Last week, I shared my running result from the Yankee Homecoming 10 mile race, which took place this past Tuesday, August 2nd. Today, I share with you the details of the race itself! (Btw, this will also be posted at the BibRave website as well).
I have run races in Newburyport before so I was familiar with this course already (plus the race video on their site was helpful as well). Overall, it has a nice mix of small hills and descents and all along the route, there is a good contingent of supporters. In fact, that support translated into water stops almost every half mile (it seemed) which is more than anything I have ever seen and people had hoses and myst shooting out onto the road to keep the runners cool! Even brownies and lemonade are served on this route (helps I guess if you have the munchies).
Beginning of the course is largely downhill for the most part (as I ran sub 7min/mile splits) during those first two miles. Then with the turn from the bottom of Marlboro street, things start to rise higher for the next several a miles (but nothing dramatic). The water stops kind of disappear at this point and the hardest climbs of the race occur during this stretch. Once getting over the climb, you will come to the circle at the end of Merrimac and the water stops and fans start to kick into overdrive!
The rest of the course then rolls up and down for the next few miles and then once you pass over rt 95 (after getting the option of lemonade and brownies right before), things will flatten out and it is smooth sailing from there. The fan levels pick up about a mile before and the very last stretch, once hitting Newburyport High School, has a steep hill! Nothing like hitting that stretch at full speed and forgetting about the decent climb at the very end!
In comparing to other races I have run, the hills segement is rated only a 2 (out of 5) and the rise and decent are about even at around 300ft (according to my SmashRun data). Overall, a good mix of hills, people and scenery!
So in terms of the administration and management of the race, everything ran smoothly from my perspective. I was able to get my number without a hassle and pick up a Tshirt (though it appeared they had a bit too many XLs and not enough of the rest). Water was available before which I think is the first time I have seen such with all the races I have run this year (though I could be wrong).
The starting area was a bit crowded for the 5k start – which was right before the 10 miler (it also started at the same place). I was a bit confused on where the start for the 10 mile race (it appeared others shared the same confusion) but we all figured it out and moved on down high street. Pace gates were marked which was helpful. Communication as a whole prerace was not great though but the microphone and announcer were not near the starting line because the finishing line was across the parking lot (of the school) which explains perhaps why.
As for parking, one had to either find a spot in the neighborhoods or park down near the Nock Middle School. To me about a 1/2 mile walk is not that big of a deal but it others it might be? I found a space that got me out of the area quickly after and I was home in no time. If you are not from the area, then be prepared for closures on rt 113 early (the main exit to Newburyport off 95). That caused some distress for some runners from what I heard but since there is mostly locals running this race, such complaining was limited.
Last point: I did not know where the porta potties were. Since I live about 10 minutes from this race location, it did not come up in my mind but when looking for them after, I could not find them easily….might have been a major issue if I had not lived so close. Yet again, I could have easily asked someone!
The post race “expo” was setup pretty good so things would not get too crowded. Water was available about 50 yards from the finish line and the snack tent (which was somewhat limited but had enough for the most part) was closer to the starting line but out of the way. Lots of great volunteers were there to direct you on your way but what got me was the obstacles I ran into in trying to get back to my car! It was not easy as the finish line was basically gated off for the last 1/3rd of a mile!
So let’s look at the freebies that come with this race – and a key point to consider was the level of that entry fee before proceeding; it was very low compared to most races of any distance and the money was largely going to charity so as a result, this was run as if it were on a low budget (I believe)
- Medals? This is the first race I have run that did not feature medals for the runners. Given the amount of sponsors which were on the tshirt, you think this would be a given but alas, no it was not. I did realize though after the fact that while a medal is nice, it should not be the end all be all so to speak and finishing with a PR is more important!
- Post Race Snacks: It was a good selection but I have seen much better! Again, low entry fees must equal low snacks? But the snacks hit the spot when needed.
- Tshirt: It is not a bad Tshirt and better than many I have recieved from races of late. Not sure of this was a replacement for the lack of a medal?
- Nothing else for “swag.” So a Tshirt was it for the swag end of things. Good shirt again but there was nothing else and given the sponsorship of this race, I hope a lot of it went to charity!
- No photography! I did not see a photographer anywhere on the route. It was somewhat strange but pictures were taken of the winners crossing the finish line so someone was out there.
So to some up this review, I don’t believe I will run this race again. It is fun running with friends and seeing some along route as one goes through downtown Newburyport but aside from that, the 6pm start was tough (I am a morning runner and nights are hard) and there was very little included outside of the race. Course is a cool one with all the support along the way and the views that are included but now that I have run Newburyport twice on this route (the opposite way was with the half marathon route a year ago) so it is time for something different!
So would I recommend this race? Yes. At the same time, if you are one of those runners who is all about swag, this race is probably not for you.