The Harvard Pilgrim Big Lake Half Marathon – Exciting, Scenic Race along the Shores of Lake Winnipesaukee
This spring is the perfect time to run and reawaken your senses to the unparalleled beauty of the wooded shoreline and clear waters of the Big Lake in New Hampshire.
Posted Monday, 9 March, 2009
Welcome to New Hampshire’s Lakes Region where the tranquil beauty of magnificent lakeshore scenes are guaranteed to inspire every runner. Add breathtaking views of the White Mountains, the Ossipee Mountain Range to the north, Sandwich and Squam Mountain Ranges northwest and west, and Belknap mountains to the south. There you have the makings of an extraordinary racing experience. You will delight in a terrific half marathon course that is brimming with some of the best classic New England scenery that any race has to offer. The course also features live music to keep you energized with your pace pumping all the way to the finish line. Celebrate with a fantastic post race party that is guaranteed to be the ideal way to top off a truly memorable race.
Start looking forward to race day on May 9, 2009! Plan to be at the starting line of the Harvard Pilgrim Big Lake Half Marathon in the beautiful resort town of Alton Bay, New Hampshire, located at the southeastern tip of Lake Winnespesaukee. Start time is 8:00 a.m. While you are there, take advantage of a variety of attractions that the whole family can enjoy. The Lakes Region is known for many highlights including historic landmarks, sandy lakeside beaches, scenic roads and an endless variety of outdoor activities. Fine restaurants and excellent lodging add to the area’s appeal as a great race vacation destination. In addition, because the Lakes Region is centrally located, you will be strategically close to all of northern New England’s other attractions. Boston lies just two hours south and the Atlantic seacoast and White Mountains are each only an hour away.
Fun Filled Course
Take in the glory of spring in New Hampshire along an exciting certified half marathon course. Your running adventure begins on a course that is mostly flat and fast. Throw in a few rolling hills just for the fun of testing your limits. Starting near the main fire station in Alton on Letter S Road, just off Route 140 in the center of town, the course turns west on Route 11 sloping down toward Alton Bay and the lake. Shortly thereafter, the course continues past the bandstand where the post race party will be centered. It continues along the shore, heading west on Route 11, passing the entrance to mount Major State Forest. Approaching the halfway point, the course turns right on 11 D. A left on Woodland Drive at 7 miles incorporates a pleasant loop before returning to 11 D with another left turn. Then 11D returns to the main road (Route 11) as you approach 11 miles. Head east on Route 11 to the finish line and a great post race party and awards celebration.
The Good Stuff
The Harvard Pilgrim Big Lake Half Marathon will keep you smiling from start to finish with everything from live jazz and bluegrass music along the course, colorful T-shirts, scores of prizes and awards, finisher’s medals, post race massages, and even a possible Elvis sighting. A pre-race pasta dinner at the Alton New Durham Lion’s Club, along with the Big Lake Bash post race party and concert ( at the Alton Bay Bandstand), and a wide variety of food and beverages, round out the long list of amenities.
Why even the water stops are entertaining! The stops will be staffed by the best volunteers around. Each water stop will go all out trying to get your vote for first prize in the Big Lake Battle. Not only will you find everything you need to stay fueled and hydrated, such as energy drinks, water, and energy gels, but you will also have the chance to vote for the best water stop. The energy and enthusiasm are positively infectious and will go along way to cheer you to your final victory stretch of the half marathon.
The Harvard Pilgrim Big Lake Half Marathon is brought to you through a partnership of LOCO Running and New England Timing. LOCO Running's name is synonymous with excellent organization, great amenities and good times. You know these guys from the Half at the Hamptons races, the Great Bay Half Marathon, The Stow Eight Miler, the “Will Run for Beer” Series, and the Maine Coast Half Marathon for Women. They work hard to ensure your safety and comfort and to keep you on track for your racing goals. The other half of the partnership is New England Timing, who will time over 40 events this year. Co-owners Jim Ewell and Dave Breeden are both race directors for highly successful races in Derry, New Hampshire: the Derry turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day, and the Boston Prep 16 Miler. This year the Turkey Trot drew over 1,000 runners and teh "moderately challenging" BP16 sold out for the third consecutive year with over 650 finishers.
Special awards and cash awards will be given to the top three female and male winners overall. Awards will be given to the top three in each age division. A special finisher’s medal will also be given to each participant. During the awards ceremony there will be a special raffle, so hold on to your race number. Last year’s overall male and female winners were Sam Wood and Kim Webster with times of 1:13:27 and 1:23:52 respectively.
Be a Volunteer
The Harvard Pilgrim Big Lake Half Marathon would love to have you as part of their team. If a friend or family member is racing, this is a great way to support them and have fun while actively participating in the race. Race volunteers reap great satisfaction, have a terrific time, and support the sport.
Race participants are encouraged to raise money for their favorite charity using this event. LOCO will provide special prizes for those who raise money for designated charities. In order to receive your prize for raising money, you must first register and designate a specific charity and submit your form at the Saturday or Sunday race packet pick-up. Please visit the race Website for details: www.biglakehalf.com/
Accurate, computerized timing will be provided by the New England Timing Company. The Harvard Pilgrim Big Lake Half Marathon will be utilizing a chip timing system at the start and finish. All athletes will be issued a timing chip along with their bib and goodie bag at registration. This will allow the race to provide each runner both an official Gun time as well as the unofficial Net time from when you cross the starting mats. You and your Chip must pass over both mat systems (start and finish) in order to receive your net time. If your start time is not recorded, you will only receive your Gun time.
This event is expected to fill up quickly so it is best to register early. Chips will only be issued to registered runners. On-line registration is available. In order to ensure the safety and quality of the race, the field will be limited to 1,500 runners. Please visit www.locorunning.com/biglake-register.php for more details.
Race packets, chip, bag, and bib numbers can be picked up at the Alton Central School in Alton, New Hampshire between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Friday May 8, or on race day, Saturday, May 9 between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m.
Gem of a Race
Don’t miss this exciting gem of a race with its remarkably beautiful course, great amenities and live entertainment. For a race with offerings this rich, remember to leave time to savor the tranquil beauty of this popular, scenic region. For the full experience, plan to spend the weekend exploring the amazing diversity of New Hampshire’s Lakes Region. The Harvard Pilgrim Big Lake Half Marathon is one race that will leave you with wonderful memories for a long time to come.