of running events each month. Well-organized and would do it again or another race run by the group!
Final 13.1: 1.32.00 (not a personal best)
Final 1st Leg: 45.59
Final 2nd Leg: 46.01
Best Mile: 6.54
Worst Mile: 7.19