The Pursuit of the Holy Grail 5K is always a great way to kick off the race season in New Hampshire. The fast race course is mostly downhill, the weather is cool, and the beer is free. With bus rides, bag valet service, and plenty of volunteers, this race provides runners with a VIP experience.
Parking/Facilities/Registration: Race parking is limited, but if you arrive an hour before race start you’ll find a spot near the finish. For those that arrive later, there’s a satellite location a half-mile away. Registration was quick and easy.
A table of friendly volunteers greeted runners with smiles and race bibs. Early bird registrants received bright yellow tech tees with the race logo on the front. There were plenty of porta-potties at both the registration area and the start.
Race Course: The 3.1 mile USATF certified course is fast and mostly downhill. There is a challenging hill or two right at the end, but it keeps things interesting. School buses shuttle runners from the registration/finish area to the starting line. A bag service is provided to transport runner’s clothes from the start to the finish line. Verbal splits were given at mile 1 and 2.
Refreshments: CLIF bars, water, and yogurt were available to hungry runners. And, what would a St. Patrick’s Day race be without beer? Each runner over 21 was entitled to their choice of Smuttynose IPA or Pale Ale.
Awards and Results: The results were processed quickly by Granite State Race Services. By the time I got home, they had already been posted to Coolrunning.com, and a personalized email had been sent to me with my results.
Awards were presented in the anteroom of the Holy Grail Restaurant and Pub. The race prizes were generous, and the top three age group winners left with cash prizes or movie passes. Andy Schachat, the voice of New Hampshire running, was on duty at the finish line and the awards ceremony.
Overall Experience: I really like the Pursuit of the Holy Grail 5K. I look forward to kicking off each race season running through the small town of Epping, NH. Registration fees go to support a good cause, the Epping Youth Athletic Association.
Please leave your comments to help other runners find great races.