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13.1 - The Best Half Marathons Around New England This Summer

May 03, 2016 03:41PM ● By Victoria Pipas
Whether you’re a new runner or a lifelong marathoner, the half marathon is an ideal race distance (in my opinion, at least). For many serious runners, it aligns perfectly with a challenging long run. For new runners, it offers the chance to increase mileage in training over the course of a few months without necessitating a radically new running schedule. Successful half marathon training certainly requires endurance, but it doesn’t need to consume your weekly schedule with long hours of running. In addition, the half marathon is a wonderful event for rallying a community; it can be a celebration of individuals running together to accomplish a momentous athletic achievement. If you’re not sold yet, read on to learn about five promising races this summer in New England, all within a reasonable driving distance from the Upper Valley.

May 17 – Granite State Half Marathon

This event in Nashua, New Hampshire, which also hosts a marathon the same day, winds along the picturesque Nashua River. The race is small; each race allows only 300 participants, so don’t worry about being crushed in the crowd. The race consists of a repeat of an approximately 5-mile loop, with an extra loop added on. For more information, visit the webpage.

June 5  –Acadia Half Marathon and 10k

This sublime half on Mt. Desert Island on the coast of Maine offers fabulous views of Maine’s rocky coast. Runners or walkers enjoy traversing Acadia National Park via the Park Loop Road in either the half marathon or the 10k. This half is certainly a destination race, and it’s one of the few of its kind to be hosted in a national park. Sign up here!

July 2nd - Beach River Run

5 & 10K Road race and Health Walk as well as, Kids Fun Run. Click here to register.

July 3rd - Loon Mountain Race (USATF Running Championships)

10K Run- While the USATF Mountain Running & Collegiate Mountain Running National Championships are a national championship event, runners of all ages & abilities are invited to participate. The Top 6 men and the Top 4 women USATF members and US Citizens will earn automatic berths on the 2016 US Mountain Running Team. This race is an official USA Track & Field National Championships and the sole selection race for the US Mountain Running Team and the World Mountain Running Championship. 

July 4th - 4th on the 4th Pathway for Keene

Starting at Railroad Square in Keene N.H. at 8:30 am. Get your run on during the morning to celebrate the accomplishment the rest of the day! Click here to register.

July 17  – Narragansett Summer Running Festival Half

This jam-packed weekend of races takes place on July 16  and 17 in Narragansett, Massachusetts. Runners will appreciate the cooler temps of this race since the course location in Southeast Massachusetts offers shade and lake views. The race begins and finishes on the Stonehill College campus in Easton. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, sign up for the 5k or 10k on Saturday, and then feel the burn on Sunday in the half. Be sure to stick around for live music and brews at the party that follows! Register here.

August 14 – Bristol Half Marathon & Relay

This race takes runners through the charming town of Bristol, Connecticut. You can feel good about paying the fee for this event as it benefits Fisher House Connecticut, a local nonprofit that serves veterans and their families. The route offers some challenging climbs but also has an engaging mix of scenery through more urban areas as well as parks. Sign up now before prices rise.

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