The Hollis Fast 5K – Race and Enjoy One of the Fastest 5Ks in the USA
It runs point to point downhill and it is really fun! This race has it all -- an opportunity for a PR, a scenic course in beautiful Hollis, New Hampshire, with well organized race management and great awards and amenities. It runs Thursday, June 14, 2012. Oh yes, it is fast, blazing fast!
Posted Friday, 4 May, 2012
If you stop and think about the title of road races also serve as descriptions of the race. The “So and So” 5K, 10K, half-marathon, etc. is not just the name of the race but also describes part of the race, specifically the distance. In Hollis, New Hampshire there is a race that describes itself in its title but it does more than tell participants how far to run. The Hollis Fast 5K, taking place on June 14 is just that, fast. The point to point course is why the Hollis Fast 5K is considered one of the fastest 5Ks in the country.
Is the Hollis Fast 5K really that fast? The fastest 5K in New Hampshire history was turned in at this event when Nate Jenkins ran 13:46 in 2007. Yes, the drop in elevation exceeds standards for state records but that’s the point. The more important point is the Jenkins and 29 other men and women have finished in times that would be state records. The drop in elevation adds to the fun and doesn’t stop anyone from smiling when they set a record or PR.
Speaking of the state records, while they won’t go into the books of USATF they will be recognized by the race. Free entries for the following year will go to anyone who sets a NH individual age state record.
For the record the race drops 224 feet from the start near the center of the town of Hollis to the finish line on Depot Road in front of Morin’s Landscaping.
With a race this fast it is not surprising that some of the top area runners have taken part. After the original distance of five miles the race became a 5K in 2005. Since the switch the list of winners includes Casey Moulton (2005 and 2006) and Benjamin Ndaya (2008 and 2010) on the men’s side and Kara Haas (200, 2008, and 2010) and Tammie Robie (2009) on the women’s side.
The fast course attracts more than just the best runners. The Hollis-Nashua, N.H. area is a rich one for young runners and the Hollis Fast 5K reaches out to those runners with numerous awards. The youngest age category is 9 and under. From there the categories are in two year increments, up to the 18-19 division. Adults are also rewarded with five year age categories, starting at 20-24 and going to 75 and over. The Hollis Fast 5K gives out more awards than 99 percent of New England races and does so in style. Award winners stand on a podium and have their pictures taken.
The Hollis Fast 5K is also great for beginners and families. Any running is hard but beginners looking for a race that will give them a positive experience, to keep them motivated, will find that here. New runner training programs such as the nine-week Couch to 5K program are targeting this easy-to-complete run as their first official race. It is also quite common to see parents and children finishing together, with smiles on their faces.
New this year, this event has added a walker division, encouraging corporate fitness programs and family members to participate. This division is considered non-competitive, but randomly drawn prizes will be awarded to three participants.
Operating a point to point 5K requires a lot of effort and for that the runners have the Hollis-Brookline Rotary Club to thank. The race serves as a fundraiser for the Hollis Rotary Club and the club provides dozens of volunteers. From the pre-race registration area at the Alpine Grove Function Hall to the transportation to the start, and post-race party back at Alpine Grove, the Rotary volunteers are everywhere, making sure race day goes off without a hitch. Leading the way is the race director, Rotarian George LeCours, a long time member of both the club and the New Hampshire road race community. LeCours and the Rotary Club run this race like clockwork. From transporting runners to the start, to a fun post-race party, the Hollis Fast 5K is one of the best organized races around.
Still not convinced that you should be in Hollis, New Hampshire to run 3.1 miles on June 14th? In May, 2009 Running Times Magazine listed the Hollis Fast 5K as one of the speediest races in America. In July, 2010 the Wall Street Journal singled out the race as one of the quickest and most unique in country.
Day after day, week after week runners train hard: long runs, hill workouts, repeats on the track. Some have been doing it for years. Just once, don’t runners deserve a break, a chance to smile as they turn in fastest performance of the year? Shouldn't that break come on June 14 when the 2012 Hollis Fast 5K take place?
(For more information and to sign up go to the race’s website: http://www.hollisfast5k.com/)