The Inaugural Jingle Bell Half Marathon--Winter Running Adventure at a Beautiful Resort and Country Club
This unique half marathon on December 14, 2013, one week before the start of winter, offers a wonderful loop course, beautiful venue, and a taste of the historic charm of Atkinson, New Hampshire. Atkinson is on the Massachusetts border and convenient for so many in metro Boston, the North Shore, New Hampshire, and the northern New England seacoast. Marathon training run, or stand alone winter adventure, this run through serene rural landscape is ideal. And enjoy a super post-race party with Smuttynose taps flowing.
Posted Thursday, 21 November, 2013
Yes, it is an inaugural race long over due, a late fall-early winter half marathon! Join the crowd for a beautiful rural tour that combines long distance, excellent support, and most likely ideal cool running weather for your half marathon. No early autumn heat, no side races or relays; simply a pure and gorgeous half marathon that can both close a great season and be the first of the holiday-themed races.
The race venue is only 6.3 miles from Interstate 93, Exit 2, in New Hampshire and 5.1 miles from Interstate 495, Exit 51B, in Massachusetts. It is really centrally located in the Merrimack River Valley for thousands of runners.
You won’t want to miss this new half marathon. Be part of a memorable beginning of a racing tradition this December. You cannot run it every year unless you run the first, and this, of course, is the first annual. It has a fast, rolling, scenic loop course, and what a convenient location for so many. Runners depend on the outstanding race organization by LOCO Sports, and they have selected this gorgeous resort and ballroom venue for post race celebrations, which will earn their event very high marks. And it is an ideal time to visit and run through this historic community—the course also visits Salem briefly and dips down into Haverhill, Massachusetts for almost two miles. Atkinson is right on the Mass border and the country club is only two miles from the state line.
Whether you are seeking to start your winter running on the right track, inspired and motivated, or you are training for a spring marathon, this is the ideal race to shore up your goals and put some spark in your running regimen. And it will be one of the earliest of the holiday-themed races.
Please note that you can still get the early registration fee until October 31, so don’t wait. It has a limited field of 1,200 runners, so mark your calendar, register and make the most of the “off season” with this fantastic early winter running challenge. Keep those goals and your motivation on course as we close 2013 and head into 2014. 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 fall fitness with a bracing, invigorating half marathon!
Scenic, Rolling Course
Okay, it’s not perfectly flat—there are rolls throughout, but not a lot of elevation change over the 13.1 miles. It is perfectly scenic with an eclectic mix of farms and orchards, village and forest, fields and ancient New England stone walls. Get ready to chase your personal records whether you are a seasoned distance runner or a first time half marathoner. Runners and walkers of all abilities will be energized on this course, which is a feast for the eyes with its country atmosphere and solitude.
You will start and finish near the Atkinson Resort and Country Club on Country Club Drive. Just a glance at the roads and byways making up the course sounds relaxing: Country Club Drive, Providence Hill Road, Old Coach Road, Westside Drive, Island Pond Road, Main Street (also known as “Stage Coach Byway”), Meditation Lane, Sawyer Avenue, Meadow Street, Sleepy Hollow Road, North Broadway, Chrystal Street, (Chrystal Pond), Liberty Street, Shannon Road, Hooker Farm Road, then back to Providence Hill Road and Country Club Drive.
Runners will head north first before turning east and then south. Mile 7.4 is marked by the New Hampshire-Massachusetts border, followed by a turn west and then north back into New Hampshire at 9.3 miles.
The course is rolling; however, there are no large hills and it is a very comfortable run. The highest elevation within Atkinson is 430 feet, and lowest 301 feet. The course is well supported with four aid/hydration stations, plus a gel station and even a warm cocoa stop!
This is a loop course where the start and finish are at the 9:00 o’clock position. It ends back on Country Club Drive. It's one of the most scenic rural courses yet so close and convenient in location. Along the way you will enjoy fields and orchards, stone walls and barns, historic homes and village landmarks. This area contains many farms and historic structures. You will take in the quiet atmosphere of the 420-acre beautifully landscaped and manicured country club and resort grounds unsullied by noise, crowds and distractions. During this time of year, runners will have it mostly to themselves.
The race begins at a convenient 10:00 a.m., with packet pickup and late registration (if available) from 8:30 a.m. race day.
This is the way late fall running should be, with hundreds of runners completing this gorgeous, rural, clockwise loop course, ready to enjoy the well deserved post race party.
Party at the Country Club
Celebrate the completion of the inaugural Jingle Bell Half Marathon. What a terrific and unique combination: Smuttynose brew, Stonyfield products, hot soup and hot chocolate will definitely help invigorate this unique post race party, held in the perfect location for this time of year—the beautiful ballroom at the Country Club. You will be in good company as at least 1,200 runners are expected to participate.
There are excellent directions on the Race Website no matter which direction you come from. The Atkinson Resort and Country Club is located at 85 Country Club Drive, Atkinson, NH 03811
There will be prizes for the top runners, of course, plus 5-year age groups going three deep. And everyone will receive a memorable custom finisher’s medal and long sleeve T-shirts to mark the occasion. You must be present at the awards ceremony to receive an award. This beautiful, easy, rolling 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. http://www.locorunning.com/
The folks at LOCO Sports have a solid history of successful race management, including the recent Rockfest Marathon and Half Marathon, Great Bay Half Marathon, All Women’s Half Marathon, the Stow Eight Miler, the “Will Run for Beer” Series, and additional new and exciting races coming your way in 2014. You can count on them to provide a terrific race experience from start to finish.
There are so many great reasons to make this your late fall/early winter running adventure, a distance run you can call your own. The Jingle Bell Half Marathon has it all, magnificent venue, beautiful, scenic course, great race organization, terrific sponsorship, historic small town, and an amazingly fun-filled post race party with plenty of awards and good food and beer. It is professionally organized to satisfy a runner’s every need; and professionally chip timed using Chronotrack B-tag from Yankee Timing to insure accurate and rapid results.
Check the race website for details including registration, directions, course map, contacts, FAQ’s, event logistics: www.jinglebellhalf.com. And definitely be there to enjoy a great run at a beautiful resort facility. Enjoy running with LOCO Sports—they are far more than an ordinary event management company. Join this beautiful rural countryside tour with its fast, scenic loop course, outstanding race organization, and classy ballroom post race celebration. It is a fantastic opportunity for your comfortable and perhaps personal record half marathon!