This Just May Be New England’s Fastest 5K
What goes up must come down. When it comes to the physics of running, no one knows this law better than George LeCours.
Posted Monday, 14 March, 2005
You see LeCours was the mastermind behind the Pack Monadnock 10-Miler uphill run that journeys from Wilton, NH to the summit of Pack Monadnock. In its twelfth year, Pack is the oldest and longest race on the USATF Mountain Racing Circuit. The race is known for its terrific organization, breath taking scenery and gut wrenching climb up the Pack Monadnock auto road.
So how do you follow up a gem like Pack? For LeCours who has reached the summit of mountain running race directing there is only one place to go – downhill! And downhill is exactly where he is heading. Let me explain.
Earlier this year the Hollis-Brookline (NH) rotary club approached LeCours with the request he get involved with their Apple Country road race. Their five-mile race was in its 9th year and although it was a very well organized it was in need of retooling. The other race in town, in which LeCours has also played a role, the Applefest Half-Marathon had experience phenomenal success. This was something the Rotary wanted for their event. They hoped LeCours could bring some of that Applefest magic to Hollis in June.
So LeCours began polling runners and race directors he knew for advice. Armed with a basketful of questions he was on a mission to design an event that would be interesting and fun. He asked, “What do runners want in a race? What kind of course do they like? What is the most popular distance? How important is the after race party?” His inquiries led to some interesting results.
First it was determined to keep the race away from the crowded weekend calendar. With numerous events held on Saturday and Sunday he decided to stage his event on a Thursday evening.
He also determined that runners preferred a fast course. The existing course had a high level of difficulty so a course redesign was in order. Finally he heard that the after race party was key to the overall race experience.
In order to have a great after race party a nice facility with ample parking would be needed. The only venue in Hollis that would accommodate 500 runners was the Alpine Grove function hall located three miles from the race start in the center of town -- light bulb!!!! Why not change the race from five miles to 5K and run it from town center downhill to the Alpine Grove? The Hollis Apple Country Fast 5K was born!
About the Event
The Hollis Apple Country Fast 5K will be a gravity aided point-to-point race and it is going to be a screamer! “You can literally coast on a bike from the start to the finish,” points out LeCours. Imagine this as the Millennium Mile times three. With only two right angle turns on the course this should be the fastest 5K in all of New England. This is almost a guaranteed 5K PR.
Imagine your delight when you write your new 5K PR in your logbook the next day. “Hmmm, let me see I knocked two minutes off my previous PR – yippee!”
The race begins at 408 feet above sea level and drops to 184 feet above sea level over 3.1 miles. That amounts to a 224 foot drop! Make no mistake about it; this will be THE RACE to run this summer.
The race is scheduled for Thursday evening (June 9th). “This is an open date on the race calendar,” according to LeCours. “It [the event] is designed so running clubs can come to this race in lieu of their mid-week workout.” There will be a special team competition specifically designed for running clubs. There will be prizes for top three men, women and mixed teams. Additionally there will be a similar competition for corporate, high school and junior high school teams.
The start of the race will be at the Always Ready Fire House located near the town common in scenic Hollis, NH. The course will come through the town common and stay on Depot Road to the finish. Depot Road is a fairly wide two-lane road that passes numerous orchards, fields and farms. It is quintessential New England; right out of a Currier and Ives postcard. Plans are to close off one lane of the road, however if the race reaches its limit the entire road will be closed.
The finish line will be at Morin’s Landscaping at the junction of Depot Rd. and Rte. 111 and just a short walk from the Alpine Grove, however if you don’t want to walk a shuttle bus will be available. Registration and the awards ceremony will also take place at the Alpine Grove Function Hall. Runners will park at the Alpine Grove and can either run or take a bus to the starting line. If you decide to run to the start, keep in mind it will be uphill the entire way.
The Alpine Grove is located on Rte 111A in Hollis, NH just a few miles north of the Massachusetts border and located off Exit 5 on Rte 3. Thursday evening was selected specifically because of the lower volume of traffic usually found on Rte. 3 during this time of year. Travelers from metro Boston should find this an easy commute.
This is an event that you’ll be talking about the rest of the year. So come to beautiful Hollis, New Hampshire immerse yourself in the scenery and the challenge of running a fast 5K PR. Bring your teammates, bring your friends, bring your entire family to an event that is sure to make the summer of 2005 most memorable.
Lovering Volvo Presents:
Hollis Apple Country Fast 5K
Hosted by the Hollis Brookline Rotary Club
Date and Time: Thursday, June 9, 2005 at 6:30 PM
Race Course: 5K point-to-point downhill
Race Course Amenities: Mile and ½ mile markings. Digital clocks at each mile and finish. Two water stations. Race starts at 408 feet above sea level and ends at 184 feet above sea level for a 224 foot drop.
Start: Ever Ready Firehouse near Hollis Town Common in the center of town.
Finish Line: Morin’s Landscaping located 1/3 of a mile from Alpine Grove.
Age Group Prizes: Five-year age groups from age 20 up. Two-year age groups from age 10 to 19. Age group from under 10 years old. Three deep for all age divisions.
Walkers: 7 age groups (19 & under) 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+ (1st place only)
Running Clubs: Prizes for men, women and mixed teams (3 places deep)
High School Teams: Prizes for boys, girls and mixed teams (3 places deep)
Jr. High School Teams: Prizes for boys, girls and mixed teams (3 places deep)
Teams: Three to five runners per team, best three times score.
Race Limitation: This race is limited to the first 500 runners. It is expected that this race will reach the maximum early.
Registration fee: $16 per runner including team members.
Tee Shirts: $6 per shirt. High quality colorful short sleeve tee shirts.
Race contact: George LeCours email@example.com. Tel: 603-465-9551