More than 700 runners and walkers converged on the rambling seaside trails of Odiorne State Park in Rye, NH for the 8th annual Rescue Run 5K for Marine Mammals. This race raises money for the New Hampshire Marine Mammal Rescue program and helps save the lives of seals and other marine mammals. The dedicated staff and volunteers at the Seacoast Science Center put on a great event and work hard to make this a fun, family event while encouraging all of us to take care of our ocean environment.
Parking/Facilities/Registration: Parking was easy and convenient with plenty of direction by flaggers dressed in bright orange vests. Runners picked up their numbers and t-shirts inside the Seacoast Science Center where they could use the bathrooms and stay out of the wind and rain while waiting for the start of the race. Registration was a bit crowded this year as many runners showed up very close to race time.
Race Course: The 5K cross-country course was created by Jennifer Shultis, captain of Team Eastern Mountain Sports, the 2006 US Adventure Racing National Champions. The course runs through the forest, along beach, and over historic military bunkers. The two hills are short and very steep and many of the turns are tight. It’s a fun course and it definitely keeps things interesting. Fortunately, there are swarms of friendly volunteers keeping the runners and walkers moving in the right direction. The trail gets narrow quickly, so the race started in waves according to expected pace per mile.
Refreshments: A delicious bounty for hungry runners: sliced oranges, yogurt, bagels and cream cheese, water, granola, and hot coffee. There was plenty for everyone. WERZ 107.1 provided music for the post-race party.
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 and Seacoast Science Center memberships were among some of the prizes awarded to runners. There was also a much-anticipated free raffle with six great prize baskets (much better than the running prizes 😉) available for any registered runners or walkers. Timing and results were handled by Millennium Running. Runners could approach the timing van for instant results.
Overall Experience: A great race to kick off the spring racing season!