The 35th Annual Clarence DeMar Marathon in Keene, New Hampshire - Tradition, Quality, Change
The 35th Clarence DeMar Marathon is a unique race within one of the great scenic areas of New England, the Monadnock Region in peak foliage glory. Running Sunday, September 30, 2012, and named for one of the greatest marathoners of all time - a teacher in Keene - this event has everything for an outstanding distance experience!
Posted Monday, 13 August, 2012
The Clarence DeMar Marathon celebrates 35 years and will incorporate some positive changes and enjoy significant growth under new management this year. The Keene Elm City Rotary Club will present the event and use it as their signature fundraiser, supporting local youth causes as well as their international projects in El Salvador. www.elmcityrotary.org
This event honors seven-time B.A.A. Boston Marathon Champion Clarence DeMar, who was also a three-time USA Olympian and winner of the last Olympic Marathon medal for the United States prior to Frank Shorter’s incredible victory in 1972. DeMar lived in two locations near the course and taught at Keene Normal School, the forerunner of Keene State College.
Because this flat, fast marathon course was designed to showcase the Monadnock region, it is a point-to-point from the village of Gilsum and through Swanzey into the center of Keene. This Boston Qualifier ends up on Main Street in downtown Keene then turns onto Apian Way at Keene State, one of the loveliest campuses around. This is a USATF-certified course and a 2013 and 2014 Boston Marathon qualifier. Few other marathon courses compare for the quiet beauty of the course, and the way the details are covered from packet pickup to post race celebration.
The Clarence DeMar Marathon is tremendously well organized and offers a terrific racing experience for all. And by ALL we mean all 600 runners who are lucky enough to get into this one. That’s right; it is limited to 600 because of the rural nature of the roads and the limits posed by the village of Gilsum. They provide shuttle transportation from the finish area to the starting line beginning at 5:30 a.m. on race morning, Sunday, September 30. The last shuttle will leave the college campus for the start at 7:00 a.m. www.clarencedemar.com
There are two options for race packet pick up. Packets will be available at Ted’s Shoe and Sport, 115 Main Street in Keene, on Friday afternoon from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. Packets are also available on Saturday, September 29 from 1:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Spaulding Gym at Keene State College. Race organizers strongly encourage packet pick up Friday or Saturday, but will still provide race day pick up for those arriving Sunday morning.
Commemorative long sleeve technical fabric shirts, gender specific, will be provided for all registered runners at pickup.
There will be a pasta dinner provided for a small fee of $15.00 on Saturday evening with two seatings—5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. It's only $10 for children under 12 and kids under 5 eat free. It will be held at the St. George Greek Orthodox Church, Hellenic Hall at 70 West Street in Keene. You might want to take advantage of this as it is Parents/Family weekend at Keene State and restaurant reservations will be hard to come by. And you can’t beat the price.
There will be water/fueling stations approximately every two miles along the course. Other amenities include a bag check at the start. And all finishers receive a custom medal. Prizes will be awarded to the top three women and men overall and top three in each ten-year age group through 70+. Post race refreshment and nourishment will not disappoint. All finishers will also be able to get a free massage in the finish area.
Register now, and don’t hesitate: www.clarencedemar.com
Clarence DeMar won the Boston Marathon seven times, a record of course. He also finished second twice and third twice, and completed 32 Bostons overall. His first win came at age 22, and his last at age 41—the oldest Boston winner ever. He won marathons far and wide, and was an international star as well, running three Olympic Marathons and winning the Bronze Medal in 1924 at Paris. He also ran the 1912 and 1928 (age 40) Olympic Marathons, and likely would have done more had it not been for the cancellation of the 1916 Games because of the war. He also served in the army.
DeMar, who held a degree from Harvard and received a Masters degree from Boston University, was an instructor at Keene Normal School and also coached track and cross-country there. He lived near the finish line at Apian Way, and also at a farm outside of town near the airport. He apparently did not have a car, but often ran, walked, and hitchhiked from Keene to Melrose on weekends.
DeMar was born in Madisonville, Ohio in June of 1888, and died of cancer near Boston in June of 1958, just days after his 70th birthday.
Keene and the Monadnock Region
The Monadnock Region is a vibrant, beautiful area, considered to be the “Currier and Ives” corner of New England. It is especially beautiful in late September with unbelievable color on the hills and mountains and along all the roads, such as the roads that make up the course. Nearby Mount Monadnock is the most climbed mountain in the world, but yet the region has a peaceful tranquility.
Keene, the Elm City, is within easy traveling of such metro areas as Boston, Hartford, Montreal, Portland, and New York. It is an idyllic college town sometimes used as a movie setting. There are about 23,000 residents with a diverse economy and wonderful resources. There are about 5,700 students at Keene State today, and the Owls operate in Division III NCAA athletics.
Let’s Run 2012
New this year, the course will include a scenic pass over the Surry Mountain Dam—beautiful, and includes a portion near the Bretwood Golf Course. Some of the turns in and near the city of Keene have been changed since 2011, and navigation will be easier. Additionally, there will be guides/course volunteers at every turn. And the finish is near the facilities of the campus, making pre-race and post-race comfortable for all.
This event is ideal for first time marathoners and experienced distance runners alike. There is no big city confusion and no vehicle traffic congestion, and each runner will be treated like a guest. There is no relay, and no half—just a pure marathon experience. This is a small city marathon compared to the majors, but a top notch event, an absolute must for runners of all abilities. It will sell out. Everything will be well marked and easy to navigate. And the course is comfortable with rolls but no large hills. It has tradition, running annually since 1978; and it is named after one of the most famous distance runners of all time with a local, inspiring history in the area.
To register please go to http://www.clarencedemar.com/
No matter where they come from, all marathoners will find a welcoming race organization and community, an outstanding committee as well as energetic and supportive volunteers. All the details will be covered--runners just want to run, so there is no hoopla and no hassle as compared to the major marathons. Yet everything is provided to make the marathon experience memorable, whether this is someone’s first or 100th, just the pure joy of running your first or best ever marathon. This is, after all, the Clarence DeMar Marathon.
Get Ready, Run This One
The marathon runs on Sunday, September 30, 2012, beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Spring Street in Gilsum. Please see details regarding directions, parking, accommodations, restaurants, shuttles, course information, volunteer opportunities, and more on the Race Website. Don’t hesitate. All finishers will receive a medal and of course the shirt, but you will also leave Keene with wonderful memories of a beautiful course, and a great deal of pride in the accomplishment—a Clarence DeMar moment. Be a part of a 35-year tradition of quality and history in the famous Monadnock Region. Get ready.
For additional details please go to http://www.clarencedemar.com/