The Barnstead Firefighters 5K could have taken place at any point over the last 20 years with the exception of the Kindle Fire that was given away during the raffle. It had the nice, safe feel of a community road race. For those of you that are nostalgic for the simpler times before racing became a business, this is the race for you. Small town is a good thing.
Parking/Facilities/Registration: Parking was DIY in the field opposite the fire station. Registration took place in the fire station. When I arrived, there was a line of approximately twenty people at the registration table, but the volunteers made short work of it. A bathroom was available to runners in the station, and there was a porta potty outside the station. Another porta potty could be found near the start/finish area.
Race Course: The course was an ‘out and back’ over gentle rolling hills. There were plenty of trees providing shade along the course and traffic was expertly controlled. A water stop was located about 100 feet from the turnaround point. There was a downhill feel to the last mile. Overall, a pretty fast course.
Refreshments: Runners could find water, bananas, and yogurt on a table manned by three lovely volunteers close by to the finish line. Score 1/1
Awards/Results/Swag: The age group awards only went to winners. There was no second or third place. I know a few runners grumbled at this. For those who won their category or age group, the prize was a nice commemorative glass. The results were posted about 30 minutes after the first finishers crossed the line. As for swag, there were t-shirts handed out at registration, but this runner did not get one.
Overall Experience: I enjoyed the race, the friendly community of runners and spectators, and my visit to Barnstead, NH on Old Home Day. The race organizers provided a safe, controlled, and well organized racing experience. The one thing the race lacked was a memorable quality to stand out from the many other small town races across the Granite State each year.