The All Women and One Lucky Guy Half Marathon - Stunning Autumn Experience in the Town of Newburyport
LOCO Sports welcomes you to this popular autumn must-run event in Newburyport, Massachusetts on Sunday, November 6, 2011. This is New England’s only all-women half marathon. Formerly the Maine Coast Half Marathon, the event is in its fifth year—the first in historic Newburyport.
Posted Saturday, 22 October, 2011
A perfect weekend getaway awaits the female running community as the All Women & One Lucky Guy Half Marathon approaches. The race will be held for the fifth year, but 2011 marks a new location. After running in York, Maine for the first four years, the 2011 version of the event moves to the beautiful seaside town of Newburyport, Massachusetts and takes place this year on November 6th.
Hundreds of women will enjoy a beautiful rural course around two reservoirs, great food and prizes, technical wicking T-shirts (sized for women), finisher’s medals and a post-race event with five year age group prizes. This is an all women’s race, with one lucky guy who is chosen by lottery. Walkers are welcome along with runners. Professionally timed by Yankee Timing using the B-Tag system, and terrifically organized by LOCO Running, the field of over 1,200 runners and walkers will enjoy this unique and successful race, now in its fifth year. It just keeps getting better, thanks to Mike and Linda St. Laurent, the trailblazing race directing duo, who bring the kind of race know how and expertise that only years of experience can bring. http://www.allwomenshalf.com
In its first four years the All Women and One Lucky Guy Half Marathon has become a popular event for women looking for a long distance race with that special camaraderie. It has long been accepted amongst the New England running community that all-women’s races offer something special to participants. The energy and spirit of an all-women’s race provides an atmosphere to female runners that can’t be matched by co-ed events. In a world that usually gives the sports spotlight to the male of the species, an all-women’s race gives women athletes their due, especially at a long distance event like this one. There are a number of all-women’s races in New England but the All Women and One Lucky Guy is the single women-only half marathon in the region.
The move across states lines for the 2011 edition of this event makes a great race even better. For the first four years the race started and finished in York, Maine but the race organizers were looking for “something more.” Working in partnership with the Newburyport and Newbury communities the race has found that something more at its new location. Newburyport, Massachusetts offers great restaurants, excellent shopping, terrific lodging options, and great scenery on the ocean and a wonderful, historic seaport.
Race weekend will include a Health and Community expo at Newburyport High School on Saturday, November 5, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. (packet pickup and late registration - if available). Race morning packet pick up will be open at 8:00 through 9:45 a.m. for the 10:00 a.m. start. Including the expo, the race course and organization, and the town, it is the perfect place for runners, friends, and family to enjoy a fall half marathon. Can you say “Bed and Breakfast” getaway weekend by the sea?
Obviously the change in location means a change in the course, and the new course should make runners smile. The new route is definitely flatter and faster than the old one. It starts and ends at Newburyport High School and the first two miles are easy and a little bit downhill. Some rolling hills will appear around 2.5, then, at mile 3.5, there is one medium grade and the course heads gradually up until mile 5. From mile 5 to 6.5 the course is flat before a gradual uphill portion of the course that ends about mile 7.5. For the next four miles the course is fast as it goes slightly downhill. The final mile is mostly flat with a gradual uphill to an exciting finish at the high school. Details on the course and all aspects of the race are available on the race website: http://www.allwomenshalf.com
Now let’s take a closer look at the course or, more importantly, let’s describe what runners are going to get to see. Notable landmarks and architecture in historic Newburyport will be visible in the first half of the run, combined with two beautiful reservoirs. The course is one of the more popular run-and-bike routes for athletes in the region.
The finish at Newburyport High School athletic field will also offer a great spot for spectators to cheer on the runners and walkers.
Okay, let’s talk about this “One Lucky Guy” thing. Race organizers have come up with a unique way to raise money for charity. Men who want to run the race enter a lottery with the money donated to non-profit organizations. One runner is selected and given the title “One Lucky Guy”. In the history of this event, thousands of dollars have been raised for charity because of the One Lucky Guy.
Runners and walkers of all ages and abilities are encouraged to take part in this special race and history indicates they have. They have been as young as 12; while no one will ever forget when 81 year old Isobel Parke of Epping, N.H. ran her first ever half marathon at this race. The list of winners includes some of New England’s top runners: Lesley Hocking and Tamie Robie of New Hampshire and Sheri Piers of Maine.
Participants will be taken care of from the moment they arrive to the time they head home. T-shirts will be wicking short sleeve white/red shirts with the race logo and, yes, 90 percent will be a women's tapered cut.
The top three overall and top three in 5-year age categories will receive awards and everyone will receive a customized finisher’s medal. Yes, there will be a medal for the One Lucky Guy. After all, he will be top male.
The All Women and One Lucky Guy race has gone the “extra mile” to support participants. Details about the weekend, a course map, and a lot of other information can be found on the race’s website, http://www.allwomenshalf.com. The race has also created a forum page for runners to get in touch with each other and offer travel support to the race or pacing during the race.
The All Women and One Lucky Guy Half Marathon has truly become one of the special events on the New England road race schedule. Do you want proof? One year, when the race was over, a local sportswriter described it as, “close to as perfect a race as has been held.” And now the course and location are even better!
See you there.