The 2014 Angels 5K Run and Fitness Walk is a fundraising effort to give college scholarship money to seniors at Merrimack Valley High School. The race is held in the small rural community of Penacook, NH and organized by the Loudon Lions Club. As you might expect, there were lots of families and young runners enjoying some friendly competition and supporting their local high school at this Thursday evening run.
Parking/Facilities/Registration: Registration was located behind Merrimack Valley High School by the baseball field. There was plenty of parking, bathrooms were close by, and the start and finish were separated by about 200 yards. Registration was smooth and there were no waiting lines. The volunteers were very friendly and courteous.
Race Course: A trip though downtown, a run past dairy cows, and a good dose of ups and downs define the Angels 5K course. Penacook Street is to the Angel 5K what Heartbreak Hill is to the Boston Marathon. After slamming down the hills in mile 1, runners climb a mountain up Penacook street in mile 2. Of course, that makes mile 3 interesting as runners try to squeeze something out of their tired legs and hold on until the finish line. The course was well-marked and there was a water stop at the half-way point.
Refreshments: After finishing the race, runners left the chute area and refreshments were spread out for them just a few steps away. There were plenty of bagels, water, cookies, and other snack items available for hungry runners and walkers.
Awards and Results: Nice cotton t-shirts were given out to runners (see pic below). There was a raffle for runners and walkers with some very nice gifts donated by local businesses. Medals were awarded to the fastest overall runners as well as age group winners. Awards went three deep in each class. Because this race was held on a Thursday night, some runners were grumbling about the ceremony taking too long. Maybe awards first and raffle afterwards would be a better idea for next year?
Overall Experience: I noticed lots of smiles on the faces of the runners, walkers, spectators and volunteers. This race is a special event and I was happy to have been a part of it. If you can make it to the Angel 5K Run next year, I guarantee you’ll find a challenging 5K course and a friendly group of people to run with.
Did YOU run this race? Leave your comments and thoughts below. Your thoughts and comments really help!
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