The Hollis Fast 5K – This Year's USATF-NE 5K Championship -Fastest 5K in New England,and One of the Fastest in the USA
This year it will be the USATF-New England Championship, one of the chosen seven race New England Grand Prix. It is fast, blazing fast! Point to point and fun! And this race has it all -- an opportunity to run your personal best, a scenic all downhill course in beautiful Hollis, New Hampshire, with well organized race management and great awards and amenities.
Posted Thursday, 23 May, 2013
When USA Track and Field--New England decided on a 5K to be part of their 2013 Grand Prix Series they looked to a small town in New Hampshire. That must tell you something about the Hollis Fast 5K which will serve as the 2013 USATF-New England 5K championship. It must certainly tell you this is one great race.
The Hollis Fast 5K is a downhill, point to point road race that lives up to its name. It is not steep enough for runners to feel out of control so runners can go all out while running, what else, fast, fast, fast. How fast is the Hollis Fast 5K? The elevation drop from start to finish is 224 feet. According to USA Track and Field requirements that is too much of a drop for the race to qualify for any records or USATF age group standards. However, it is a great place to run a personal best, and many have.
How fast is the Hollis Fast 5K? In 2007 Nate Jenkins won the race in 13 minutes, 47 seconds. It didn’t qualify for a USATF record but it is the fastest 5K in New Hampshire road race history.
With a race this fast it is not surprising that some of the top area runners have taken part. The Hollis-Brookline Rotary’s annual race was originally a five mile race but was changed to a 5K in 2005. Since the switch the list of winners includes Olympian Ruben Sanca (2012), Jenkins, Casey Moulton (2005 and 2006), and Benjamin Ndaya (2008) on the men’s side and Kara Haas (2005 and 2008), and Tammie Robie (2009) on the women’s side. Every winning time for men has been sub-15:00; and every winning time for women has been sub-17:00.
All photos on this page are by Wayne Flanagan.
For a quick look at the race and part of its downhill course check out this video from New Hampshire TV station WMUR, taken at the 2012 race.
The fast course attracts more than just the best runners. The Hollis-Nashua, N.H. area is a rich one for young runners and the Hollis Fast 5K reaches out to those runners with numerous awards. The youngest age category is 9 and under. From there the categories are in two-year increments, up to the 18-19 division. Adults are also rewarded with five-year age categories, starting at 20-24 and going to 75 and over. The Hollis Fast 5K gives out more awards than 99 percent of New England races and does so in style. Award winners stand on a podium and have their pictures taken.
The Hollis Fast 5K is also great for beginning runners, walkers and families. Any road race is a challenge, but beginners looking for a race that will give them a positive experience, to keep them motivated, will find that in this event. This is a reward for all—and a terrific scenic course to boot. It is quite common to see parents and children finishing together, with smiles on their faces.
Speaking of fast, the faster you sign up the better. Yes, it will sell out. Not only that, the first 300 to sign up will receive a free tech T-shirt and a cool running hat. The next 300 registrants receive a tech T-shirt; and the next 300 (that's up to 900 total) will receive running hats only. There may be a few of each for purchase beyond the 900. Also, you save some bucks: It's $25 until April 15; $30 from April 16 to May 15; and $35 thereafter (if available). Don't wait.
Administering a point to point 5K road race requires a lot of effort, and for that the runners have the Hollis-Brookline Rotary Club to thank. The race serves as a fundraiser for the club and they provide dozens of volunteers. The local running club, The Gate City Striders, also helps out, although dozens of their group will be participating in the USATF Grand Prix and will be running the race this year.
From the pre-race registration area at the Alpine Grove Function Hall to the transportation to the start, and post-race party back at Alpine Grove, the Rotary volunteers are everywhere, making sure race day goes off without a hitch. Leading the way is the Race Director, Rotarian George LeCours, a long time member of both the club and the New Hampshire road race community.
The race is timed by Yankee Timing, using the latest technology, the Chronotrack B-tag (computer chip built into the bib number), and free technical T-shirts go to the first 300 to sign up.
This year the Hollis Fast 5K has the added excitement of being part of the USATF-NE Grand Prix Series. This is a series of seven races that will take place in Massachusetts and New Hampshire throughout 2013. Check it out at USATFNE.org. Distances will range from 5K to marathon. The Hollis Fast 5K will be the only 5K in the series and will be race number three on the schedule. It is quite an honor for the race organizers when the folks of the USATF-NE association select their race for its series. And it is quite a statement about the respect USATF members have for the Hollis Fast 5K. When a race is part of the USATF-NE Grand Prix that means hundreds of runners representing various New England running clubs will be in attendance.
Still not convinced this is a race for you? In May, 2009 Running Times Magazine listed the Hollis Fast 5K as one of the speediest races in America. In July, 2010 the Wall Street Journal singled out the race as one of the most unique in country.
Runners work and train very hard, week after week, month after month, and, for many, year after year. Once a year don’t runners of all abilities deserve a break, a chance to get away from the rigors of hill workouts, speed workouts, long runs, and difficult races? Once a year don’t runners deserve a race like the Hollis Fast 5K, which takes place this year on June 13th in Hollis, New Hampshire? We hope to see you there to enjoy Hollis, New Hampshire and New England’s fastest 5K race.
For more information about the Hollis Fast 5K go to hollisfast5k.com. For more information on the USATF-NE series go to usatfne.org/road/gp.html.