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home > races/results > usa: new hampshire > start your new year off right with the sixth annual 1st run, 5k and 10k

Start Your New Year Off Right with the Sixth Annual 1st Run, 5K and 10K
This flat and fast race will be ideal to start your New Year! It’s an innovative holiday celebration, race and party, with excellent amenities and terrific loop courses. Celebrate and fulfill that New Years' Resolution;1st Run is for runners who truly want to have fun! January 1st, Lowell, Massachusetts is the place to be! And again this year it is the first event in the famous LOCO "Will Run for Beer" Series.

Start Your New Year Off Right with the Sixth Annual 1st Run, 5K and 10K

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1st Run Event Website

By Skip Cleaver
Posted Sunday, 28 December, 2014

Take your pick of the 5K or 10K and set a personal record for 2015 on New Year's morning. Then have a blast at the party with good food, adult beverages, rockin' music and unique--and in great demand--wine stopper medals from Ashworth Awards. Hurry and sign up because the first 750 will receive both custom crafted knit hats and knit gloves, and the race accepts only 1,500 this year; it will sell out. The second group of 750 will receive the knit hats—see the photo on the website—and all finishers will get their medals. After six terrific years this dual race is now a classic in the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts.

Register now for the race and also for the Will Run for Beer Series--seperately. Celebrate the New Year with running friends, and start your 2015 in the best way possible—run for it then enjoy the day! Yes, this is the 1st Run; and it the first race in another way--it is the first of nine possible events in the exceptionally popular "Will Run for Beer" series put on by LOCO Sports. But more about that later.

Ready … Set … 1st Run!
The 1st Run 5K and 10K have created more excitement and positive reviews than any other holiday race in the Merrimack Valley; and there have been many races in this hotbed of running and lore. The 1st Run is easy to get to, flat and fast in quiet neighborhoods of the Pawtucketville section of Lowell, running along the mighty Merrimack River.

Ashworth Awards, a Massachusetts company that designed the popular Wild Rover Series medallions among many, many other local and national events, will supply medals for all finishers. They are simply the best in creating medals, trophies and awards of all kinds, and the title sponsor of the incredibly successful Ashworth Awards Baystate Marathon and Half Marathon. This will be a unique "Wine Stopper" medal, a valuable keepsake to commemorate the sixth annual 1st Run, now a classic!

Consider all the amenities offered. They provide unique "personalized" bibs with your name on it (if registered by December 10th), part of the amazing Chronotrack B-tag (chip attached to the bib) timing system used by Yankee Timing Company, one of the best in the business: Yankee Timing. They will quickly post your PR for 2015 right away, both at the race site and on the internet—quickly and accurately, using start mats and finish line mats, providing net time as well as total time (the 10K will also have a mid point 5K split mat). The post race refreshments with music will be ideal for New Years morning. Additionally, they will provide custom personalized e-mail results within 24 hours of the event; an electronic finishing certificate.

There will be a bag check--very helpful on January 1--plenty of free parking, digital clocks every mile, heat sheets at the finish line (very unusual for 5K's and 10K's), and of course beer! You do not want to miss this celebration.

Please visit the Race Website at Lowell 1st Run for all information on registration, directions, parking, amenities, previous results, reviews, course maps and elevation profiles, and a ton of photos by Jim Rhoades and Ted Tyler.

It’s all about Quality and Fun
“We’re trying to provide a high quality and enjoyable event for all participants to start their year,” said race director Sean Donnelly. As director of the very popular Hynes Road Race, also in Lowell, Donnelly knows a thing or two about staging top notch events. “This race will provide all the excitement and amenities of the Hynes Road Race and the Wild Rover Series, and more because of the holiday festivities,” he added. “It’s all about running a good time, and having a good time.” If you need more information you can contact Sean here: or call 978-382-2545.

Race Headquarters, start, finish and post race party, will be at the Lowell Elks, 40 Old Ferry Road in Lowell. This is just off Pawtucket Boulevard and very near the Rourke Bridge. Both races will blast off at 11:00 a.m. on January 1st. Packet pick up and late registration (if available) will be from 9:00 a.m. to 10:45 at the Elks Club. Online registration is available on the race website, or you can download a mail-in application. But keep in mind the field limit of 1,500 and the December 10th cut off for personalized bibs. Mail-ins must be postmarked by December 24th at the latest.

The races will start together with the 5K running one (clockwise) loop and the 10K two loops on this well-designed course. The 5K has only four turns, about as good as can be on a loop course, and it is flat—pancake flat. A good portion of it will be along the scenic Merrimack, as the course heads upstream for more than a mile from just above Pawtucket Dam and Falls to just west of the Rourke Bridge.

Both courses were designed by Yankee Timing's Dave Camire who is known for developing lightning fast courses. He designed the course for the Bay State Marathon, the Mill Cities Relay, Wild Rover Series, and the popular Good Times Series, among many others.

There is an excellent course map with elevation profile for each race on the Website at Lowell 1st Run but the course is quite simple: It starts on Old Ferry Road, turns right or east on Varnum Avenue, turns right or west on Pawtucket Boulevard, and turns back onto Old Ferry Road with a right turn into the Elks parking lot to the triumphant 1st Run Finish. There will be digital clocks at each mile. The 10K will run this loop twice with a small arc added (Bedford Avenue and Jennifer Road) to make up the added distance.

We’ll have Fun, then More Fun
Yes, this is going to be FUN! There will be some serious folks actually looking for a great pace on a very flat course with only a few turns. There will be those looking for a good time! And there will be those who finally get themselves off the couch, fully committed to New Years resolutions to run regularly in 2015. But the primary theme for these races is to have an absolute blast and bring in the New Year as all runners should—by running a great race on an enjoyable course--really awesome!

Auld Lang Syne
Celebrate the New Year with like-minded runners and enjoy what has become, in only six years, a great tradition in Lowell. The Merrimack Valley is one of the hotbeds for running in the entire USA, and also a hotbed of innovation. Here runners know how to race well and also have a good party!

Will Run for Beer Series
As it did last year, the 1st Run kicks off the now famous "Will Run for Beer" race series in conjunction with LOCO Sports. The series includes a possible nine events between January 1 and June 21, 2015; and the big reward is the highly desired "Will Run for Beer" jacket. Runners need only five of the nine races to qualify for the jacket, and it is possible to complete those five with all 5K races.

There are 12 possible races in the nine available events. For the more adventurous there are longer options, including the 10K at the 1st Run, the Half Marathon at Half at the Hamptons on February 22, Hampton, NH; and the Great Bay Half Marathon (a 5K is also included for that one) on April 12, Newmarket, NH.

Other races include the Smuttynose Palooza 5K on March 7 in Salisbury, MA; the April Fools Four Miler, March 28, also Salisbury; Stonyfield 5K in Londonderry, NH May 16; and the Margarita's 5K in Exeter, NH on May 21. The Series closes with the Smuttynose Will Run for Beer 5K at the Smuttynose Brewery in Hampton, New Hampshire on June 21. Please visit the website for more detail and to register: Will Run for Beer .

First Go with 1st Run
The 1st Run starts everything--for the year and for the WRFB series. Don't hesitate, don't procrastinate, just get on that website and register. And then relax and enjoy. If you are running regularly, look forward to a really well managed and enormously fun event and celebration. If you plan to restart or increase your running in the New Year, then signing up for this one NOW is your ticket to get off the couch and into fitness and fun.

But most importantly, these races represent runners’ perfect opportunity to really celebrate the New Year with new and old friends. They offer many amenities normally not found in a local race. It will be a party and a sure PR for 2015! Get your running off to a great start with hundreds of like-minded runners. Just Go!

For more information visit the Race Website at Lowell 1st Run.



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