*Editor’s Note: This is an event preview for the 2008 Hampton half marathon and Rockfest and refers to the event details and descriptions from that year.
If you were part of the inaugural race and celebration last February, you know first hand that this half marathon has it all--fast, scenic coastal loop course, outstanding race organization, and a classy sea-side resort. Throw in a Sunday rock concert post race party brimming with fun and good cheer and you have a classic in the making that just can’t be beat. This is one half marathon tradition that you won’t want to miss!
The Time is Right
The race welcomes runners and walkers of all abilities. Whether you have been thinking about trying a half marathon for the first time or running as a half marathon ace, this is the race for you. The course is fast and easy; don’t be surprised if a PR is waiting for you at the end. Fall is the ideal time to set new running goals, reinvigorate your passion and stay motivated. There is no better inspiration than the bright blue skies and cool crisp air that are so typically New England Coast. Training for this half marathon will put a little zing in your step that will last all season long.
New Half Marathon Relay
This year 100 teams of three runners will be allowed. Any mixture of men/women of any age permitted. Distance for the relay is approximately 3.5, 6.5 and 5K. Runners are responsible for travel to and from relay locations. Check the website for details.
New Spectacular Course
The course is a true feast for the eyes with its majestic coastal views and the vibrant hues of rural roads. It is extra large memory card quality! It is also one of the easiest and flattest courses in New England. You will find it slightly different from last February’s route with more strides right along the ocean. The highest elevation is only 67 feet and that takes 4 miles to climb. The first two miles and the last five are “pancake flat”, with just two slight hills at mile six and mile eight. You can do it!
The race starts right in the center of Hampton Beach near J Street and the famous Clamshell and finishes at Hampton Beach State Park. You will travel north on Ocean Boulevard. After a refreshing loop of Hampton roads and neighborhoods, it takes a fairly flat and rolling tour into the small and picturesque town of North Hampton. First settled in 1639, this town was the part of Hampton known as “North Hill” following the separation of New Hampshire from Massachusetts.
This is a loop course where the top of the loop eventually ends up back up on Route 1A before mile 8 on the some of the most scenic roads on the rocky New Hampshire Atlantic coast. Along the way, you will enjoy unobstructed views of the ocean surf, rocky cliffs at Little Boars Head, a seaside promontory that became a fashionable summer resort in the 19th century, and contains elegant examples of Victorian and Edwardian architecture.
On your way south, you will have just traveled the so called “two mile drive”. It is said to be one of the most spectacular ocean-side drives on the East Coast. From there, the race sprints to finish at the Hampton Beach State Park.
Beyond the Finish Line
You did it! All of your hard work and training has paid off and it is time to savor your accomplishment with a custom finisher’s medal. You know what a great feeling that is. Celebrate your run or walk ROCKFEST-a live Rock N Roll Concert at the Hampton Casino ballroom for the after race feast. You will be in good company as 1500 runners are expected to participate in the race! There will definitely be Smuttynose Beer flowing. There will be prizes for top runners, teams, and 5-year age group awards.