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home > races/results > usa: massachusetts > the inaugural north shore 10 miler at crane beach—oceanside scenic course and outstanding organization

The Inaugural North Shore 10 Miler at Crane Beach—Oceanside Scenic Course and Outstanding Organization
When a new race comes on the calendar they rarely create as much buzz as this one; they are developing the right race in the best place at the ideal time. This is a beautiful course with outstanding amenities, and an ideal venue—the beach and Crane Estate in the blossoming spring. It is running April 26, 2015, beginning and ending at scenic Crane Beach in Ipswich, Massachusetts.

The Inaugural North Shore 10 Miler at Crane Beach—Oceanside Scenic Course and Outstanding Organization

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Related info:
North Shore 10 Miler at Crane Beach Website

North Shore 10 Miler at Crane Beach Registration

By Skip Cleaver
Posted Friday, 13 March, 2015

The coast of Massachusetts is beautiful in spring, and it is a great place to run. Wildlife Refuge and tidal marsh views dominate much of this course, combined with the quintessential Roaring 20’s fantastic Crane Estate—Castle Hill and the Great House, the Grand Allee, and much more. It includes a lot of rural roads in a terrific lollipop course with a clockwise loop. It will be 10 miles of natural scenic beauty, history, awakening spring, and a beautiful beach location at an ideal time.

This is the latest LOCO Sports presentation with sponsorship from the Trustees of Reservations, keepers of the idyllic Crane Beach Reservation, the Crane Wildlife Refuge, and Castle Hill on the Crane Estate, a 165-acre National Historic Landmark crowned by the Great House, a 59-room English style mansion which was completed in 1928.

They also have sponsorship from Smuttynose Brewing Company, so this event will have historic charm and scenery with the traditional after race party atmosphere and beverages craved by distance runners.

This race has many built in attractions: a scenic location with plenty of parking, a wonderful season for a ten miler, a beautiful and tremendously interesting course, and the blossoming of spring and the emergence of wildlife—it is a wonderful time of year in Massachusetts. The scent of salt air mixing with the myriad aroma of blossoms and flora, along with the eye candy along the course will create a sensory-pleasing experience, a very pleasurable run. Views of the dunes, marshes and the distant islands in the estuary make for a great start and finish area, and an unbeatable venue.

Along with the natural attractions, LOCO has planned well for you. There is plenty of parking at Crane Beach, there will be a long line of porto-lets at the beach and along the course, there will be three hydration aid stations along the course with the second having Gatorade; the Smuttynose beer tent will be welcome, as are the short sleeve technical T-shirts. Bib and shirt pickup will be open at 7:00 a.m. to 8:45, with a 9:00 a.m. start, and both start and finish are close to registration.

Crane Beach is located at 310 Argilla Road, Ipswich, Massachusetts. The Crane Estate is nearby, all part of the 2,100 acres entrusted to the trustees of Reservations in 1945 by the Crane family.

You will love running along these roads—especially at this time of year when the entire region explodes into spring buds and blossoms—it is stimulating, invigorating, and inspiring; a great time of year to run along the coast. North Shore 10 Miler

A Unique Course to Enjoy
This 10-mile course starts and finishes at gorgeous Crane Beach and winds along the beach access road, Argilla Road, and within the first mile the course explores the Crane Estate. You will view not only the Great House but also the Grand Allee Mall with its classical statuary and 160-foot wide, 2/3-mile long view from the Great House to the sea. Your 130-foot climb will be rewarded with astounding views.

This first two miles of the course will also include views of the tennis courts/bowling green, Italian formal garden, the Rose Garden, Casino Complex, the Inn at Castle Hill (a Victorian Inn available for accommodations), Tavern, Gate and lodges, Farm complex, vegetable garden, and more.

Returning to Argilla Road, the course travels along seashore wetlands and tidal marsh, salt flats of the Essex River estuary. There are views of Choate Island and the other eight islands within the refuge, as it runs along working farms and residences, fields and forest, quintessential stone walls and a wide variety of trees and flora. Visitors come from all over the USA and many other countries come to enjoy this view. You will see it up close and personal as you head west on Argilla Road to the intersection of Northgate Road.

At Northgate the course begins a 2.5-mile clockwise loop heading left on Northgate to Essex Road with a following right turn on Heartbreak Road—no worries, you bypass heartbreak hill which will be off your left as you return to Argilla Road. The entire course, except for the initial 130-foot hill on the Estate, is gently rolling to flat.

Following the turn back on to Argilla Road the course returns to Crane Beach for that wonderful finish, allowing more outstanding views along the fields, forest, wildlife refuge and marsh land. This 10-miler is unique and memorable! It is a picture-postcard pretty spot you will want to return to for the many miles of hiking trails, four miles of beach and historic estate.

The Crane Estate and the Trustees of Reservations
Mr. Richard T. Crane made his fortune in the plumbing supply business from the late 1800’s to the early 20th century. The family was from Chicago but loved New England and the North Shore and decided to buy what is now the Crane Estate in 1910. It came to exemplify the American Country Place era in the same mold as Newport, but much more private. He and his wife, Florence, had two children: a son Cornelius and a daughter, also Florence. They initially lived in the Brown Cottage, now the Inn at Castle Hill. The Great House was built over a seven year period and completed in 1928. He died in 1931 but she continued to live at the estate until 1949 when she bequeathed the Castle Hill Estate to go along with the beach and dunes granted earlier.

Cornelius and his wife Minee spent summers there until his death in 1962; she lived until 1991. They stayed in the Brown Cottage and spent a lot of time on Choate Island and are both buried there—now part of the Refuge.

The entire original estate encompassed 3,500 acres—beach, wetlands, islands, farms and tidal flats—what we know today as Castle Hill, Crane Beach, and Crane Wildlife Refuge. There are hiking trails and the estate is open for browsing and viewing at any time. The Great House is sometimes open for tours, and available for corporate events, weddings, and other outings. You can find out more about this classic property at

The Trustees of Reservations, of which I am a proud member, maintain and operate and care for over 100 very special properties throughout Massachusetts, over 25,000 acres in total. You can learn more about this outstanding organization at

"The Trustees of Reservations preserve, for public use and enjoyment, properties of exceptional scenic, historic, and ecological value in Massachusetts."

North Shore 10 Miler, Ideal Spring Distance—Be There
This is a terrific place to run or walk, and this spring LOCO strikes gold with this one. They will provide a memorable, classic event for the New England Running community. The Crane Estate and adjacent beach and refuge are not only beautiful, pleasant natural areas, but also a major beach and tourist destination. And you get a chance to enjoy it at an ideal time—with spring exploding, comfortable weather, and relatively quiet roads! It is a combination of lovely shoreline, salt marshes, open fields, forested waters edge, and tidal waters, farms and residences--and of course, that beautiful beach and the historic structures on Castle Hill. It provides scenic views from everywhere along the course.

Check the race website for details, including course description and maps, directions and parking, the schedule, great photos, information on Crane Estate and Trustees of Reservations, contacts, and FAQ's. Join us on April 26th, and enjoy the first annual North Shore 10 Miler at Crane Beach. Register now and be sure you are at the starting line as one of the lucky 1,000 to participate in this inaugural.
North Shore 10 Miler



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