The Runner’s Alley Capital City Classic 10K starts and finishes in front of the New Hampshire State House. Runners take a rolling tour through the streets of downtown Concord cheered on by spectators and race volunteers. One hundred percent of the race proceeds benefit two nonprofit groups working to make Concord a better place to live. Intown Concord, an organization dedicated to improving the business environment, cultural activities, housing and appearance of historic downtown Concord and the Concord Coalition to End Homelessness.
The course was pretty challenging for a flatlander from the seacoast. There’s a long hilly section in mile 4 and a short, steep climb at the beginning of mile 6. The temperatures were in the mid-70’s, but the direct sun made it feel more like the 91 degrees that hit the city later that afternoon. Fortunately, there were several water stops along the way and a couple of hose-wielding bystanders that were gracious enough to spray passing runners upon request.
The Capital City Classic 10K was the finale of the 3-day Market Square Days celebration in downtown Concord. Main street was blocked off and runners had the freedom to roam around three or four city blocks with no traffic and plenty of room to warm up. There were just under 400 finishers, but the race had a big-time feel to it. Race clocks at every mile marker, music and finish line commentary, tents with fresh food, pizza, and cold water, and legions of volunteers and Runner’s Alley ambassadors.
What set this race apart from others is the sense of community that I felt from start to finish. Everywhere I looked there were runners encouraging each other, spectators cheering for runners, runners thanking volunteers and spectators, kids smiling, and good vibes among running friends. The CCC 10K is a great example of road racing done right.