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home > races/results > usa: new hampshire > cash prizes and live music at the fourth annual bobcat bolt 5k and 10k road races and oyster river festival

Cash Prizes and Live Music at the Fourth Annual Bobcat Bolt 5K and 10K Road Races and Oyster River Festival
Races are USATF-sanctioned and certified, with cash prizes for both. Run or walk the 4th Annual Bobcat Bolt 5K and 10K, starting at 9:00 a.m. The Bobcat Bolt and Oyster River Festival will be held on May 12, 2012 this year! Prepped to be to be the best one yet, cash for 1st, 2nd and third in both, plus age group prizes and a kids’ race at 10:30! Two races, a reunion, a memorial, a festival, live music, and a day of fun for everyone!

Cash Prizes and Live Music at the Fourth Annual Bobcat Bolt 5K and 10K Road Races and Oyster River Festival

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Active Running

By Andy Schachat
Posted Monday, 30 April, 2012

The seacoast New Hampshire area is one of the strongest regions for running and road races in New England, and on May 12 runners--and walkers--have a chance to participate in a terrific event in that region. It’s the Fourth Annual Bobcat Bolt 5K/10K and Festival, taking place in the lovely college town of Durham, N.H., home of the University of New Hampshire. The top prize for the 10K is $200 for both men and women, with $100 and $50 for second and third. The 5K offers $100, $75 and $50, so there will be great competition in each event.

The bands have been announced for the Festival, so be sure to check out the Website. What a festival with live music, art, food, and plenty of entertainment for the kids.

For those that have run previous Bobcat Bolts, this date represents a change from the June event last year, the race goes back to its original May time frame used in its first two years. It is back to where it seems to belong on the spring race schedule. It will also serve as a better date for the Oyster River Festival that follows the races. This date for the race and festival makes it a day that offers something for everyone--including and especially all students. And the Bobcat Bolt races will be followed by the Oyster River Festival where the community will join to celebrate local live music, arts and memories. It is truly a reunion!

Let’s start with the races. The 5K offers everyone, regardless of pace, the opportunity to run or walk 3.1 miles. For the more serious runners, the 10K gives folks a rare chance to run a distance that seems to be disappearing on the regional schedule. The 10K is a great racing experience, and this gives New Hampshire runners what seems to be a rare treat. Both courses are USATF-certified, going through lovely Durham. If you are fast enough to be amongst the top finishers of each race you could earn a cash prize ($1,150 purse). The Bobcat Bolt Team Competition is a great opportunity for past and present ORHS and UNH alumni and faculty teammates to get out and challenge themselves against other teams from the ORHS and UNH communities--and of course beyond.

Offering prize money usually means top runners will show up and that has certainly been the case at the Bobcat Bolt races. Last year’s winners included Granite State runner Lesley Hocking of Dover (second year in a row in the 10K) in 38:03 and Maine’s Bob Wiles (33:39). Wiles won the 5K in 2010. The 5K in 2011 was won by Diana Davis of Providence (18:27) and Alan Bernier of nearby Exeter, NH (16:29).

Enjoyable as they are, you will have to work for your reward. Both courses start at Oyster River High School and right off the bat head up a fairly steep hill. Not to worry, at the Bobcat Bolt it will be an enjoyable jaunt, and a course that goes up must come down. After the first hill the 5K is pretty flat and fast, bringing you back to the high school. The 10K has a few hills in the second half before rejoining 5K finishers at the school. Both courses are very pleasant, and Durham is a great location for running anytime.

The race organizers are also hoping that runners believe in the slogan, “strength in numbers”. Yes a team challenge was added. Any group can band together and form a team—see the Website for team and individual registration details at

After the race it’s time for the Oyster River Festival. The Oyster River Festival is an annual offering of live music, arts and crafts, children's activities and more. Under the auspices of the Oyster River Alumni Association, the Festival also serves as a fundraiser that benefits students in the Oyster River School District through a variety of grants and scholarships, including the Oyster River Teen Initiative.

The race and festival are also being held to honor two brothers who attended Oyster River high school, Josh and Nate Hardy. Josh Hardy was a standout athlete at ORHS, especially on the soccer field. He also had a passion for skateboarding and the arts. Unfortunately, Josh lost a battle to cancer and died in 1993.

Nate Hardy dedicated his life to his country. From a young age Nate dreamed of serving in the Navy. After a standout high school career in soccer and lacrosse he enlisted in the Navy where he proceeded to earn numerous medals. On February 4, 2008, while conducting combat operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Nate Hardy was killed in action.

Because Josh and Nate Hardy were important members of the Oyster River community the race and festival are dedicated to their memory. As the organizers state, “it is our hope that the Bobcat Bolt and the Oyster River Festival will help us all remember Nate and Josh and inspire us to ‘come home’ and interact and be part of the community we come from.”

Like many other races and events the Bobcat Bolt and Oyster River Festival needs a local organization to support the activities. For the fourth year in a row, Gault Builders is the presenting sponsor. Gault Builders, located next to Durham in Madbury, N.H. is a company that designs, constructs, and renovates homes. Other sponsors include Durham Chiropractic, Rotary Club of Great Bay/Durham, Minutemen Painters, Durham Marketplace, Foster’s Daily Democrat, Chili's, Runner’s Alley, the Durham Project, Oyster River Alumni Association, the Oyster River Festival, and Sperry Tents.

Mark it down on your race calendar, May 12, 2012. Come run in the seacoast, New Hampshire area. Come run the Bobcat Bolt, then enjoy the festival, an event that truly sets this one apart and makes it so much more than a road race—It is a memorial and a race, a festival and a homecoming, a fund raiser and a fun event in a quiet, springtime Durham.



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