The Colt State Park Half Marathon and 5K in Beautiful Bristol, Rhode Island on the Shore Of Narragansett Bay
Here it comes, the next to last race of this years New England Half Marathon Tour running November 9, 2014, so get those running shoes ready and head to beautiful, historic Bristol and Colt State Park for a unique half marathon and 5K with beautiful bay views. This is Rhode Island’s newest half marathon. The second annual starts and ends near park headquarters surrounded by beautifully manicured grounds on the 464-acre park at the bay. It's a beautiful course at one of the east’s most scenic and historic locations.
Posted Monday, 25 August, 2014
The second annual Colt State Park HalfMarathon and 5K will be the 13th of 14 races in the incresingly popular New England Half Marathon Tour. It runs in two loops around the gem that is Colt State Park, with an out-and-back south on Poppasquash Neck and then north into the historic town of Bristol. The half marathon has an accompanying 5K (which is also along the shoreline) and all the amenities. After this gem only Wolf Hollow Half Marathon in New Hampshire on November 23 remains.
Meanwhile the lineup for races nine through twelve of the tour will be: Black Bear Half Marathon (Waterville Valley, NH, August 24), Freeport Half Marathon (Freeport, ME, September 7), Old Orchard Beach Half Marathon (Maine, October 12), and Fall River Half Marathon (Massachusetts, October 19). Each race has an accompanying 5K.
Colt State Park was one of the original eight races that made up the New England Half Marathon Tour last year. As before, there is a lot of buzz about running this event because of the beauty of the venue, which will no doubt become an annual classic in the Ocean State. Bristol sits about half way between Providence and Newport, and is a deep water harbor on Narragansett Bay with a unique history going back to before the Revolution.
It is easy to get to via (north-south) State Route 114 off Interstate 195 east of Providence. The park address is: Route 114, Bristol, Rhode Island 02809.
Half marathoners will receive custom tech shirts and finisher medals and 5K runners get unique cotton T-shirts. Overall winners and age group winners will receive pint glasses, and all half marathon finishers will receive an attractive custom medal, a nice touch to remember this event on the Narragansett Bay. Please visit the race website for details: http://www.coltstateparkhm.com/
The Yankee Timing Company will be using the “B tag” Chronotrack system (timing chip built into the race bib) so the results will be both accurate and immediate. A well supported course with six aid stations for the half promises fast times on this mostly flat course, and runners will be rewarded before the race with the unique make-your-own-goodie bag, and after the run with fresh fruit and pastries at the post race celebration. It is presented by 3C Race Productions of Merrimack, New Hampshire, the originators of the unique Half Marathon Tour.
The event benefits various local charities with 20% of proceeds going to the East Bay Striders Scholarship Fund, and the event provides additional funds in support of the local Mount Hope High School Cross Country and Track teams who will be helping with water stops and course monitoring. So know that part of your registration fee will go to strengthen the running community and to worthwhile charitable causes. The big draw here, of course, is the unique park, scenic views, historic town and race course.
The Half Marathon will start at 9:00 a.m. followed by the 5K at 9:30. The races begin near park headquarters and end at the scoring/timing chute where runners will register their Chronotrack B-tag chip time at the conclusion of this interesting and scenic course. The half marathon traverses park roads and local lanes of Bristol County and the lovely town with its harbor and waterfront. Loops in the park are supplemented with basic out-and-back course extensions south and north.
It starts with a two-mile loop within the park, which is repeated for the final mile plus. The course has a beautiful backdrop with the glistening Narragansett Bay, Usher Cove, and Bristol Harbor and Mount Hope Bay. Bristol is the quintessential small New England seaport/harbor, with its Federal style and Greek revival structures.
Colt State Park
The park is a beautiful 464-acre former farm/estate on a peninsula, Poppasquash Neck, between Narragansett Bay and Mount Hope Bay, which leads to Bristol Harbor. It was established in the late 1800’s and owned by Samuel P. Colt who, among other endeavors, was a founder of Fleet Bank and Uniroyal Rubber. The grounds are manicured and planted with flowering bushes, fruit trees, perennial flowers, lovely groves, with groomed lawns and hard by the bay—one of the most beautiful vistas overlooking the enormous and famous body of water, which makes up the western border of the park.
There are miles of hiking trails, at least 10 playing fields, six picnic groves, fishing access, with curvilinear roads and paths; it is a sprawling estate that once had prize Jersey cow herds, and many award-winning Percheron draft horses used to work the land and show at fairs. There were large and beautiful barns (a few are still standing), and even a casino/concert hall for entertaining guests.
It came under state control in the mid 1960’s and is one of 12 Rhode Island State Parks in addition to seven state beaches, five campgrounds, and six large land management areas. It connects to the wonderful East Bay Bike Path which runs from Providence to Bristol. Access is free for both.
Bristol, Rhode Island
The town was established by the Plymouth Colony in 1680, following the end of King Philip’s War. The locale was the base of operations for King Philip during that war and the area was home to the Narragansett Indians for millennia prior to the arrival of the European colonists. It was part of Massachusetts until 1747 when it was awarded to Rhode Island by the king.
It was early on a deep sea port and shipbuilding center, and as a key port was pummeled by the British twice during the Revolution—October, 1775 and May, 1778. British and Hessian troops occupied the town several times. A National Historic Landmark is the Joseph Reynolds House, which was headquarters for the Marquis de Lafayette during the Battle of Rhode Island later in 1778.
Revolutionary fervor has survived to the present. Bristol was the site of the first Independence Day celebrations and the first Fourth of July Parade in the USA, and they have a tremendous celebration still centered on Independence Park—which is also the southern terminus of the East Bay Bike Path, a wonderful resource for the state which is a rail trail affording some of the grandest views of the Narragansett Bay.
The ship/boat building trades continued through three centuries to the present. Five different America’s Cup winners were built in Bristol, and the America’s Cup Museum is now located there, as is Roger Williams University. There are historic buildings throughout the town of 22,000.
3C Race Productions
This company produces many races, including the Wolf Hollow Half Marathon and the Moose on the Loose 10-mile trail run and the New England Half Marathon Tour 2014. This is a full service and very professional organization that manages and produces events all over New England and sometimes beyond—over 125 events per year, including road races, trail races, triathlons, biathlons and snow shoe competitions. Founded in 2002, this company has helped provide funds and donations for many non-profits totaling about 1.7 million dollars for a variety of charities thus far.
Please visit their website for information on the race schedule, directions, recent news, opportunities, results, photos, videos and more: http://www.3craceproductions.com/
New England Half Marathon Tour 2014
The popular New England Half Marathon Tour 2014 expanded from eight excellent events held in six states in 2013 to 14 events in seven states, including Saratoga Springs, NY. Each has both a half marathon and a 5K so that all attendees have an event to their liking. Races for this year began with the Moose on the Loose in April followed by Swamp Meadow in May and Lime Rock Half Marathon in Lakeville, Connecticut on June 8, 2014, followed by Killington (June 16).
Although Colt State Park, Bristol, RI on November 9 is the next to last event in 2014, there are still five others on the schedule: Black Bear in Waterville Valley, NH (August 24), Freeport, Maine (September 7), Old Orchard Beach, Maine (October 12), Fall River, MA (October 19), and Wolf Hollow in Nashua, NH will be the final race on November 23.
Several new half marathons are planned to expand the circuit for next year, including another in Connecticut. They have been approached by at least four additional cities and towns, including one new state, to develop the Half Marathon tour for 2015.
This series has the attention of the 50 States Half Marathon Club. Awards for the series include Medals, pint glasses, tech shirts and really cool jackets. Check it out at: www.nehalfmarathontour.com
Be a Part of Something Special, a Half Marathon to Remember
Come and enjoy the fun at a very different and enjoyable event. The awards, the amenities and post race festivities with fruit and pastries will be a lot of fun, headed by race director Michael Amarello. For additional information you can contact Michael at 603-429-8879 or by e-mail at michael@3Craceproductions.com.
Registration is very reasonable but don’t delay, you can save money on registration if you sign up early online; and you will want to get one of those custom shirts.