The Second Annual Jingle Bell Half Marathon—Holiday Themed Running Adventure on the New Hampshire-Massachusetts Border
If you enjoyed the first you will want to return. If not, you definitely want to get in on this gem. This unique half marathon on December 6, 2014 is two weeks before the start of winter. It offers a wonderful single loop course, beautiful venue, and the historic charm of Atkinson, New Hampshire, with brief forays into Haverhill, Massachusetts and Salem. Put on your bells and costumes if you like, but do come run with us.
Posted Tuesday, 2 December, 2014
Here comes a true holiday treat. It’s right on the border and convenient for many in metro Boston, the North Shore, southern New Hampshire, and the northern New England seacoast—jingle all the way!
It is a holiday celebration with normally ideal running weather as autumn winds down. Or it can be an early training run for your spring marathon. Whatever the type of adventure, this run through the serene rural landscape of Atkinson and environs is ideal as a celebration of the season and a fun, festive, fabulous run, a treasure brought to you by LOCO Sports.
The venue is the stunning Atkinson Resort and Country Club, a beautifully kept gem in rural Atkinson which will serve as race headquarters. It is located at 85 Country Club Drive, Atkinson, NH 03811. This terrific facility is only 6.3 miles from Interstate 93, Exit 2, in New Hampshire and 5.1 miles from Interstate 495, Exit 51B, in Massachusetts. Atkinson is right on the Mass border and the country club is only two miles from the state line. It is really centrally located in the Merrimack River Valley for thousands of runners.
Race number and shirt pickup, as well as the enjoyable post race celebration will be held in the spectacular club ballroom. You will enjoy a super post race party with taps flowing with Smuttynose craft beer, hot soup, hot cocoa, and wonderful Stonyfield products.
Yes, this will be the second running, a late fall-early winter Wonder! The first one last year received rave reviews, so join the crowd for a beautiful rural tour that combines long distance, excellent support, scenic vistas, and most likely ideal running weather for your half marathon. There will be no early autumn heat, no side races or relays; simply a pure and gorgeous half marathon that can both close a great season and be the first of the holiday-themed races.
Please note that this event is pre-registration only (no race day registration), so don’t wait. You can register here right now: Jingle Bell Registration
The race begins at a convenient 9:00 a.m., with race number and shirt pickup from 7:00 a.m. race day.
Goals—Everyone Wants to Run the Half Marathon
Whether you are seeking to start your winter running on the right track, inspired and motivated for your first half marathon, or training for a spring marathon, this is the ideal race to shore up your goals and put some spark in your running regimen. And it will be one of the earliest of the holiday-themed races.
Keep those goals and your motivation on course as we close 2014 and head into 2015. Cold weather distance running is an excellent way to improve and preserve your conditioning for spring season success, which will be right around the corner. It has a limited field of 1,200, so mark your calendar, get that registration in and make the most of the “off season” with this fantastic late fall running challenge.
Scenic, Rolling and Easy Course
It is an ideal time to visit and run through this historic community—the course also visits Salem briefly and dips down into Haverhill, Massachusetts for almost two miles. You will start and finish near the Atkinson Resort and Country Club on Country Club Drive.
Okay, it’s not perfectly flat—there are rolls throughout, but not a lot of elevation change over 13.1 miles. It is wonderfully scenic with an eclectic mix of farms and orchards, village and forest, fields and ancient New England stone walls. Runners and walkers of all abilities (3:30 hour time limit) will be energized on this course, which is a feast for the eyes with its country atmosphere and solitude.
Just a glance at the roads and byways making up the course sounds relaxing: Country Club Drive, Providence Hill Road, Old Coach Road, Westside Drive, Island Pond Road, Main Street (also known as “Stage Coach Byway”), Meditation Lane, Sawyer Avenue, Meadow Street, Sleepy Hollow Road, North Broadway, Chrystal Street, (Chrystal Pond), Liberty Street, Shannon Road, Hooker Farm Road, then back to Providence Hill Road and Country Club Drive.
Runners will head north first before turning east and then south. Mile 7.4 is marked by the New Hampshire-Massachusetts border, followed by a turn west and then north back into New Hampshire at 9.3 miles.
The course is a clockwise single loop, and rolling; however, there are no large hills and it is a very comfortable run. The highest elevation within Atkinson is 430 feet, and lowest 301 feet. The course is well supported with four aid/hydration stations, plus a gel station and warm cocoa at the last one.
Along the way you will enjoy fields and orchards, stone walls and barns, historic homes and village landmarks. This area contains many farms and historic structures. You will take in the quiet atmosphere of the 420-acre beautifully landscaped and manicured country club and resort grounds unsullied by noise, crowds and distractions. During this time of year, runners will have it mostly to themselves.
This is the way late fall running should be.
Party at the Country Club
Celebrate your victory and completion of the second annual Jingle Bell Half Marathon at this prized venue. What a terrific and unique combination: Smuttynose brew, Stonyfield products, hot soup and hot chocolate will definitely help invigorate this unique post race party, held in the perfect location for this time of year—the beautiful ballroom at the Country Club. Enjoy this fantastic post race in the elegance of the Atkinson Resort and Country Club ballroom.
There are excellent directions on the Race Website. The Atkinson Resort and Country Club is located at 85 Country Club Drive, Atkinson, NH 03811
Numerous Awards and Rewards
All finishers will receive a new, unique beautifully crafted maple hardwood medallion and a long sleeved commemorative T-shirt.
There will be prizes for the top three runners, of course, plus 10-year age groups going three deep. Look for the awards table inside after the race. Awards will not be mailed.
Yankee Timing Company will be using the state-of-the-art Chronotrack B-tag chip tracking system to insure rapid and accurate results.
LOCO Races- For Runners by Runners
Runners depend on the outstanding race organization by LOCO Sports, and they have selected this gorgeous resort and ballroom venue for post race celebrations, earning this event very high marks.
LOCO was founded in New Hampshire by runners just like you who believed that loyal runners deserved a company truly dedicated to the sport of running and to the running community. LOCO Races
The folks at LOCO also have a solid history of successful race management, including the recent Rockfest Half Marathon, the upcoming LOCO Marathon and Half Marathon (running October 26), Great Bay Half Marathon, the Women’s Half Marathon, Stow Eight Miler, the “Will Run for Beer” Series, and additional new and exciting races coming your way. You can count on them to provide a terrific race experience from start to finish.
Register Now, and Run, Just Run
It is fun, festive, and fabulous! There are so many great reasons to make this your late fall/early winter running adventure, a distance run you can call your own. The Jingle Bell Half Marathon has it all, magnificent venue, beautiful, scenic course, great race organization, sweet and unique medallion, terrific sponsorship, historic small town, and an amazingly fun-filled post race party with plenty of awards, good food and beer, and good cheer.
Check the race Website for details including registration, directions, course map, contacts, FAQ’s, event logistics, and more: Jingle Bell Half Website . And definitely be there to enjoy another great run at a beautiful resort facility. Enjoy running with LOCO—far more than an ordinary event management company. Join this beautiful rural countryside tour; it is a fantastic opportunity for your late fall run and perhaps personal record; it’s a bracing, invigorating half marathon, a holiday running celebration!