Kittery, ME – Some 640 runners toed the line for the Eastern States 20 Miler on Sunday, March 29, 2015, prepped and ready to complete the New Hampshire coastline all the way to Salisbury, MA, as part of the event’s 20th year celebration. Within the mix, a hearty group of SIX03 members stepped up to meet the challenge, many using the race to tune up for the Boston Marathon only 3 weeks out!
2015 Recap: SIX03 Members Set New PRs, Earn Longest Runs, and Tune Up for the Boston Marathon
31 runners represented SIX03 at the Eastern States 20 Miler. Here’s how they stacked against each other:
|Britt Ulinski Schuman||Dover||NH||F||01-39||2:44:58||8:15||182|
Top 10 Overall Finishers
- At least 6 members of SIX03 used this race as a final prep for their 2015 Boston Marathon appearance
- 2 members used this race in prep for the upcoming Maine Coast Marathon, where they hope to BQ
- And 4 runners earned their longest runs ever by finishing the race!
Team support along the course was also tremendous, with numerous SIX03 racers running together to keep pace, and even more SIX03 members took the day off from racing to come out, cheer from various spots—including from their car windows–and keep the racers happy!
FLAT is a good description for this course, but not perfect—you do have some climb at the start. The first mile leaves Kittery, ME, bringing you into Portsmouth, NH, via the Memorial Bridge. This section is a slight elevation loss until ~mile 1.5. Here, runners wind through downtown Portsmouth and then the course works in a small climb towards mile 2, dips for .25 miles, then climbs for a solid .5 miles along South Street without much relief, cresting at the highest elevation on the day (~2.75 mile mark). A fast downhill comes next, leading runners over the Sagamore Bridge towards the Rye Traffic Circle. This is a quick transition, so you can open up, but you want to prep for a few more gradual ups, followed by one more noticeable down before hitting the 5-mile mark while still on the protected streets of Route 1A. This all happens before the ocean-side miles start. When you hit the beaches, it gets consistently flat, featuring only very gradual ups and downs, so pacing becomes the greatest challenge. Remember, you still have 15 miles left. This entire section of the course follows Route 1A in NH. This brings you through Rye, North Hampton, Hampton, and Seabrook, finishing over the bridge into Salisbrury, MA.
For those who are time-oriented, the first 5 miles are a good place to be conservative, then the rest of the course is up to you—wherever you are comfortable starting your “kick,” that’s the best place to do it.
Despite the relative easiness of the course, you should be aware that the field is fast. In fact, local phenom Andrew Huebner of Runner’s Alley managed a 1:42:33 here just 1 year ago in 2014! So keep it in mind, there are a lot of Boston-bound runners; run your race and try not to feel pressured by the paces around you—some will be pushing the whole way, others using only portions of the course for race-pace miles, and some people may not have as much of a dedicated strategy.
Also, be aware that this race is held in late March, so the weather can be variable. While this 2015 race was certainly beautiful—sunny—it was a cool start in the low 30s and there was a slight, but consistent head wind along the shore; not to mention that the beach community is still quiet (so you need to be okay with keeping yourself a bit excited, the crowds won’t always be guaranteed large, even though local residents do come out to cheer). However, if you are a grind it out runner who likes dropping people late in the race, this is absolutely the course for you!
Overall, this event is very enjoyable. The start is special—Portsmouth is really hopping with excitement for the runners—and the finish has a unique feeling: You just ran from Maine to Massachusetts! Now you can really soak up that sun with a smile during the summer when you hang out on the NH beaches knowing you ran every inch the Seacoast has to offer!
Course Map & Elevation Profile
Eastern States 20 Miler Race Info: What to Know – Parking, Registration, Amenities, & More!
Pre, During and Post Race
Though this is a 20 mile race (pretty long!), it is still a smaller event with a smaller crowd. With approximately 640 finishers in 2015, this race is about tuning up for Boston and doing something unique—running the entire NH Seacoast and touching 3 states! Expect a casual start in Kittery, a toned-down finish in Salisbury, and a relaxed after-party in Hampton or somewhere else close by.
Registration in 2015 was ~$55-65 (depending on early, late or day of). Online registration was the easiest method.
This is the trickiest part of this event because it starts in Kittery, ME, and ends in Salisbury, MA. Racers are offered to park in Hampton (2 miles from the finish) and shuttle back to the start line, but this does mean an earlier start to the day. In 2015, the race began at 11AM, but the last bus from Salisbury back to Kittery was at 9AM. If you have family or friends who would be willing to meet you at the finish and bring you back to your car in Kittery, that might be easiest. This all depends on where you are coming from to run the race.
Parking is also readily available at Traip Academy in Kittery, a very close walk to the downtown start line. This is where bib pickup is too.
- Start: Runners are offered access to the Traip Academy bathrooms and gymnasium. This makes for ease of changing and finalizing everything before hitting the pavement.
- On Course: There are 2 portolet stops.
- Finish: There are portolets—and the after party in Hampton takes place indoors, so everything is easy there too.
Two aid stations were made available to runners along the course, as well as numerous water stops.
Resident spectators also came out to offer water, baked goods, and lots of cheering! Someone even said they got some M&Ms from a nice family!
This race is in late March and 15 miles of it runs along the shoreline, so the weather is variable. Dress accordingly and make sure you bring layers so you can make race-day decisions. A small water bottle and/or fuel choice is not a bad idea either.
2015 featured short sleeve tech t-shirts with the event name and logo. Finishers also received finishing medals. The event managers did run out of some stock though, so be early!
Post-Race Fuel & Festivities
In 2015, the post-race party took place at the Ashworth Hotel in Hampton, NH—about 2 miles from the finish. Buses were made available to transport runners. Pizza, soup, water, bananas, and bagels were served buffet style. Beer was also available.
Event Management / Timing
This event featured timing by Spitler Race Systems. Unfortunately, electronic timing chips were not made available—somewhat of a drag for a long race!
SIX03 thanks Race Director Don Allison, as well as all sponsors and volunteers. Without all of you, all of us cannot enjoy doing what we love to do so much!
About SIX03 Endurance
SIX03 represent New Hampshire’s endurance community. Not for one sport, but every sport! Join the fun. Become a better athlete. Get closer with your community.
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