There’s a slight chill in the night breezes coming off the Piscataqua, which means we are heading into the best fitness season of the year here on the Seacoast, the fall. Yep, it’s time again for a cornucopia of fun fall road races and fitness events. I don’t know about you, but I am ready to race (and to collect some cool t-shirts and race swag). Whether you want to get a personal best in a 5K, or in a sprint triathlon, beat your buddy to the finish line or that skinny Jr. HS kid (who came out of nowhere – long story for another time), or just get a great workout in and have fun with friends and family, take it from me, the fall is the best time to be fit on the Seacoast!
So, whatever your fitness goals are this fall, these seven Seacoast events are sure to be worth your entry fee alone. Hey, grab a friend (or two), get a cool race t-shirt and a great workout. Be fit, get after it and have some fun this fall! You’ll be happy you did. Remember, we only regret the runs and workouts we don’t do. For some added fitness inspiration – “The thousand mile (fitness) journey begins with the first step (race).” Start your fall fitness journey with one special Seacoast race. Here are a few of my fitness “faves” (favorites) to consider.
Without further ado, I present my Magnificent Seven fall races (or fitness events) on the Seacoast:
- 1) The Pumpkinman Sprint Triathlon – So. Berwick, ME – Saturday, September 8th ~ The 2011 Pumpkinman Sprint was my first sprint (or any) triathlon last fall. It is such a well run and organized event, with awesome post-race grub and refreshments, and even some tasty Pumpkinhead Ale too. That’s what I’m talking about! Bonus: The t-shirt is the BEST race t-shirt I have ever seen. I wear it all the time. *INSIDE TIP: The sprint bike course is tough & very, very hilly! Lots of steep climbs in South Berwick. Practice the bike course.
- 2) The Run for the Fallen NH – Rye, NH – Sunday, September 16th ~ The Run for the Fallen New Hampshire is a way to show the families of the men and woman who have given their lives to protect our freedoms how grateful we all are. All money raised is used for actual expenses to honor the NH families of the fallen. The course covers 12 miles and can be done as a run or walk. Pretty clear why this made the list, right?
- 3) The Celebrate Pink 5K Road Race & Walk – Portsmouth, NH – Saturday, September 15th ~ This event supports Seacoast NH/ME breast cancer patients and ALL money raised from the event helps to support breast cancer patients right here in our own communities. *INSIDE TIP: EVERYONE who registers in advance will receive an event t-shirt. The race starts and ends at the Little Harbour School in Portsmouth and it is a fun and scenic 5K loop through downtown and is part of the Portsmouth Community Road Race Series.
- 4) The Smuttynose Rockfest Half Marathon – Hampton, NH – Sunday, September 30th ~ This half marathon is touted as one of the flattest and easiest half marathons in New England and I hear from friends that it is their favorite half marathon to run. The after-race party and festivities will be held in the new Sea Shell complex at Hampton Beach. *INSIDE TIP: The Smuttynose Beer Tent, homemade chowder and lobster rolls will keep you focused on finishing!
- 5) The UNH 5K Homecoming Road Race – Durham, NH – Saturday, October 13th ~ This flat and fast 5K is a fun way to kick off Homecoming festivities at UNH before tailgating and the football game at Cowell Stadium. Go Wildcats! *INSIDE TIP: The finish comes up fast by the old ‘Lively Snively’ and the UNH Homecoming Race t-shirt is always a keeper!
- 6) The Trek Portsmouth Wallis Sands Sprint Triathlon – Rye, NH – Sunday, September 23rd ~ This sprint triathlon was my second sprint triathlon last fall. It is a great course, especially biking through Rye in the fall and then running the 5K along the ocean with a fast finish back at Wallis Sands. Again, great post-race grub and TREK Portsmouth does a fantastic job as the event’s title sponsor. I am in for this year again! *INSIDE TIP: Get ready for a VERY fast bike course. You will fly through Rye. And, wear a full wetsuit for the swim – it’s chilly in late September!
- 7) The 16th Annual St. Charles Children’s Home 5K – Portsmouth, NH – Monday, September 3rd (Labor Day morning) ~ This 5K is a quick loop out at Pease International Tradeport and is a great way to wrap up your Labor Day weekend, with a little fun run. The race is organized by the “Running Nuns” and all race proceeds benefit the St. Charles Children’s Home in Rochester, NH. This is always a fun race to start the day but the kind of flat and un-scenic. The Children’s Home kids signing the National Anthem gives me chills every time. *INSIDE TIP: The ‘Running Nuns’ race t-shirt is one of my all-time favorites! You need one.