Your Big Lake Half Marathon—You are Going to Love This Race
The Big Lake Half Marathon runs along the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire’s spectacular Lakes Region; and the terrific organization and many amenities are equal to the extraordinary scenery.
Posted Monday, 26 February, 2007
New Hampshire was made for running! The Big Lake Half Marathon is one awesome race—lakeside views and mountain vistas will make the miles really enjoyable. The music and entertainment along the course will keep your pace pumping. And they have a post-race party planned with live music that will keep you rockin’ long after you cross the finish line. It is undeniably scenic and rewarding. I urge you to go to Alton and Alton Bay to experience this event.
The Big Lake Half Marathon will run on Saturday, May 12, starting at 9:00 a.m. It begins in the town of Alton, and runs through Alton Bay and along the shore to West Alton before returning to the finish line at the Community Center in Alton Bay—right on the lake, the Big Lake.
You want amenities? The Big Lake Half Marathon has them: Pre-race pasta dinner; colorfully unique T-shirts; bag check; Championchip timing with net and official time; digital clocks every mile; eight water and aid stations along the course (not including start and finish), with Nutfield Spring Water, Carb-BOOM energy packs, and Gatorade at each station; SAG vehicles provided by VW-Audi; medals for all finishers (provided by MetroCast Cablevision); a finish line massage tent; terrific post race food (including Jordan’s Ice Cream); great raffle prizes; age group prizes of maple syrup, cash prizes, finish line and post race announcing by New Hampshire’s own Andy Schachat, and really excellent live music by Paul Warnick at the post race party at Alton Bay Bandstand on the lake.
Speaking of awards, there will be more than 85 individual awards, including the top three overall, and top three in five-year age groups, plus cash awards for the top five women and men, cash for the top masters, and awards for the top Clydesdale (200 pounds) and Athena (150 pounds). However, everyone wins in this event with beautiful T-shirts and unique medals given to every finisher. Add to that the fantastic scenery of this beautiful region, the excitement, enjoyment, sense of accomplishment, and the thrill of participating in a remarkably well-organized event. EndorFun Sports staff, organizers of the race, insist on treating every participant like a champion.
The Big Lake Half Marathon is entering its sixth year, has gained wide appeal. And it has grown. It is now selling out at 1,500 runners, so don’t wait until the last minute.
If you are coming as a spectator and want to enjoy the fun in a different way, check the volunteer page on the race Website—get involved. Without volunteers there would be no races.
Pre Race and Registration
There is a pre-race dinner from 6:00 to 8:00 on Friday night, May 11th, the night before the race. It is an old-fashioned community meal, a really good time with great food, and a chance to commune with friends—old and new. It will be held at the Alton Central School, sponsored by the Alton-New Durham Lions Club; it only costs $10 (proceeds to charity).
Registration/packet pickup will also be at Alton Central School, which is a quarter mile from the start. You may pick up the packet—Goodie bag with bib number and ChampionChip—Friday evening before the race from 5:30 to 7:30, or race day morning from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. If picking up race morning come early to allow for parking and getting to the start line. The finish is 1.5 miles from the start, so bag check is provided at the start, and shuttle bus service will bring runners and spectators back to the start from the finish area. Carpool if possible, and do not miss the post-race festivities, the “Big Lake Bash”. It will be all live music—all immediately on the bay.
Well Stocked and Ready On the Course
Along the course you not need to carry anything—the water/aid stations are well stocked with everything, including band-aids and Vaseline. And along the course you will be entertained. Each aid station will be competing for your vote for the best in the “Big Lake Battle”, and you won’t believe the effort they will put into your comfort and enjoyment. They will cheer your every step and make you feel like an international star.
The Lake and Alton
Come a day early and enjoy the sights and sounds of Alton, the bay, and the Big Lake. There is a lot to do in and around Alton, and you can get lots of good information in the Community Center, right where the race ends. Take a cruise on the famous MS Mount Washington, a 1,250-passenger vessel that cruises Lake Winnipesaukee and its lakeside ports; it docks at the Community Center. Or climb Mount Major, which is one of the smaller mountains of the area at only 1,780 feet. However, its summit provides a fantastic panoramic view of the Lake with its bays, islands, and inlets, as well as the surrounding Ossipee and Squam Mountain Ranges. It is an easy climb, even for kids, and offers spectacular views of the lake and the Big Lake course.
Lake Winnipesaukee is the largest Lake in New Hampshire, and one of the largest in New England. It is one of 270 lakes and ponds in the famous Lakes Region. It is 504 feet above sea level, covers 72 square miles (44,586 acres), has 182 miles of shoreline (it is a 65-mile run around it), and has 244 islands. It is spring fed.
Alton is a wonderful community of around 5,000 full time residents, with a much larger summer population. The Big Lake Race is held during a quiet and enjoyable period between seasons, and is most enjoyable in the spring. That is why Jordan chose May 12th. Alton has been a resort community since the mid 1800’s. The town contains many historic buildings, including the Town Hall (1894). It is a great place to run.
A Course to Remember
And what a beautiful course! The Big Lake Half Marathon starts near the main fire station in Alton on Letter S Road, just off Route 140 in the center of town. It then turns west on Route 11, sloping down toward Alton Bay and the lake. Shortly after heading down to Alton Bay you will pass the famous bandstand (where the post race party will be centered) and head along the shore past the finish line at the Community Center, formerly the Alton Bay train station.
The route heads east on Route 11, passing the entrance to Mount Major State Forest along the shore of the Big Lake. Approaching the halfway point the course turns right on Route 11D (you pass the first entrance to 11D and go to the second). A left on Woodland Drive at 7 miles incorporates a pleasant loop, before returning to 11D with another left turn. Then 11D returns to the main road (Route 11) as you approach 11 miles. Turning left or east on Route 11 takes you back to the finish at the Community Center, and a great post race spread and party.
Rod Viens of Sunapee, New Hampshire (1:11:22) and Abi Watras of Greensboro, Vermont (1:21:23) are the course record holders. Both records were set in the inaugural year of 2002. Scott Rowe of Dover won back to back in 2005 and 2006, running 1:12:11 and 1:11:48 respectively. Abi Watras, now of Madison, Wisconsin, won for the second time in 2005 (1:25:39), while Emily Bates of Cambridge, Massachusetts captured the title last year (1:22:37). Shannon Smith of Potsdam, NY (1:26:25) and Daniel Muhindi of Kenya (1:12:06) were the winners in 2004. Wayne McLeod of Amherst, New Hampshire was the top master in 2005, and was ninth overall. He won the 45-49 division last year and was ninth again even though he improved from 1:22:54 to 1:21:19! Judi Chiavetta of Arlington, Mass was second overall woman last year and top master with 1:25:45.
Keith Jordan is the Race Director as well as the President of EndorFUN Sports, and they have put together an accomplished team to make the Big Lake Half Marathon a tremendous success. Jordan is also an accomplished triathlete and multi-sport athlete, and heads up Jordan’s Ice Cream. Jordan was awarded “Race Director of the Year” by USA Triathlon New England in 2002 for his extraordinary work in putting on the now-famous Timberman Triathlon (Lake Winnipesaukee, August 19). Timberman has also won national acclaim.
They have quite a sponsorship and volunteer team for Big Lake to provide a terrific race for athletes at every level. Other events for EndorFUN include the Mooseman Triathlon (Newfound Lake in New Hampshire), the Lone Star Triathlon (Galveston, Texas, April 1), and the Longhorn Triathlon, (Texas, October 7).
EndorFun Sports has established the Athletes for Animals Foundation, and so far they have raised over $100,000 for animal protection—they are animal lovers, and strongly committed to protecting them. You can help. They are also developing programs to deal with childhood obesity, and are very committed to community service. “Our goal is to exceed everyone’s expectations,” Jordan has said. And they do that in several ways, including the presentation of the Big Lake Half Marathon.
A Must Experience
Come and run this race, enjoy then party, and leave with exciting memories of your run along the Big Lake.
You will be entertained and rewarded. The natural beauty of the location is enduring. The race is well planned and organized. Yes, it is a beautiful course, with terrific amenities. Every detail is covered so you can relax and enjoy the experience with friends and family.
Please check their excellent race Web Site for more details on where to stay, what to do, registration, directions, divisions, charities, coaching, sponsors, and more. Mark the race date, May 12th, on your calendar. This is an event you do not want to miss. It is worthy of the beautiful location, and you will enjoy being part of it. New Hampshire was made for running! And it is terrific for hiking, biking, and swimming too!
Bring family, friends, and teammates. This race is really special; it is innovative, and enjoyable. They will be well prepared for you! Big Lake is generating excitement and buzz throughout New England and beyond. Spring is coming, lets train. Lets sign up now!