Sunday, June 2, 2013

Guest Post-Race Review: Applecrest Half Marathon

This is a race review from a great running friend of mine!  She has been so supportive of my running and I love supporting her!  We have been virtual training partners from afar.  Love you Amy!   -C

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:

Pre-race photo

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!
Finish: The finish was the biggest disappointment.  The last leg of the race is on the main road leading to the finish.  After spending the entire race of a back road, it was mentally challenging to all of a sudden be on a main road with bumper to bumper traffic.  It was single file all the way up a huge rolling hill with a mass of mini-vans on my left waiting to take a right into the farm.  The only good thing about this was I ran passed my friends, The Martin Family, who were stuck in traffic instead of at the finish line.  Once I made it up the hill, I had to take an extremely sharp turn to hit the last few strides before the mat.  Nothing slows you down like a 45 degree turn and no to mention almost running into a few spectators crossing the road.  I feel they did a poor job of organizing the finish to say the least.  I wish I ordered pictures of me crossing the finish line because I am sure I look angry and I never look like that at the end of an amazing accomplishment.  Would be a funny memory to keep!

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! 

1 comment:

  1. I wanted to thank you so much for the review, Colleen- I'm glad that I found all of this out before spending the money on the race. I think that would have been a tough race to be my first half, and to not have the excitement of a big race, like the Smuttynose :)