Favorite Races

I expect those of us who have been running and racing for a number of years all have our favorite races.  Reasons might include location, time of year, race management, course layout, and vivid memories from those races.  Our favorites may change year to year. However, my unwavering favorite is the New Bedford Half Marathon, held the third Sunday of March.  After a two-year hiatus due to Covid, it is set to be held in four weeks.  And I can’t wait to toe the line!  This will be the 20th time I’ve run New Bedford – by far the most I’ve run any race.  The first time was 1990.  Since then, I’ve lived in Vermont and Boston: from Vermont, it’s a destination race, from Boston a long drive. So why New Bedford?  It’s a rite of spring – it falls on or about the first day of spring.  To be truly ready to race New Bedford requires training perseverance through the coldest months of the year.   Optimal size – usually around 2,000 runners.  And with NB often being in the USATF-NE Grand Prix series, it attracts the top New England runners – often 600+ from USATF clubs – a chance to see friends and fellow competitors at the end … Continue reading

And Then…..

How many times have we planned things out, maybe in great detail, only to have change thrust upon us without notice?  Often, I suspect.  This is the way life goes!  I believe the saying is “life happens when we are busy making plans.” My latest wrecking-ball-to-plans happened last weekend at the Clearwater Marathon Weekend 5K.  Six weeks prior we decided to visit Florida to escape the frigid Vermont cold in late January, historically the coldest time of year.  So, we made plans to visit St. Petersburg and Siesta Key, where temps then are usually in the 70s with lows in the 50s.  I saw a 5K on January 29th, organized by none other than Millennium Running, the Bedford NH operation run by John and Jenn Mortimor, who regularly host USATF-NE Grand Prix events.  I knew the race would be well organized.  So game on! It turned out Florida had a cold spell this year.  Iguanas were falling out of trees and race morning was just 40 degrees.  The wind was horrendous to boot, between 25 and 30 mph, gusting at 40+ — putting wind chill in the mid 20s.  Just pinning on numbers in the dark for the 7 a.m. start was challenging, as well as deciding how much clothing to … Continue reading