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New Bedford Half (Read 196 times)

    From the looks of things around here there are a bunch of people who have run or are running the New Bedford Half Marathon.

    This will be my first time running it.  I have never been to New Bedford before so I was just curious if people who do have experience with this race could help me out with some tips and pointers.

    Any info would be useful, such as is Sunday morning packet pick up crazy?  Is it worth it to get there Saturday before it closes?

    Where would a good place to do a shake out run be? My hotel is pretty close to cushman park, can anyone use that track?  (thanks google earth)

    My hotel is in Fairhaven what time do I need to get to New Bedford to find parking and warm up?

    I've heard mention of the hills at mile 3 and 12 and the wind, what other factors do I need to think about when I plan my pacing?

    Where are the dead spots of crowd support? I run with music so I plan my playlists with dead spots in mind.

    Where should my wife who is 6 month's pregnant set up to watch? How far would she have to walk to see me in more than one spot?

    Is the start organized so I am not running over or getting run over by people? 

    How is the post race food?  I'm a big eater so food shortly after a race is pretty important to me otherwise I start to feel ill.

    Anything else I haven't thought of?

    Any info would be appreciated.

    Thanks

      Great to hear you will be joining us for the fastest half marathon in America*.

       

      Many of us RA'ers will be driving down (or up) that morning. I've never had trouble finding parking on the street or in a nearby garage--never thought too much about it. Get there early though. Same for doing a warmup...usually I just run the last mile of the course.

       

      The hills at miles 2-4 are not anything to worry about and they come with a really nice gradual downhill from about 4 to 7. Here's a course map.

       

      The hill at mile 12 is very gradual, the only reason it sucks is that it starts at the 12 mile mark of a half marathon and it goes on for basically a whole mile. Keep your eyes on the clock tower. When you reach the KFC, let loose your kick. Overall it's a fast course.

       

      The crowd support is fairly sporadic--the loneliest stretches (especially if it's a windy day) will be along the water (7-11).

       

      The race website has some info on spectating. It looks like your wife could walk from the start/finish to the 5-mile mark then back. It would be a little over a mile each way.

       

      The start is organized but it will be one of the fastest half marathon starts you have ever experienced unless you bury yourself pretty far back. For the 10th time, the race will serve as the USATF NE Championships and so nearly every club runner in New England will be there. The start of a New England grand prix race is pretty hard to describe--you have to experience it.  It is probably tougher to crack the top 100, 200, 300 etc. at this race than any other half marathon in the US. See last year's results.

       

      Unless it's changed since the last time I ran, the post race food is fairly basic. Fish sandwiches and fish stew in a styrofoam bowl plus the usual fruit, bagels, chips etc. There are, however, plenty of good pubs in the area!

       

      *I'm kinda making that up but it's probably true.

      Runners run.

        I found miles 11-12.5 to have little to no crowd support, but I ran a 1:31:49 so 392 people had already finished and all the Men's Open prizes had already been decided for almost 25 minutes so perhaps the crowd had already thinned out in that section. I thought the best crowd support was miles 3-7.

         

        I didn't notice the early hills and didn't mind the hill around mile 12 becasue at least I was out of the wind from the bit along the water.

         

        The race organizes have a parking lot with a free shuttle to the start/finish area so that's where I parked.

         

        And +1 to what Mike said about the food.

         

        If you are not careful you will get dragged along faster than you want at the start. Mike isn't kidding about how fast the field is at this one.

          So far I'm 1-1 on this. Don't let this happen to you because it will make for a rough go. I believe I said to Mike before my 1st USATFNE race that I was going to take it easy the 1st 5 and race the last 5. That plan went to shit after 200 meters.

           

          Good luck and see you down there.

           

           

          If you are not careful you will get dragged along faster than you want at the start. Mike isn't kidding about how fast the field is at this one.

            Thanks for all the tips.  I appreciate it.

            Yeah part of the reason I wanted to run the race was for the experience of running with such a stacked field.  I'm still fairly new to the whole running thing so I thought it would be a good experience.

            Looking at the times I was thinking I would be in the top 400 whereas the half I am doing in April that has about 1100 people in two waves I am looking at maybe the top 30 for my wave.

            Delucj I am hoping to run right around the time you ran last year so I will expect about the level of crowd support you mentioned.

             

            As far as food goes I'm not picky about what it is per se.  But when I ran the Wineglass Marathon they had a hearty chicken noodle soup and a pizza oven on hand churning out hot fresh pizza and by the time I left the finishers shoot I felt great.  On the other hand at the Philly marathon they had chicken broth and pretzels.  I like pretzels but the thought of eating them right after a marathon just didn't sit well at all with me and the chicken broth was good on the spot but I had to make my friends stop at a Wa Wa so I could get a sandwich because I honestly felt like I was either going to get sick or pass out until I got a turkey sandwich in me.  So I just want to be prepared.  It shouldn't be as bad given that this is a half but still, if you fail to plan.....

               running with such a stacked field. 

               

              This is what I'm looking forward to. From my experience being pulled along by so many good runners is much more valuable than any crowd support.    

              jimmyb


                I've run New Bedford twice. Love that race.

                It's been awhile since I have, so things might have changed. It was organized and well run.

                Good post-race food. Like a meal if I remember correctly. A chowder.

                 

                The race has areas where there are spectators, concentrated in a few spots, and thin or non-existent in most places. I remember people along Rockdale Ave. near Buttonwood park, that stretch. There was none on the windy miles on the peninsula in the harbor. Coming back to the main land, there were definitely spectators the last 1-2 miles, up that long hill, and to the end.

                 

                The course is challenging. One big hill I remember in the first few miles, then that long stretch by the park, the it goes down to the peninsula, where the wind is your foe going one way or the other. Then that long hill. Then it's back down and flat to the finish.

                 

                Enjoy!

                Log    PRs


                delicate flower

                  Great to hear you will be joining us for the fastest half marathon in America*.

                  *I'm kinda making that up but it's probably true.

                   

                  I believe I read that for races of that size and up, this is actually a true statement.

                   

                  Found it!  Fastest by a lot, too.

                  http://www.runningusa.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=news.details&ArticleId=333&returnTo=annual-reports

                   

                  Edit to add:  I will not be doing this because A) I am injured, and B) I had signed up for another HM which I am now deferring to 2014, so looks like New Bedford will be 2015 at the earliest for me.  (I live in CT)

                  proud sherpa


                  Super Pro Lurker

                    It appears it being the fastest may also be highly dependent on it having the second highest percentage of male finishers (58% I think), who, in general, tend to run faster than women.

                      It appears it being the fastest may also be highly dependent on it having the second highest percentage of male finishers (58% I think), who, in general, tend to run faster than women.

                       

                      I bet if you separate out the men's and women's fields, each would be the fastest in its category.

                       

                      The competitive and no-frills nature of the race tends to bring out more competitive runners, which tends to be a slightly more male crowd. But the women at New Bedford are smokin' fast as well.

                      Runners run.

                      PDoe


                        I think Mikey is pretty accurate in his hill description. The first hill is steeper and long but because it's early, it's manageable. The hill at mile 12 does me in. You almost have to look to see you're running uphill because it's so gradual but after 12 miles, I'm pooped. The crowd support is surprisingly heavy for the last two miles or so. I've never had any of the post-race food. Didn't know they had any, probably because I've never looked.

                        Bib pick up on race morning has always been great, very fast.

                         

                        Best of luck. Have a good run.


                        Maggie & Molly

                          anyone can use Cushman park track ***if the snow is gone***** or you want to run on snow.

                           

                          the food choices downtown New Bedford continue to grow and grow.  There is Mexican, Irish (just opened), general pub, oriental, soup/sandwiches, pizza, etc.  Pretty much anything you would want.

                           

                          Parking is good.  Elm street garage/Zeiterian Garage or the street.

                           

                          Welcome to New Bedford by the way!

                           "It does not matter how slow you go so long as you do not stop."
                          Wisdom of Confucius

                          HF 4363

                          runlikeagirI


                            As far as food goes I'm not picky about what it is per se.  But when I ran the Wineglass Marathon they had a hearty chicken noodle soup and a pizza oven on hand churning out hot fresh pizza and by the time I left the finishers shoot I felt great.  On the other hand at the Philly marathon they had chicken broth and pretzels.  I like pretzels but the thought of eating them right after a marathon just didn't sit well at all with me and the chicken broth was good on the spot but I had to make my friends stop at a Wa Wa so I could get a sandwich because I honestly felt like I was either going to get sick or pass out until I got a turkey sandwich in me.  So I just want to be prepared.  It shouldn't be as bad given that this is a half but still, if you fail to plan.....

                             

                            Sorry to go off-topic, but the bolded might just have convinced me to make Wineglass my fall marathon.

                              I think Mikey is pretty accurate in his hill description. The first hill is steeper and long but because it's early, it's manageable. The hill at mile 12 does me in. You almost have to look to see you're running uphill because it's so gradual but after 12 miles, I'm pooped. The crowd support is surprisingly heavy for the last two miles or so. I've never had any of the post-race food. Didn't know they had any, probably because I've never looked.

                              Bib pick up on race morning has always been great, very fast.

                               

                              Best of luck. Have a good run.

                               

                              I ran New Bedford about 4 years ago - was my first race after about 10 years of not running a step......   I fully agree with the description of the course.    The first hill was there, you noticed it but it didn't seem to be that big of a deal.     That 12th mile hill took my legs away......very hard hill but mainly it's hard because it the 12th mile, your tired and all of a sudden a full mile of UP UP UP......

                               

                              New Bedford is a really good race.......be prepared to see some top runners as this race pulls a pretty solid field but its well organized and there is a lot of crowd support....

                               

                              You'll really enjoy it......

                              Champions are made when no one is watching


                              Hip Hip Hooray

                                I'll be there as a spectator this year, first time going.  Sounds like it'll be a good race!

                                 

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