Whale of a Trail 5K
April 20, 2013
Race Site Link
The Whale of a Trail 5K is a quaint trail race through Odiorne State Park in Rye, NH. What makes this race so special is the location overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. This is a muddy, challenging, cross-country race with steep hills, sharp turns, and plenty of terrain changes. This is quickly becoming a local favorite among NH seacoast runners in need of a spring tune-up.
Parking/Facilities/Registration: Parking is located very close to the start. There were just enough spaces to accommodate everyone. Bathrooms are located in the Seacoast Science Center building and also 200 yards away by the starting line. I never found myself waiting in line more than a few minutes. Registration was efficient and there were plenty of volunteers on hand to handle the crush of runners 30 minutes prior to race time.
Race Course: The course was challenging and always changing. Lots of turns and steep hills to keep things interesting. It was muddy and wet, but runners experienced pine needles, pavement, wooden bridges, sandy beaches, loose gravel, and grass lawns. Volunteers were present throughout the course and kept everybody moving in the right direction. Twice during the race you could see the field of runners as we looped by each other in serpentine paths.
Refreshments: Post race refreshments consisted of water, yogurt, bagels, and muffins. Plenty of food was available for everyone.
Awards and Results: The results took a while to be posted and there was a bit of confusion as to where they would be held. Many runners left during the wait as it was a bit cold and windy outside. The awards categories were generous and many people earned a gift certificate/water bottle/etc.
Overall Experience: I really enjoyed the race event and I will be sure to put this on my race calendar for next year as well. The cross-country course, the field of less than 300 runners, and the friendly volunteers will continue to make this a great race.