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April 04, 2007


amy DesRochers

What a fantastic race. I have never run any type of race before.( not even a 5K) I only started running 2 months ago after having my son. This was a great expirence. Everyone was so supportive. Maybe one or two more water stops would have been good. ( Ok maybe one more on BAY road I was not ready for the hills :) ) I think I may be hooked! I am still feeling the adrenaline from finishing with out stopping!

Elizabeth Esalen

Very eager and friendly volunteers at registration. Very positive environment and overall race organization attitude. Excellent prizes for winners and loved "Newbie" category. Miles were marked clear enough. And yes, maybe 2 more water stations.

The main thing I want to stress is possibly marketing the race differently. This is not a PR course. I found it to be extremely hilly and in the "difficult" range. Instead of "Great Bay" it could be called the "Monster of the Northeast (with several Heartbreak Hills to boot)". Gotta say, with 6 years of racing this was the hardest run course I've done. The Boston Marathon hills and Ironman Lake Placid have nothing on this race~

Great job again.

From Mike... Thanks for the kudos, we are now getting feedback on the course as to what is the best way to describe it. About 80% are saying it is hilly, and actually a good deal of people set personal records, must have been the musical experience! Technically, the elevation rise on this course is less than half of the larger Boston Marathon hills, but the angle is steeper... Hope to see you next year..

Jim Graham

I think your introductory post here sums it up well, Mike. I've run around 100 races over 30-plus years, and I think "moderately" challenging is fair. I told a friend afterwards it was "painfully honest." My time lined up (okay, just a wee bit slower) with some recent, shorter race performances, based on the prediction charts.
Yes, another water stop or two would help, and having water available sooner after the GU would be nice. But no worries.
Overall, I think you guys hit a home run for a first-time event. Congrats!
I loved the music on the course, and the "Burma Shave" type signs in those closing miles. Fun, and they helped take my mind off the pain.
I wish every race was so well organized, with such super t-shirts and food and a beautiful course. It's not a p.r. course, but it's a great one to test the legs so early in the season.

Caleb Shoemaker

This was my first road race, ever. I had a great time. I finished nicely between my expected finish time and the time I set that would mean I took too long.

I found it very challenging. I was completely unprepared for the steepness of many of those hills. I too think that water closer to the GU (or no GU at all) would have been greatly appreciated. I also would have liked a Gatorade option on the track, but I have no trouble saying only positive things about the experience.

I can't wait to do this again next year!

Sharon Young

This was only my second half marathon. I thought the course description of moderately challenging was right on. I don't really like hills, but I run them. I thought the scenery, the dirt road, and the music were great.

I would vote for a couple more water stops as well.

It would be nice if the chip timing included crossing the start line too so I would have a true comparison to gun time.

Everyone was helpful, encouraging, and fun. Thanks so much.

Steven West

Great race! Well organized. This was my first Half although I've run 5 marathons. Moderately challenging is a good description - those short steep hills certainly kept your attention. I ran it as a training run for the Burlington marathon and I nailed my goal time despite those pesky hills. Loved the folk/bluegrass interludes - fitting for a small New England town (I'm from Orono, Maine). Volunteers did an outstanding job, and the spectators were enthusiastic too. Don't change a thing - you got it right the first time! See you next year!!



It's hard to find something to add. It was my first long race and except for my own stupidity for running in new shoes, it would have been great. I actually went out and ran ten miles yesterday just to prove to myself that it wasn't a fluke. Thanks for organizing it. Now can we do one in the North Country? There's something about 13-mile Woods that is just crying out for a half-marathon..

Scott Bickham

I thought the course was moderately challenging, but I did set a PR by over a minute in spite of approaching it as a training run. The food at the finish line was fantastic, especially the chowder. There were a few glitches, but I thought it went surprisingly smooth for a first year with so many runners.


Food? All I saw were bagels and bananas. If there was pizza and chowder, there wasn't enough to go around. I didn't finish terribly slow, but no, I wasn't one of the first. So, I would definitely recommend more for next year.

Otherwise, well done. I agree that having timing chips that recorded our actual time crossing the start would have been nice, too.


I have to say this was a challenging course. I had run the Seacost Half in November and found the Great Bay half more challenging. Contrary to most of the post I have seen, I did set a PR this year and better my November time by 1:15! The hills were especially tough, but I was happy with the course overall.

mike AKA LOCO Guy

We had three varieties of soup in the Cafeteria and the announcer was telling people there was food inside. We also had a ton of pizza, Several batches were brought in fresh so people had hot pizza. Unfortunately we made the mistake of that being left outside and litteraly tons of it went to spectators.. Even though we had signs saying for runners and walkers only.. Sorry. Next year BE SURE YOU GO inside the Cafeteria.. where the hot food will be.... Best. Mike

Vickie Kalil

ok, my first thought entering the 13th mile was, they have to re-name this race "The Boston Prep 16
Miler II!!" Ha Ha!Any runner who has done that course in Derry can relate to this Newmarket course!
The Great Bay Half offered awesome scenery, race support, and entertainment. Great crowds too! As for the food, my only recommendation is that you provide paper plates for all of the wondeful food offered.
I'd definately run this race again!
Congratulations on a successful inaugural race!


I would definetly change to the course discription to challenging. Also, people talk about adding more water, how about not running out of cups at the mile 8.5 water stop? that sucked big time.

Rachel C.

This was my first 1/2 marathon and I absolutely loved it!! The hills were challenging for sure. I would suggest that you pay more attention to the 'back of the pack' runners - I was really counting on that Accelerade that wasn't there! The next water stop had no more cups! And the next one I had to wrestle with an old woman for a second drink! I will definitly do it again AND bring my own drinks!


Definitely more water stops! One stop once during the gravel had hundreds of cups and not one was filled. Maybe I got there too soon, I'm not sure. I loved the course hilly or not, and will be back next year. Also where we're all those beautiful murals that were advertised on the Loco website video? You may want to update that as there we're no murals. Cool medals and plenty of food afterwards.


A great race. I was a little taken back by the challenge, but that is what made the reward that much greater. I too set a PR and was pretty surprised by that. As far as not enough water, sports drinks etc... Everything was perfect. Runners should take a little more accountability in their planning. (I believe all the stops were posted on the site before hand) By the way, the empty cups around mile 5 was a HILARIOUS Aprils Fools joke by some clever kids.


I thought the course was moderate...this is compared to where I live and run where there are no flat options. I felt right at home. I loved the dirt road section, hated the neighborhood section (where we looped back on the course) Scenery was awesome, April fools water table was a riot, especially because I didn't need any at that point!
T shirts are too heavy, sorry but hte design is great!
I shall return!

Brendan Burchell

First off, thank you for putting together such a great event. I personally enjoyed the "pacers" who gave runners a good indication where they would finish, if they followed close behind. The course was exceptional and very challenging to me. I'm not sure that there needs to be any more water stops, just maybe spaced out differently. great volunteers, great runners. My wife and I made a mini vacation of the trip, staying in Portsmouth. We will be back!


I didn't think the course was "moderate" anything. I thought it was tough, and the video wasn't accurate, as it didn't show the hills. Also, would have like a start mat for a more accurate net timing. Volunteers were friendly, helpful, and well organized. The food was delicious. Water stops were fine, and I had no trouble going through them. Entertainment was great! All in all, very well done. Thanks for a great race!


Great course. I wouldn't call it "challenging," only because if you add that word, it will deter a lot of runners. I found the rolling hills just right. Yes, lots of uphills, but they were always followed by a great downhill. None of the hills were too steep. Pretty course. No start mat at the beginning was NOT GOOD. This was my shot at qualifying for NYC. I knew it would be close and I needed every second. (ended up ok, made it by 1 minute). Definitely a race to mark on your calendar. I'll be back. Thanks for an awesome day!


Overall a great experience - will do it again. However, when I got to the finish there was no food left except for a half cup of chowder. There were a lot of runners/walkers that finished after me as well. I heard the pizza was good!! Other than that, everything was great - loved the music along the way.


This was my first experience in a marathon of any type. I am a walker. I have nothing to compare it with and I thought the experience was fantastic. I could tell from the site that there would be hills and I trained for it. Between the scenery (which was awesome), the cheerers and the entertainment - the course was never tedious - which for me can be a challenge. I hope to come back next year and set a new PR.

Bill Regan

What a great race! I had a fantastic experience.The volunteers were great (lets face it where would the runners be if it weren't for them?) The course was moderately challenging the scenery was beatiful. I will be back again next year. Thank you for such a great experiance

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