Filling Up Fast: Half at the Hamptons - Great Seaside Winter Running Adventure on New Hampshire's Seashore
This popular and unique half marathon on February 23, 2014 offers spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean and a taste of the historic charm of Hampton Beach. Spring marathon training run, or seaside winter adventure, this run along the serene shore in late February is ideal followed by a super post race party with taps flowing. It's the second of seven events in this year's "Will Run for Beer" series.
Posted Tuesday, 4 February, 2014
Yes, it is a Winter Wonder! Join the crowd for a beautiful winter seaside tour. You won’t want to miss out on another opportunity to be part of a memorable racing tradition this February. It gets better every year, and this is the seventh annual, with its fast, scenic loop course. Outstanding race organization by LOCO Sports and the classy seaside resort and post race celebration have earned this event very high marks. And it is an ideal time to visit and run at Hampton Beach—no tourists, just runners along that beautiful shoreline.
It is the second event and one of two half marathons in the LOCO "Will Run for Beer" Series. Two things make signing up very urgent--Half at the Hamptons sells out, and they are getting close (sold out weeks in advance the last five years); and, if you want to be part of the "Will Run for Beer" Series, you must register for the series prior to midnight on January 31. Series registration is separate from individual race registration, and of course both are required. Running five of the seven races in the series wins a sporty "Will Run for Beer" wind jacket.
As for Half at the Hamptons, there are very few February half marathons. Whether you are seeking to keep your winter running on track, inspired and motivated, or are training for a spring marathon, this is the ideal race to shore up your goals and put some spark in your running regimen. It has a limited field of 1,200, so mark your calendar, get that registration in and make the most of the “off season” with this fantastic mid–winter running challenge. Make 2014 a terrific year for your running career, and keep those goals and motivation on course. Cold weather distance running is an excellent way to improve and preserve your conditioning for spring season success, which will be right around the corner. Celebrate your winter fitness with a well-run half marathon and let February know who is boss! http://www.locorunning.com/hamptonhalf/index.html
Scenic, Fun, Flat and Easy Course
Okay, it’s not perfectly flat—there are two small hills, but with only 60 feet of elevation. And it is perfectly scenic with five of the 13.1 miles directly along the shore with ocean views. Get ready to chase away the winter doldrums, whether you are a seasoned distance runner or a first time half marathoner. Runners of all abilities will be energized on this course, which is a feast for the eyes with its magnificent coastal views, surf and solitude. The course is open for three hours, 30 minutes, or 16 minutes per mile.
It is also one of the flattest and most fun half marathon courses—as easy as any in New England. You will start and finish in Hampton Beach near the Ashworth-by-the-Sea Hotel across from the “Old Lady of the Sea” Marine Memorial. The Ashworth is race headquarters with packet pick up on Sunday race morning from 8:00 until race time at 10:00 a.m. There is no race day registration. Of course they expect it will be sold out well before hand.
Runners will head south initially with the start line at the corner of Ashworth and Island Path, then head north on Ocean Boulevard. After an eight mile refreshing loop, mostly on Hampton’s rural roads and picturesque North Hampton neighborhoods and farm vistas, it continues with a breathtaking ocean-side tour.
This is a loop course where the north end of the loop eventually ends back on Route 1A, one of the most scenic Atlantic roads on the rocky New England coast. Along the way you will enjoy an unobstructed view of the Atlantic surf, including the rocky cliffs at Little Boars Head, a seaside promontory that became fashionable in the 19th century. This area contains stunningly elegant examples of Victorian and Edwardian architecture. The course continues past North Hampton State Beach. You will take in the quiet atmosphere unsullied by noise, crowds and distractions. During this time of year, runners will have it mostly to themselves.
On your way south, you will have just traveled the so called ‘two mile drive”. It is said to be the most breathtaking ocean side stretch on the East coast. Finally, you will come back to Hampton Beach to the finish on Ocean Boulevard just south of Ashworth-by-the-Sea, completing this gorgeous USATF-certified course, ready to enjoy the well deserved post race party.
Party at the Grand Hotel
What a terrific and unique combination: Smuttynose brew, Lindt chocolates, chili and hot soup will definitely help invigorate participants and this unique post race party, held in the perfect location. Savor your run with this fantastic post race celebration in the elegance of the Ashworth-by-the-Sea ballroom. A Hampton beach landmark for over 90 years, this grand historic hotel is a fitting place to truly enjoy your accomplishment. You will be in good company as 1,200 runners are expected to participate in the race.
Better yet, stay at the Ashworth:
295 Ocean Boulevard
Hampton Beach, NH 03842-3610
The hotel features a beautiful beach-front view with their deck overlooking the Atlantic; it has three floors, an indoor pool, and several dining areas. Opened in 1912 by George Ashworth, the hotel has enjoyed a wonderful reputation and has become the premiere showplace of Hampton Beach.
There will be prizes for the top runners, of course, plus awards three deep for 5-year age groups. Every registered runner will receive a memorable custom finisher’s medal and long sleeve T-shirt to mark the occasion. You must be present to receive your award. All awards can be picked up at your convenience at the awards table. Of course, this beautiful, easy, flat course is an award in itself.
LOCO Sports - For Runners by Runners
This is another great race by the folks at LOCO Sports. LOCO was founded in New Hampshire by runners just like you who believed that loyal runners deserved a company truly dedicated to the sport of running and to the running community.
The folks at LOCO also have a solid history of successful race management, including the Will Run for Beer Series and 5K, Great Bay Half Marathon, Rockfest Half Marathon, the Women's (and One Lucky Guy) Half Marathon, the Stow Eight Miler, the Earth Day 5K, Margarita's 5K, and many more exciting races coming your way in 2014. You can count on them to provide a terrific race experience from start to finish, and beyond.
There are so many great reasons to make this a winter running adventure you can call your own. The Half at the Hamptons has it all: beautiful, scenic course, great race organization, historic sea-side resort, and an amazingly fun-filled post-race party with plenty of awards and good times. It is professionally organized to satisfy a runner’s every need; and professionally chip timed using Chronotrack's B-tag (chip within the race bib) to insure accurate and rapid results from Yankee Timing Company.
Check the race Website for details, including registration, course map, lodging options and much more: http://www.locorunning.com/hamptonhalf/index.html. And definitely be there to enjoy a great run at a popular destination. Enjoy the Hamptons—they are far more than a summer destination. Join in this beautiful winter seaside tour with its fast, scenic loop course, outstanding race organization, and classy seaside resort post race celebration. It is a Winter Wonder!