Final Race in the New England Half Marathon Tour—the Wolf Hollow Half Marathon and 5K, Trails Along the Nashua River
Enjoy a terrific half marathon coming Sunday, November 24, 2013. This is the second annual event, Nashua’s only half marathon in many years. It runs mostly in beautiful Mine Falls Park, and includes a 5K and loads of fun. The half marathon distance is becoming very popular—here is a wonderful trail course that is easy to negotiate whether it’s your first or 101st—two person half marathon relay too!
Posted Thursday, 14 November, 2013
Here comes a unique trail half marathon in Nashua, New Hampshire, and it has New England runners excited. This is an event that everyone can participate in, with three great options to enjoy the gem of the Nashua park system and a runner’s paradise. You can do the half marathon, of course, but if you are not up for 13.1 miles, you can do a 5K along some of the same trails OR get a buddy and enjoy the relay with legs of about 7.6 and 5.5 respectively.
This is a great course that is soft underfoot with only a few mild rises, but it is fairly flat through forest land adjacent to the canals and river that made Nashua a powerhouse in textiles with water powered mills. It is a mild, easy, scenic course with an exciting relay and accompanying 5K and all the amenities. Best of all, it benefits the running community.
Are you ready? Power your way along these trails in a late season celebration of distance running with a first class event. There will be tech shirts for the first 800 half marathoners to sign up and finisher medals for half marathoners and relay runners; custom cotton T-s for 5K participants, runners and walkers, if they are in the first 200. Prizes include keepsake logo pint glasses for top three overall and age division champions, a nice touch to remember this inaugural event. Post race celebrations will include Amarello’s Famous Portuguese Kale Soup, fresh fruit and delicious pastries and more. http://www.wolfhollowhalfmarathon.com/
The Nashua YMCA is adjacent to the start and finish and 20% of race proceeds will go to the “Y”, which is also a sponsor. And the race will also donate significantly to three high school cross-country programs: Nashua High School South, Nashua High School North (they both train on these trails), and Milford High School. They will be helping with the seven water stops and working as course monitors, so you can feel good that part of your registration fee will go to strengthen the running and fitness community.
Everyone, it seems, is doing half marathons these days, and here is one for all comers, all paces. You know you are going to do one, so here is a terrific opportunity with a low key and comfortable trail and lots of company.
Nashua is 20 minutes from Manchester and under an hour from Boston. However, runners are coming from all over New England and New York for the second annual celebration of running in the “Gate City”. Soon it will also be known as the “Half Marathon City”, as the inaugural event got great reviews. Please visit the race website for details: http://www.wolfhollowhalfmarathon.com/
The Yankee Timing Company will be using the “B-tag” Chronotrack system (timing chip built into the race bib) so you know the results will be both accurate and immediate. A well supported course includes seven water stops for the half and relay and two for the 5K. This event is presented by 3C Race Productions and is sponsored in part by Runner’s Alley, “New Hampshire’s only running only” store with locations just meters from the half marathon race course in Nashua, as well as in Portsmouth and Manchester.
The Half Marathon and relay will start at 9:00 a.m. followed by the 5K at 9:15. The half marathon and relay race begins and ends adjacent to Stellos Stadium. The 5K also begins close to the Stadium and ends at the same finish line. This location is easy to get to and just off Route 3 and the Everett Turnpike at Exit 5 (West).
The Half Marathon and Half Marathon Relay Course
The Wolf Hollow Half Marathon and Half Marathon Relay course starts just off Riverside Drive in front of Stellos Stadium and navigates a counter-clockwise loop around Nashua High School South. As the field spreads out on these wide open roads, it returns past the starting line to Stellos Stadium. The course then heads into Mine Falls Park near the dam and falls and through the Main Gate, following the canal to the Nashua High School South Bridge.
The course crosses the bridge to the south side and then follows the canal on that side (paved) side under the Route 3/Turnpike Bridge continuing to the Cove Footbridge where it returns to the north side of the canal. On the north or left side it runs all the way to the Nashua mill yard just west of downtown. The course then returns on the lower (river) side trails back under the Route 3/Turnpike Bridge. When the course meets the trail from Nashua High School South to Lincoln Park it turns right and across the Nashua River on the footbridge to go a full lap around Lincoln Park and then return back across the bridge to the main trail.
The course then heads west back to the trail intersection just inside the Main Gate. Runners then turn left heading east again along the canal and repeats this loop through Mine Falls Park to the Millyard and back. At the end of the second loop the course turns to the right through the Main Gate, past the boat ramp and out of Mine Falls Park, passing in front of Stellos Stadium and finishing in the adjacent parking lot.
The relay runners' handoff point will be approximately 50 yards past the end of the first loop. Basically the first runner does the paved portion and the first trail loop and the second runner the second trail loop back to the stadium.
The 5K Course
The 5K course starts near the entrance to Mine Falls Park. The course then goes past the falls and through the Main Gate following the canal to the Nashua High School South Bridge. The course crosses the bridge and then follows the canal on the opposite side under the Route 3/Turnpike Bridge continuing to the foot bridge to the soccer fields opposite Whipple Street. The course crosses the bridge and then heads back towards Stellos Stadium on the north side of the canal, going back under the Route 3/Turnpike Bridge. The course takes the high trail following the canal back to the Nashua High School South Footbridge and then follows the first mile of the course past the start line and Stellos Stadium to the finish line in the adjacent parking lot.
Mine Falls Park
Mine Falls is a unique urban park in the center of Nashua, but you would never know you are within the city limits when running or walking the miles and miles of trails within this 325-acre wonder. It has forest, wetlands, open fields, a canal and the Nashua River. It is largely undeveloped, except for groomed trails, footbridges over the river and canal, and soccer and ball fields. It has deer and other forms of wildlife, including many, many species of birds.
The 5 kilometer power canal, built in the early 1800’s with mules, oxen and shovels, has been placed on the National Register of historic places, along with a large part of the Millyard near downtown. Its name derives from mining efforts to extract both lead and iron in the early to mid 1700’s below the natural falls and well before dams were built.
There are many access points from various locations, including the Millyard downtown, Stellos Stadium, Nashua South High School, Lincoln Park from the north side of the Nashua River, and Whipple Street where the playing fields are located.
It is a tremendous recreational resource, especially for walking, running and biking with main and side trails providing many options. It is used for numerous Cross-Country meets. It provides pedestrian access in addition to recreation: Access from Lincoln Park to Nashua High School South; one of the few crossings (under) the Everett Turnpike east and west, for example you could walk from downtown off Main Street all the way to Conway Arena and Stellos Stadium; and it has the only pedestrian bridge across the Nashua River within the city west of Main Street. The primary trails are mostly adjacent to either the mill canal or the Nashua River.
Key dates in the history of the park:
1826 First dam constructed over and just above the main falls to power mills in the developing city.
1886 Expansion of the canal and the gate system; construction of the new gate house which still stands near the Stellos Stadium access and boat ramp.
1948 Last textile mills closed.
1969 City of Nashua takes control of the land which was once held exclusively by the Nashua Manufacturing Company.
1974 Park master plan developed.
1984 City owned hydro-electric dam built—supplies power to the High Schools, Public Works Garage, and the Police Station.
1987 Canal and Millyard added to the National Register of Historic Places
1992 Trails incorporated into the New Hampshire Heritage Trail System—a 130-mile trail from Massachusetts to Canada.
3C Race Productions
This company produces many races, including the Fall River Half Marathon and the Moose On the Loose 10 Miler Trail Race & Relay, the Jack London 10K Trail Race, the Wounded Warrior 5K, and many more top-notch New Hampshire and Massachusetts races. This is a full service professional organization that manages and produces events all over New England and sometimes beyond—over 125 events per year, including road races, trail races, triathlons, biathlons and snow shoe competitions. Founded in 2002, this company has helped provide funds and donations for many non-profits totaling about 1.5 million dollars for a variety of charities thus far.
Please visit their website for information on the race schedule, directions, recent news, opportunities, results, photos, videos and more: http://www.3craceproductions.com/
This is Your Half Marathon
You have been getting ready to do one, and many are urging you to run 13.1, so here it is. Whether it is your first or 400th, this is one you should do. Mine Falls is a unique place for many reasons, essentially an undeveloped wooded park in the middle of New Hampshire’s second largest city with forest, wildlife, historic canals, the Nashua River, and really lovely trails. This is a place you should visit (and run in) with or without these races. http://www.wolfhollowhalfmarathon.com/
Come and enjoy the fun at a very different and enjoyable event. The awards, the raffle and post race festivities with soup, fruit and pastries will be a lot of fun, headed by race director Michael Amarello. For additional information you can contact Michael at 603-429-8879 or by e-mail at michael@3Craceproductions.com. The “Gate City” only has one half marathon—make sure and be there.
Registration is very reasonable but don’t delay, you can save money by registering prior to November 10, and even more savings over race day registration. And you will want to get one of those technical or custom shirts. Let’s do it!