Last night I remembered that I have a half marathon on Sunday. Not just any marathon but the Great Bay Half Marathon.
Last year I ran the “Beyond The Rainbow“ 5K. I had one of my best 5Ks ever, helped partly by starting at the front of the race.
For some crazy reason I thought it would be fun to start with the fast guys. I’m in the white hat and shirt to the right in this photo.
Both races start at the same time with mostly 5K runners in the front. The 5K guys always go out faster than everyone else, and I tried to keep up with them.
When we got to the turn where the 5K folks head back to the finish line, I was relieved. In past years when I’ve run The Great Bay I always envied the 5K runners who were heading home.
At the point where the 5K runners head home, the half marathon runners are just getting warmed up and heading out into the Great Bay Estuary down Dame Road.
It’s at about 2 miles. The legs are warmed up, you know if you’ve over dressed and have a pretty good idea what type of race you’ll have. Sometimes the thought of continuing is not so enticing. But the race has just begun.
It’s a beautiful course and the weather will be perfect for running, sunny and 55º. If I was in half-marathon shape I might be able to set a personal course record. Alas, I’ve been a short track guy so far this season. Mostly 5Ks with the occasional 4 or 5 miler.
First time Great Bay Runners
If this is your first Great Bay, be prepared. There are several killer hills around miles 3.5, 4.5 and a series of smaller hills through mile ten that will shred your quads. Check out the elevation map on line. This is really and up and down course with hills every where.
It’s going to be warm so hydrate properly and make sure you can unzip or pull off a layer. It may be cool in the wooded areas but if it is 55 and sunny it will get warm on the exposed roads.
As I mentioned before, the scenery is beautiful. Be sure to look up and around once in a while even when you’re digging deep.
Our good friends at Smuttynose Brewing will be pouring at several locations in town. The VFW hall is great with plenty of room and kegs.
All I ask is that the 5K runners don’t drink all the IPA before I get there.
Why do we run?
We run these races to support activities at the Exeter Hospital. My Aunt and Uncle spent some of their last days at Exeter Hospital, so I’m proud to be giving a little something back with my race registration.
There is also a food drive for the Newmarket Community Church Food Pantry. Bring some food, get a free pair of Gone LOCO socks and help out some folks in need.
If 1,000 runners each brought two items, we could really help some folks out.
So we run to challenge ourselves. We run for a good time with our friends and our Tribe. We run to enjoy the great outdoors, some fantastic ale and we run to help our fellow man in their time of need.
It doesn’t get much better than that.
Run well my friends,