The Smuttynose Palooza Runathon Indoor Half Marathon and Relay, Plus Cabin Fever 5K—Be Part of this Unique Happening
The Smuttynose Palooza Indoor Half Marathon and “I’m Only Here for the Beer” Relay sponsored by Smuttynose Brewing Company is one of those “must do” unique races in New England. It will run in the Hampshire Hills Dome in Milford, New Hampshire on Saturday, January 14, 2012. Weather is not an issue as you run indoors on the track, and with the (outdoor) Cabin Fever 5K there is something for everyone.
Posted Saturday, 31 December, 2011
This unique happening is in its second year, and it is a gem. Why? It is because of the unusual nature of the event, the flawless organization by LOCO Sports, the FUN nature of the events, and the top notch facilities and amenities. Individuals can run the complete half marathon or you can put together a team of 2 to 5 runners, and share the excitement. And everyone can run the Cabin Fever 5K, an outdoor event of a more normal configuration, running on the quiet roads of Milford. Some races claim to be unique, but this event really is unequalled.
According to Race Director Mike St. Laurent (AKA the LOCO Guy), this is a really fun event with music and an announcer calling the names and details as runners circle the indoor track. Also according to Mike, it is “the flattest half marathon anywhere”. And who can argue, it has a perfectly flat, comfortable track with banked corners—the banking on the turns being the only hint of a slope. And it is USATF-certified.
In addition to the announcements, music and entertainment, there will be a big screen TV constantly showing runners’ names, laps completed, and elapsed time. Friends and family (or teammates) can cheer you on again and again. Mark this down, this is the only half marathon where you will have 66 water stops and pass the available rest room 66 times! For a few athletes, the schedule is set up so you can run the 5K, the relay with friends, and your own half marathon—lets call this the Granite Challenge. http://www.smuttynose-palooza.com/
Speaking of Granite, here is a little trivia for you—Milford is known as the Granite Town in the Granite State, of course. The quarries of Milford produced stone for many, many buildings throughout the years. Every time you look at a $10 bill you see the pillars of the US Treasury Building, built of Milford Granite!
Yes, Palooza means “party”; and Runathon means multiple chances to run. This event is in great demand because of the limited numbers and has become a classic in only its second year, a regional one-of-a-kind running happening, and a signature event for the folks at LOCO Running. It is also the second event in the wildly popular “Will Run for Beer Series” (listed below), the first being the 1st Run 5K and 10K in Lowell on New Years Day.
The fun begins with the Cabin Fever 5K at 8:30 a.m., an outdoor standard 3.1-mile out and back road race that allows everyone to get into the action. Race headquarters for all events will be the Hampshire Hills Dome, 50 Emerson Road, Milford, NH 03055 (just off South Street, or State Route 13) and easy to get to. The 5K is a slightly rolling, easy out-and-back on very quiet neighborhood roads. http://www.smuttynose-palooza.com/
The “I’m Only Here for the Beer” Half Marathon Relay, 2 or 5-person teams, has two heats. In the first, running at 9:30 a.m., all teams are required to wear costumes, whatever the theme they choose: Super Heroes, Elvis, tutus, butterflies, cartoon characters, etc. The number of laps for each is optional, as long as each person runs at least 10 laps, or a little over two miles, and each runner can run only once. Runners can signal each other when they are ready to hand off, as the team laps will be counted with the Chronotrack chip in the relay baton. Plan your handoffs according to ability or conditioning and keep an eye on the screen. There will be female, male, and mixed teams. And, of course, costumes will be judged.
The second relay runs at noon, and standard running gear will be the norm, although costumes are okay too. Both heats, the costume heat at 9:30 and the regular heat at noon, will be limited to 60 teams; yes, 60 each, so do not delay, especially if you prefer not to run in costume.
The LOCO Palooza Indoor Half Marathon for individuals will also run in heats: The first will blast off at 2:00 p.m., and runners are urged to enter the first if they are able to run 2:00 hours or under. The second heat will zip off at 4:00, and those running should attempt to complete the 13.1 in 2:30 or less, or about an 11:45 pace. Because of the track both heats are limited to 50 runners each—that’s right, there are only 100 slots available so do not delay.
From a practical matter, this may be the most comfortable half marathon you have ever run: soft track, not asphalt, banked turns, friends and family, big screen for constant update on progress and time (like having digital clocks every 1/5 mile), bathrooms nearby (step out and take a bathroom break, especially if you stop too many times at the 66 fluid stations), or you can simply take a break, have a snack, talk to friends, enjoy the music and the moment. Two constants throughout the day: enormous fun and entertainment, including Smuttynose beer. Check the Race Website for information on everything: registration, directions, FAQ’s, links to other LOCO races, Palooza schedule, course maps (the indoor track is quite simple), and more.
With 66 laps for the half marathon (a little over 5 laps to a mile—big track), and runners going round and round with hand-offs and breaks you would think that the timing of this event would be very complex, and it is. But Yankee Timing Company handled it flawlessly last year and they are ready for you with the best system in racing, the Chronotrack D-tag recording every lap. Immediate results will be posted and, as noted, you time and lap numbers will post on the screen every round—see your name on the big screen. You know how you watch for those digital clocks in road races, posted every mile if you are lucky; with this system you will have five times the information.
The 2012 “Will Run for Beer” Series:
January 1 First Run 5K, Lowell, MA
January 14 Smuttynose Palooza Runathon Half Marathon and 5K, Milford, NH
February 19 Half at the Hamptons, Hampton, NH
March 31 April Fools 4 Miler, Salisbury, MA
April 7 Great Bay Half Marathon & 5K, Newmarket, NH
May 6 Margaritas Cinco de Mayo 5K, Exeter, NH
June 3 Will Run For Beer 5K, Hampton, NH
Sign up for the Smuttynose Palooza Runathon right away, and don’t get shut out in the cold. Be a part of this unusual happening, a mid-winter way to enhance and enjoy the sport. I repeat here, the numbers are very limited for the indoor half and relay, so you must get in on it right away. There is no limit on the Cabin Fever 5K, although many have said that they plan to do both, just for the contrast. Enjoy the day with friends new and old. Run, enjoy, have a Smuttynose, and kick start your 2012 season. “The Will Run for Beer” has become very popular, as have each of the wonderful events included in the series. Get out there. http://www.smuttynose-palooza.com/