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home > races/results > usa: new hampshire > the bedford rotary memorial 12k and uncle sam patriotic challenge 5k want you!

The Bedford Rotary Memorial 12K and Uncle Sam Patriotic Challenge 5K Want YOU!
The race season in New England is moving to high gear with these events on May 21, 2011. The 37th Annual Bedford Rotary Memorial 12K/5K Road Races are two well-managed, excellent races for runners of all ages and abilities. Both will wind through country roads in historic Bedford, a spring contest in New Hampshire; in fact the 12K is part of the New Hampshire Grand Prix.

The Bedford Rotary Memorial 12K and Uncle Sam Patriotic Challenge 5K Want YOU!

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By Michelle Boisvert
Posted Thursday, 14 April, 2011

The 37th annual Bedford Rotary Memorial road races continue to evolve and impress. These two races—the 12K and the newly named Uncle Sam Patriotic Challenge 5K through historic Bedford, New Hampshire —are nothing short of spectacular. Start training now for Saturday, May 21st. Take on the 5K, 12K or both!

Just like New Hampshire, the Bedford Rotary Memorial 12K and Uncle Sam Patriotic Challenge 5K are a unique blend of old and new. Competitors of all ages and abilities, from seasoned racers to new runners, can tackle a distance just beyond 10K or take on their first 5K of the season. These back-to-back races offer something for the entire family.
The 12K distance starts at 9:00 a.m. and the 5K heads off at 11:00 a.m., so there’s plenty of time to get in some extra mileage and run both. Race headquarters is now at the Bedford High School, located at 47 Nashua Road. These family and beginner-friendly races signal the unofficial start of summer, when race season in New England is in full effect.

Two Scenic and Historic Courses
Originally established in 1730 as Narragansett Number 5, the town’s first known settlement is marked with a monument dating back to 1737. The town was later re-granted as Bedford in 1750, named for Lord Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford and a close friend of then Governor Benning Wentworth. Today the mostly residential town has a relaxed close-knit New England-style of living that’s built on history and tradition.

Immerse yourself in the town’s charm with these two fast courses that run through its rolling country roads. Some things really do get better with age. This year, Uncle Sam will lead the bagpipe and Color Guard procession for each race. The 12K Bedford Championship features a downhill start on a wide stretch of road that allows racers to properly seed themselves for a smooth start and fast overall time.

Runners head out along County Road for about 1K before turning right onto Gault Road. You’ll follow Gault Road and turn right onto Patten Road for some green views of the Manchester Country Club golf course before a sharp right brings you back onto County Road. Take a quick detour through a quiet neighborhood of Wright Acres Road before heading back onto County Road.

Once you turn left onto Liberty Hill Road, you’ll experience the most elevation the course has to offer with some gently rolling hills, running through scenic country. Just when another uphill is in sight, turn right onto Gage Road for a short distance. One of the last right turns brings you onto Nashua Road, which displays New England’s farm heritage: rolling fields, quaint houses, barns and rock walls nestled in the countryside. A few large colonial and modern houses dot the landscape and break up the pastoral setting—a welcome mix of traditional and contemporary. A final left turn brings you back to the high school for that victory lap around the track.

You may wonder about the distance: why make it a 12K? It’s the perfect distance at the perfect time, believes race director Bill Gere. “The 12K is an intermediate distance and it comes at the right time—a month after the Boston Marathon. The 12K is also good for marathon runners to work on their speed.”

All pre-registered 12K runners will receive a beautifully designed technical New Balance t-shirt. Participants in the 5K can pre-order a shirt for just $10. Registration is now open. Visit the race website for a downloadable application:, or register easily online at Race day registration is also available, but sign up early if you want to get one of the great New Balance shirts!

Run Like a Founding Father
The Uncle Sam Patriotic Challenge 5K race encourages costumes with patriotic flare—and there will be prizes for the best ones! The course for the Uncle Sam Patriotic Challenge 5K is a lollipop route that starts and ends at the Bedford High School. After the short downhill on County Road, runners hit the first kilometer on Gault Road before making a left turn for a short run down Mayflower Road, where they hit the 2K mark.

A left turn takes you onto Meetinghouse Road for just a few minutes before heading down Edinburgh Drive to check off another kilometer. Make another left onto Liberty Hill Road and then a right onto County Road and you’re in the home stretch—with just over 1K to the finish. Kick into full speed when you catch sight of the school again and prepare to run through that oval amidst cheering crowds and patriotic music.

The Uncle Sam Patriotic Challenge 5K guarantees to be fun for all—with prizes for the most patriotically dressed participant. Don that red, white and blue running gear and hit the streets. You can even dress your dog up like George Washington and walk the 5K with him. New Hampshire hosts many historic events, and here’s one you can be a part of!

Running: The Ultimate Social Event
Throughout its history, the Bedford Memorial Rotary Road Races have become known as team-focused events with some competition thrown in. And each year brings an impressive field of runners from all over New England. This year they are awarding a Participation Trophy for the running club with the most finishers.

Awards will be given to the top three male and female runners in both the 12K and 5K races. Teams with the most finishers in the 12K event will receive trophies; 5K teams of four or more will be scored based on times for their age/gender category. There will also be costume awards at the finish for the most patriotic get-up. The first place finisher in each age category (five-year groupings) will receive prizes. Granite State Race Services will provide professional race timing using the disposable ChronoTrack B chips. For more information on prize divisions, visit Individual runners and teams can also raise money for a charity of their choosing. Visit the website for more information on how to run and contribute!

Once the Work is Done
Runners may forget where the hills are or when the turns pop up during a race. They may even forget which weekend a race is held, or what time it starts. But one thing that most runners don’t forget is what food was served at the post-race party. One thing that’s certainly memorable about the Bedford Rotary Memorial races is the hot, catered meal at the finish.
If you want more than the regular post-race food—yogurt, bagels and bananas–reward yourself with great treats, including pizza, lasagna from Bedford’s T-Bones Restaurant, chicken tenders, French fries and pasta salad. After you’ve satisfied your taste buds, get some of the kinks out at the massage table. Students from Hesser College’s Therapy Program will be on hand to offer all runners free post-race massages.

The Bedford Rotary has been dedicated to serving the town of Bedford for 42 years—and has been putting on these world-class running events for nearly as long. The race committee strives to put on one of the best races in the area and one of the tastiest post-race spreads you’ll find. Come run the Bedford Rotary Memorial Road Races—and become a part of Bedford’s running history.



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