The SRS Bow Lake 5K is a fun, friendly, community running event held in the small town of Strafford, NH. The road race is an annual fundraiser for Strafford Recreational Sports. As you might expect, there were lots of families and young runners enjoying some friendly competition and the first hint of spring weather to hit the Granite State.
Parking/Facilities/Registration: Registration took place inside the historic Bow Lake Grange Hall. Vehicles were parked along the side of the road or in the Grange Hall parking lot. Porta-potties were conveniently located just outside the Grange Hall. Registration and number pickup took place inside the hall.
The volunteers were friendly and efficient. Many local high school students were working as race volunteers, and they brought plenty of smiles and enthusiasm despite the early morning hour. Runners received swag bags with frisbees and coupons to Runner’s Alley. Early registrants received colorful race t-shirts.
Race Course: Let’s just say, there are some impressive hills in Strafford, NH. In fact, a nearby road was aptly named Rollercoaster Road. Lots of ups and downs with a flat finish. The SRS Bow Lake 5K course can be humbling to flat-landers from out-of-town. The course loop was mostly paved, with a half-mile of gravel road. Runners and walkers passed by the water stop twice. The roads remained open to two-way traffic.
Refreshments: What a feast! There were baked goods, bananas, oranges, and bagels waiting in the Grange Hall after the race. There was plenty of bottled water for everyone. It’s really nice to enjoy some good food after a race, and I saw lots of smiles as hungry runners gobbled up some post-race treats.
Awards and Results: Prizes were awarded to the first two men and women overall, and the winners of each age group division. However, you don’t have to run fast to walk away with a great prize. There were dozens of terrific raffle prizes.
Overall Experience: This is a great small town race in the rolling hills of Strafford, NH. The SRS Bow Lake 5K is well-organized, the volunteers are friendly and supportive, and the course will test your running fitness. With running, walking, and team categories, there is something for everyone.
This was my second time running the SRS Bow Lake 5K, and I continue to be impressed with the young runners in the Strafford, NH area. The NH Thunder running club was well represented, as were the local schools. In fact, six of the top 10 finishers were 12 years-old or younger!
Did YOU run this race? Leave your comments and thoughts below.