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home > races/results > usa: massachusetts > the new bedford half marathon - new england’s premier half marathon

The New Bedford Half Marathon - New England’s Premier Half Marathon
Come see the best New Bedford has to offer and see what has kept runners coming back for 34 years! It is once again the first USATF-New England Grand Prix race and Championship.

The New Bedford Half Marathon - New England’s Premier Half Marathon

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Active Running

By Christopher Russell
Posted Thursday, 17 March, 2011

Why should you run this year’s New Bedford Half Marathon on March 20th 2011? This event has an unparalleled history, a runner friendly closed course, and one of the finest half marathon experiences anywhere.

For the last 34 years the New Bedford Half Marathon has attracted the best runners in the world to test their metal on a classic course just five weeks before the Boston Marathon. World records have fallen, great races have transpired, and participants of all stripes have had banner days over the storied history of this famous spring classic.

The New Bedford Half Marathon has so much going for it that it really is a “can’t miss” event. Mark March 20th on your calendar soon to take part in this venerable classic. Join runners in the know who have been coming to New Bedford for 34 years. Live the history, soak up the experience, take the challenge and discover how championship races are supposed to be run. Yes, it is a New England USATF Championship, but it is open to all runners!

Focusing on an excellent experience for every runner...
This is a runners’ race with a 100% closed course and a detail of over 100 police officers to ensure the safety of the field. No runner will ever have to share the road with an automobile anywhere over the course of this beautiful 13.1-mile counter-clockwise loop.

The New Bedford Half Marathon was one of the first half marathons in New England—before they became THE event for all--and it has survived and thrived as half marathons have become increasingly popular. Last year saw a record 2,600 plus finishers and this year the upward trend is expected to continue because of the value and experience that the race provides.

Don’t miss out – The New Bedford Half Marathon has got it all!
The New Bedford Half Marathon touches every base. There is history. There is a classic course. There is a quality elite field. There is an excellent runner experience for every participant. And it is open to all. The value is obvious, the experience outstanding, the organization top notch, and runners show their appreciation by coming back every year.

A Race with History…
This classic race is steeped in history. Ingrid Kristiansen set the world record here, (knocking off Joan Benoit Samuelson’s previous record), in 1989. Geoff Smith still holds the course record of 1:02:05 set in 1986; the same year he won the Boston Marathon.

A race that attracts the world’s best…
New Bedford consistently attracts an elite field from all over the region and world. New Bedford will again be the USATF Grand Prix and has an excellent prize package (see the race Website at ). Racers come to test themselves against the course and the quality field they know will show up. Over the course of the 34-year history of the race it has always fallen on the 3rd Sunday in March perfectly timed as a tune up for Boston on Patriot’s Day.

A Race with a classic course…
The New Bedford Half Marathon course is classically challenging, while at the same time scenic. The course is deceptive because to some it seems difficult—a few small climbs--but many runners, (including yours truly), post excellent times there. The course has a little bit of everything and is genuinely interesting for all runners—whether your first try at the distance or 300th.

This course throws some hills at you early but then relents with a long, protected downhill section where you can really fly. Next, the course turns along the water where there is sometimes a sea-breeze headwind, but the course offers tailwinds too. Finally there is a long hill in the last mile but it ends with a downhill sprint to the finish.

It’s a great course to practice your tactical running skills. It has something new and interesting at each turn. If you work the course well it is a fast course and will reward your execution.

The New Bedford Half Marathon offers unsurpassed value and runner experience…
The event presents an outstanding value for every runner. There is the closed course, B-chip timing by Yankee Timing with digital clocks at every mile, and 6 water stops. The volunteers are veterans. The venue is easy to get to with plenty of free parking.

You get a lot for your money. This year the finisher medals will have a new, unique design. The classic long sleeve T-shirt will once more be advertisement-free and the traditional fish sandwiches and chowder will be ladled out to all finishers. New Bedford takes care of all its runners and for a comparatively low entry fee.

The New Bedford Half Marathon is hosted by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, with enthusiastic support and assistance from Mayor Scott Lang and the entire City of New Bedford. This is a 34-year success story that draws support from the whole community and shows off the city.

A generous prize package attracts the talent…
One of the reasons New Bedford attracts such a quality field is the generous prize package. Racers are encouraged to strive for bonuses and age group winners can ‘double dip’ if they win overall awards as well.

New this year - ‘Pushing Beyond Limits’
You’ve all marveled at Rick and Dick Hoyt over the years. They will be racing the New Bedford Half Marathon as they do each year. Following in Rick and Dick’s footsteps this year the Schwartz Center for Children and Citizens~Union Savings Bank are teaming up in an effort they are calling ‘Pushing Beyond Limits’.

Representatives from both organizations will be running to raise awareness of the Center and the ways in which it is helping children with special medical and developmental needs from across Southeastern Massachusetts.

Runners will be pushing children who attend the Center through the course, an invaluable experience for both the runners and the kids. The Schwartz Center for Children has been serving children with a variety of special medical and developmental needs from birth to age 21 in Southeastern Massachusetts since 1947. Services include a Day School, Early Intervention Program, Outpatient Rehabilitation Services, Regional Consultation Program, Pediatric Specialty Clinics, and a variety of other programs.

Celebrate and showcase New Bedford…
You could easily think of New Bedford as a destination race. New Bedford is a scenic seaport city on the southern coast of Massachusetts close to Boston, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Cape Cod and the Islands. New Bedford has the whaling history of Moby Dick fame with the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park.

On the course you’ll pass a dozen churches and other landmarks including a sign marking the ride of Paul Revere (the ride, of course was toward Lexington and Concord, but he founded Revere Copper and Brass in New Bedford, a major employer in the city for generations). Runners will pass the Rotch-Jones-Duff House and St. John the Baptist Church - the oldest Portuguese church in North America.

On Union Street, they will be treated to Victorian homes with ornate woodwork that date back to the whaling era. Many still bear "widow's walks," small rooftop rooms that were used by captain's wives watching for the return of whaling and fishing vessels.

You won’t find a better value or a better experience than the New Bedford Half Marathon.
I speak from experience when I say that the New Bedford Half Marathon is a classic race and a great experience. I have run several good races there and the experience of this race is priceless. New Bedford is well planned, well organized, and has a history and ‘feel’ or character that other races just cannot match.

Running in a classic like New Bedford leaves you feeling like you have been part of something exceptional, something to tell your friends about. Plus it is a great goal race that will energize your running now.

Sign up for the New Bedford Half Marathon and run this championship event on March 20, 2011 and make your own history. You’ll be glad you did—very glad.



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