The Twin Reservoirs Half Marathon and 5K in Beautiful Holyoke, Massachusetts
Enjoy a terrific new half marathon coming Sunday, July 21, 2013, linking two lovely reservoirs and the campus of Holyoke Community College in the shadow of imposing Mount Tom. This inaugural event starts and ends on the campus and includes a 5K and loads of fun. There are a few small hills and many scenic views with a loop to the south and then north of HCC.
Posted Friday, 21 June, 2013
This inaugural event is one of the eight half marathons in the New England Half Marathon Tour established by 3C Race Promotions, and one of two in Massachusetts this year. This one will be run in the beautiful Connecticut River Valley just outside Holyoke. It is set in the midst of a gorgeous region, the Pioneer Valley, along the Connecticut River in Holyoke, once the largest producer of paper in the world, a model for industrial efficiency and simply a wonderful setting for racing.
Holyoke is only eight miles north of Springfield, Massachusetts and easy to access via Interstate 91 (Exit 16), which is in turn easy for east-west access via the Massachusetts Turnpike, Interstate 90. Holyoke is only 17 miles north of the Connecticut state line and lies on the west bank of the Connecticut River.
And the venue is top notch. The race begins and ends on the campus of Holyoke Community College, specifically at the state-of-the-art David M. Bartley Center for Athletics and Recreation (Parking Lot M on the north side of the campus). Holyoke Community College (link below) serves about 10,000 students and is located at 303 Homestead Avenue, Holyoke, MA 01040.
Half marathoners will receive custom tech shirts and finisher medals and 5K runners get unique cotton T-shirts. Overall winners and age group winners will receive unique commemorative pint glasses, and all half marathon finishers will receive an attractive custom medal, a nice touch to remember this inaugural event. Please visit the race website for details: http://www.twinreservoirshm.com/
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 with 6 aid stations for the half promises fast times and runners will be rewarded with fresh fruit and pastries at the post race celebration. It is presented by 3C Race Productions and this event is one of eight races in their new and exciting New England Half Marathon Tour as outlined below.
The Half Marathon will start at 9:00 a.m. followed by the 5K at 9:30. Both races begin and end at the Bartley Center parking lot, as noted. The half marathon course travels a two pronged extended loops (great course maps on the Website), with a southern surge to begin heading to Wright Pond, the first reservoir, by way of a Campus Road loop to begin. When reaching the main entrance to HCC, the half marathon course heads right or south on Homestead Avenue, followed by a right on Westfield Road to the entrance of the reservoir area. Westfield Road Extension carries the field in a counter-clockwise loop around Wright Pond, with Whitney Avenue taking runners between Wright Pond and Ashley Pond, with the loop taking runners back to Westfield Road and returns to the campus via Homestead.
When reaching the campus gate there are four miles complete. A brief surge on Campus Road takes the field to the north end of HCC and hooks to a right or north on George Frost Drive and an eight-mile round trip to the second, Whiting Reservoir. Frost Drive merges into Cherry Street, then the course turns left to continue north on Jarvis Avenue. Another left on East Hampton Road carries the course to Whiting Reservoir Road, and a beautiful counter-clockwise loop around this lovely pond. It is made all the more spectacular with the looming Mount Tom and Mountain Park just to the northeast. East Mountain is also visible.
"They have laid out a really interesting course here. this group does a great job, and they sure do know racing and what runners want."
The course has a beautiful backdrop as the mountains rise to the northeast, part of the Metacomet Ridge, a volcanic basalt, traprock ridge, which is not tall but very rugged. This ridge is younger and separate from the Appalachian Mountains to the west. Your loops around both reservoirs are roadways where natural beauty is everywhere around you—close at hand and in distant views. Following the reservoir loop the course returns to the campus and the finish along the same route.
The 5K course is simply two loops around the campus on Campus Road with start and finish also at the Bartley Center. http://www.twinreservoirshm.com/
3C Race Productions
This company produces dozens of races, including the Wolf Hollow Half Marathon, Freeport Half Marathon, Fall River Half Marathon, and the Moose on the Loose 10-mile trail run and the New England Half Marathon Tour 2013 as outlined below. This is a full service and very 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 full race schedule, directions, recent news, opportunities, results, photos, videos and more: http://www.3craceproductions.com/
New England Half Marathon Tour 2013
New this year is the already popular New England Half Marathon Tour 2013, which includes eight excellent events held in six states. Each has both a half marathon and a 5K so that all attendees have an event to their liking. Races for this year began with the Lime Rock Half Marathon in Lakeville, Connecticut (June 9, 2013), followed by the Killington Half Marathon in Vermont (June 16). It continues with this one, the Holyoke Half Marathon, followed by the Black Bear Half Marathon on August 25 in Waterville Valley, NH. The others include Freeport (ME, 9/8/13), Fall River (MA, 10/20/13), Colt State Park (RI, 11/10/13), and Wolf Hollow (NH, 11/24/13).
"I love the idea of a New England Half Marathon Tour. This is going to be big in this region, and such unique and wonderful locations. I plan to run as many as possible."
They have chosen unique and unexpected venues for half marathon and 5K runners, offering experiences that are varied and fun, for example, Fall River and Battleship Cove, or the incomparable Freeport, Maine with L.L. Bean.
Several new half marathons are planned for next year to expand the circuit for 2014, including Narragansett (RI), Old Orchard Beach (ME), Speedway (NH), Boothbay Harbor, (ME), Moose on the Loose (NH), and Saratoga Springs (NY). http://www.nehalfmarathontour.com/
Holyoke is a city of about 40,000 on the west bank of the Connecticut River and lies between the Metacomet Ridge or Mount Tom Range and the Connecticut River. It is part of the Springfield Metro area. River falls and extensive rapids and drop in the area created and ideal location for water powered mills as with the much more famous Lowell to the east. There are some similarities, although the layout of Holyoke in the downtown is set in a rectilinear fashion (grid system) which is very unusual for New England towns. It has an extensive canal system, built to power mills, of course, one of the first planned industrial towns. But here the mills were for producing paper, not textiles.
This was once the world’s largest paper manufacturer and the complex of mills, canals and dams is impressive. Perhaps unexpectedly, it has the second largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the nation. Immigrant mill workers have made Holyoke an industrial power for going on two centuries. Hundreds of thousands visit at that time for the festivities, behind only New York City. They also hold the largest Puerto Rico Cultural Parade.
There are numerous attractions in Holyoke, including the mountains, Heritage State Park, the canal system, a beautiful library, museum, Dinosaur Footprints Reservation, and much more. And of course there is Holyoke Community College, one of the most attractive in the state. http://www.hcc.edu/
This is Your Half Marathon
You have been getting ready to do one this summer, so here it is. Everyone, it seems, is doing half marathons and 3C Race Productions places outstanding races in ideal places. And here is one for all comers, all paces. Whether it is your first or your 101st, this is one you should do. Holyoke is a unique place for many reasons, and there will be lots to see in the Pioneer Valley.
The awards, the amenities and post race festivities with 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.
Please note that 20% of race proceeds will go to the Holyoke High School, Hadley High School, and Holyoke Community College Cross Country and Track teams. So know that part of your registration fee will go to strengthen the running community and to worthwhile charitable causes.
Registration is very reasonable but don’t delay, you can save money over race day registration and you will want to get one of those custom shirts. Come out and experience this inaugural event on July 21, 2013.