Date: September 2, 2012
Setting: Rural back roads of Hampton Falls and Kensington, NH. The start and finish were at Applecrest Farm, a large local farm with many fall activities for families to enjoy.
Cost: $55 Early Registration, Feb-May $60 May-Race Day
Registration info can be found here: http://applecresthalf.com/
Expo: None. Bib pick up was only offered day of race. Runners were told to park on the grass and head to the tent to pick up their number. Applecrest posted a recommendation to bring an extra pair of shoes for your walk to the tent from your car. I thought it was an odd recommendation, but did it anyway. I am glad I did...the walk in the wet morning grass soaked my shoes! I can't imagine running a half in wet socks and shoes!
The Race: As we were lining up, I was shocked at how small the race was. I have an irrational fear every time I race, that I will come in last! When I saw how few people were running I couldn't help but think...this could be that race. I quickly knocked out that negative thought and got ready to run my 2nd half marathon.
The race started on a dirt road or path rather and then after a few minutes you reach a residential road. The trees in the background provided so much shade that it made for the most perfect running conditions of any race I had entered. September in NH can be hit or miss with heat and I was thankful for good weather on race day.
While the rural roads are great for running, they are not so great for spectators. There were very few along the course and it seemed very quiet. I don't always need a cheering squad but their absence was definitely felt. Even the finish line had very few people cheering on. I would go as far to say that it felt less like a race and more like a training run.
The course description called for the course to be moderately hilly, which to me I always read as killer hills. I can only think of two hills that I had to push through. It may be because I generally train with hills, but for the most part this course was flat and moderately easy.
|Half #2 in the books!|
Grade: C- I felt that the peaceful environment was good for training, but not for a race. I will most likely not run this race again. Save your training and money for the Seacoast Half in November or Smuttynose Half in October....and just come to Applecrest for the apples, pumpkins and animals!