The Kennebunk Savings’ Rescue Run 5K: Race for Marine Mammals is a fun trail race through one of New Hampshire’s premiere natural attractions, the beautiful and rambling Odiorne State Park. The challenging cross-country course is full of ups and downs and twists and turns. The proceeds from this family friendly event go towards Marine Mammal Rescue and ocean education efforts.
Parking/Facilities/Registration: Parking was easy and convenient. The facilities were clean and well staffed. Runners could use indoor bathrooms at the Seacoast Science Center or find porta-potties at the race starting area. Registration was efficient and the volunteers were pleasant and helpful.
Race Course: The 5K cross-country trail route was created by Jennifer Shultis, captain of Team Eastern Mountain Sports, 2006 US Adventure Racing National Champions. The course runs through the forest, by the rocky shore, across a sandy beach, and along historic military fortifications. The hills are short and steep and the turns are tight. Fortunately, there were swarms of volunteers along the course today directing traffic and keeping the runners and walkers moving in the right direction.
Refreshments: A delicious bounty for rain-soaked runners could be found under the refreshment tent: sliced oranges, watermelon, apples, yogurt, bagels and cream cheese, water, Muscle Milk, and hot coffee. There was plenty for everyone. WERZ 107.1 provided the music soundtrack and several runners were happily finding their post-race groove.
Awards and Results: Prizes were awarded to the overall male and female winners, and two deep in each age group. Gift certificates to local businesses, lift passes to Waterville Valley, and Seacost Science Center memberships were among some of the prizes awarded to runners. There was also a much-anticipated raffle with six great prize baskets available for all registered runners and walkers. Timing and results were handled by Millennium Running. After an early hiccup, the results were compiled and made available to all runners. An email was sent out about an hour after the race with personalized results for all pre-registered runners. This is a nice personal touch that runners really appreciate.
Overall Experience: This race is one of my favorites. First called the Whale of a Trail 5K, the name has since changed to reflect the Science Center’s new Marine Mammal Rescue initiative. If you run this race, you can count on a unique cross-country style course, a family friendly event focused on environmental awareness, and spending time with great people on both sides of the finish line.
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