The New England Relay—Running 220 Miles in Six States in 24 Hours

There are many wonderful sights and enticing points of interest along this scenic overnight trek across New England. It's a 36-leg journey through dozens of towns, along captivating scenery, and quintessential New England forests, villages, farms and waterways. Runners will experience mountains, river valleys, (bridges—perhaps a covered bridge or two), a variety of towns and small cities, the seashore, sunset, sunrise and a wonderfully fulfilling sense of camaraderie and accomplishment. This is the longest overnight relay in the USA, and you and your team should not miss the inaugural.

The New England Relay is the first to include all six New England States, starting in Rhode Island and touching Connecticut before heading northwest into Massachusetts and the Connecticut River Valley. The Connecticut is New England's largest river and borders or flows through four states. The relay will cross Massachusetts south to north heading into Vermont in the Brattleboro area before turning east to cross the width of New Hampshire heading to the sea. Upon reaching the Atlantic beaches the course heads northeast along the coast into Portsmouth and across the Piscataqua River into Kittery, Maine for the finish and the end-of-event celebration. Yes, there will be quite a party because this, my friends, has never been done before.

No other current overnight relay is this long, over 220 miles, and no other hits so many states; in fact, those touching even two states are rare. Along the way, this event showcases all that is good about New England—which is especially beautiful in late spring. It is one week before summer solstice, so days are near their longest. And there are such varied views and landscapes from idyllic rural fields and pastures to long stretches of beautiful forest. There are small villages and college towns, interesting cities and beautiful parks. There are mountain vistas, working farms, ponds, lakes and busy harbors. Participants will want to bring a camera to capture the essence of New England.

There are excellent instructions on the Website as to how to get to the start and information on where to stay, where to rent vans, etc. so we won't revisit that here. Let's just say the start is 45 minutes from Providence, an hour from Boston and 1.5 hours form both Manchester, NH and Hartford, CT. Manchester is probably the best bet for round trip air since it is 1.5 from the start and one hour from the finish. Boston Logan International would be a good alternative.

Both the start and finish are reasonably close to Interstate 95.

Logistics Can be Fun too
Your course will be quintessential New England. The race handbook has terrific descriptions of each leg, with length of each, cumulative distance, turns, handoffs, elevation profile, and maps— very impressive and easy to follow.

There are several transition areas that will accommodate tents and sleeping bags, although some may wish to sleep in the vans. Overnight accommodations, if desired, are available at Brattleboro, VT and Keene, NH (both near half way), or there are many options near Manchester, an hour west of the finish by auto, though most would reach this point (3/4 through) in the very early morning hours—however, if you plan well you could drive ahead and sleep there and wait for your team to come through the area.

That is part of the fun in such an endeavor—planning logistics, transfers and handoffs, which is itself part of the competition.

Teams will likely enjoy very comfortable running weather, a spectacular sunset, and phenomenal sunrise. Somehow out on the road these experiences are enhanced by the effort and by the camaraderie. The average high temperature central to the course is 77 on June 11, with an average low of 53, and a mean of 65. The sun will set at 8:24 p.m. and rise at 5:08 a.m.

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