Your Best Road to Boston, the 25th Running of Ashworth Awards Baystate Marathon and Half Marathon
Qualify for Boston with a high quality club marathon. The Ashworth Awards Baystate Marathon and Half Marathon is a running club event with national class organization and amenities. They are unique races within one of the great scenic areas—and running hotbeds—of New England, the Merrimack Valley. It’s a proven fact—this race provides your best chance to qualify for Boston; come run Baystate on October 20, 2013!
Posted Monday, 7 October, 2013
The Greater Lowell Road Runners, legendary running club of New England, have two sayings that really resonate in the world of marathons: “For Runners, by Runners,” and “The Bridge to Boston runs through Lowell.” Both statements are appropriate and noteworthy because this flat, fast marathon course was designed by the club in 1989 to be a Boston Qualifier—and that was when qualifying required a 2:50 for men and 3:20 for women. Few other marathons boast such a high percentage of Boston qualifiers year after year. In fact, Runner’s World has it in the top 10 nation wide.
After the tragic events of Boston 2013, demand is already through the roof and will likely exceed the demand we saw for the 100th Boston in 1996. Distance runners are such a determined and defiant bunch. This means you may need more than a qualifying time—you will need to improve it. Though we do not yet know what the cutoff will be, or the opening registration date for Boston, The Ashworth Awards Baystate Marathon may provide qualification for 2014 and/or 2015.
This is a Club Race!— for runners, by runners. Both races are conducted with great care and attention to detail by the Greater Lowell Road Runners, a nonprofit running club. It is not a corporate race, not a huge big city race, but it has everything necessary to be the ideal race. These folks have been in your marathon running shoes many times—they know what runners need, and what they want. Many of them ran their first BQ on this course, and they will support you all the way.
Runner’s World included Baystate as one of the top 10 fastest marathons in the USA in their January 2012 article (and number ONE in club races). More recently, an article by venerable marathon man Hal Higdon listed Baystate as seventh among marathons funneling qualified marathoners to Boston. Of course number one on the list was Boston itself, and the top ten included New York and Chicago and other major players. Baystate takes great pride in the percentage of runners who qualify—25% each in the past two years despite the new more difficult standards; it has been as high as 37%.
Today’s stricter qualifying standards make it all the more important for runners to qualify at Baystate. Today’s course is very similar to the original course designed 24 years ago for running Boston qualifying times. Qualification numbers have been consistently high since the origins of the event in 1989. The larger running community has discovered what New Englanders have known for years: Baystate is the best chance to qualify for Boston or to log a fast marathon and improve your corral position at Boston.
The marathon offers cash awards to the top finishers: open, masters, seniors and veterans. Those outside the very top positions are not left out – ten-year age group plaques are awarded to the top 3 finishers in each division. Likewise, top finishers in the half marathon are awarded plaques, followed by ten-year age group plaques to the top 3 finishers in each division. Ashworth Awards personalizes each award with personal performance statistics. This is a great addition to any runner’s trophy room!
New Partnership, New Name
The Greater Lowell Road Runners and Ashworth Awards recently announced that Ashworth Awards is the new title sponsor for these premier races, now called the Ashworth Awards Baystate Marathon and Ashworth Awards Baystate Half Marathon. This partnership has brought together two leaders in the running community, and will make this year's race shine like never before. Greater Lowell Road Runners is consistently at the forefront of running clubs regionally and nationally. Ashworth Awards is a long-time leader in the awards and recognition industry.
Ashworth Awards provides outstanding quality, innovation and service. Ashworth Awards has an unwavering commitment to the highest standards of quality and craftsmanship, and it is fitting that they have partnered with one of the best club marathons in the nation. http://www.ashworthawards.com/
Venues and Amenities--Nothing Succeeds like Success
In 2011, the organizers moved start and finish to the Tsongas Center, making pre-race and post-race comfortable for all. Located in the heart of Lowell, the start and finish areas are set among the fascinating canals and mills that first made Lowell world famous. You can warm up and take a little cool down jog along the Riverwalk, while you enjoy the scenic views of the canals and the Merrimack River rapids.
Other amenities include a bag check at the start, medals by Ashworth Awards for all marathon and half marathon finishers, long sleeve T-shirts, B-tag Chronotrack timing (by Yankee Timing, simply one of the best), clocks every 5 miles (marathon course), Gatorade and water about every two miles, and your free, all-you-can-eat pasta dinner (also open to friends and relatives for only $10). The pasta dinner will be held at Lowell High School, 50 Father Morissette Blvd. from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Saturday, October 19, 2013.
Check the Race Website for details on the Expo, number pick up, age groups, awards (cash awards for the marathon), amenities, directions, parking, race vitals, accommodations, course maps, photos and results, merchandise, contacts, social media, volunteer opportunities, Boston qualifying standards, FAQ’s and other details, including lists of those registered: www.baystatemarathon.com
Number pick up takes place at the Expo both Friday and Saturday so you can avoid lines and hassles on race morning (advance pickup is highly recommended). This year’s free Expo will be held at Lowell High School, 50 Fr. Morissette Blvd., Lowell, 01852. The Expo and number pick up will be from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Friday, October 18, and from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 19, 2013. Number pick on race morning is available at the high school from 6:00 to 7:30 a.m., but is not recommended. Early number pickup is your best bet.
Register early – these races have both been selling out, usually by September. Don’t be left with runner’s regret. Sign up now for the Ashworth Awards Baystate Marathon or Half Marathon.
For additional details please go to http://www.baystatemarathon.com/.