Spring has finally arrived, and now, before you know it, summer will be here. That means we’re in prime running season, and wouldn’t you know it – Concord just so happens to have plethora of road races coming up between now and late fall.
Since Concord is home to a large and passionate running community, we figured we’d pull together information about as many road races as we could find to set you up for the rest of the season. And while there are many hardcore runners in this city, there are many folks who are less experienced but are interested in getting into the running scene.
Being the equal opportunity publication that we are, we dropped in to Runner’s Alley last week to get some expert advice on running for newbies. Basically, we wanted to find out what people who aren’t avid runners need to know, have and do before they can start tackling 10Ks and marathons.
Over these next two pages, we’ll share what the experts we found at Runner’s Alley had to say, then we’ll give you the big list of races coming up over the next few months.
“Start walk-running.” That was the first tip offered by Mike Davis, the race director for Runner’s Alley and a running coach. If you’ve never run before, or at least not for any considerable distance, the best way to start getting familiar with it is to just walk fast first – you have to crawl before you can walk.
“Shoes are the most important thing to start with,” he added. Luckily, Runner’s Alley has a wide variety of shoes to choose from, and the staff is always available to help you find the best shoe for your needs, taking your foot shape, gait pattern and type of running you’re looking to do into account.
Another way to get into a habit of running is to join a group, Davis said. Being part of a group can help with accountability, plus it creates the added benefit of friendship and community. Davis said it’s important to start off running for time, not distance. In other words, if it’s your first time running, shoot for a goal of 20 minutes, not 3 miles. Once you start getting more comfortable, you can build your way up.
Apart from shoes, there are other things you’ll want to take into account when thinking about getting into competitive running.
“Socks aren’t the most glamorous things, but can really be the unsung hero, or villain,” said Jeremiah Gould, who does design and marketing for Runner’s Alley. If you’re serious about running, you don’t want those old tube socks you grew up with, which can hold a lot of moisture and lead to blisters and other maladies. What you want is socks that have good wicking properties to keep your feet dry, and of course Runner’s Alley has plenty to choose from.
You also want to make sure you’re doing the nutrition part – you can’t win any races when your body is deprived of nutrients. The store has many products meant to give runners the fuel they need for any type of race, without any of the unhealthy stuff that’s so common in our daily diets.
Finally, you want to take care of yourself after the race, too. Recovery is just as important as preparation, and it’s essential to help your body catch back up after a long, grueling run. Recovery gear includes massagers, rollers and ultra-padded recovery footwear, such as sandals with extra arch support. Runner’s Alley carries all kinds of recovery gear, and Gould said many customers have found the recovery sandals so comfortable that they use them as their daily sandals.
For much more advice and expertise on running, stop in to Runner’s Alley at 142 N. Main St. or go to runnersalley.com.
Over the River and Through the Woods 5K and Fitness Walk
Saturday, June 8, 10 a.m., Northeast Delta Dental (1 Delta Drive)
For additional event information, such as race start times, course descriptions, maps, awards, reviews, registration and other runner essentials, please visit the Over the River and Through the Woods 5K and Fitness Walk event website.
Girls on the Run Concord 5K
Saturday, June 8, 8 a.m., Memorial Field (70 S. Fruit St.)
At the end of each season, the girls participate in a non-competitive 5K run/walk, a celebratory event that underscores the confidence, competence, connection, character and caring they’ve been developing in the program.
Paws on the Pavement 5K
Sunday, June 9, 9 a.m., Northeast Delta Dental (1 Delta Drive)
At the Animal Rescue League of N.H., we know it’s all about the human-animal bond, and that’s why we’ve made this 5K dog-friendly! Not only do you have the opportunity to participate with your dog, but when you register you can feel good about helping animals in need.
Capital City Classic 10K
June 22, 8 a.m., City Plaza (North Main Street)
This classic road race is in conjunction with the Market Days Festival and is part of the New Hampshire Grand Prix. This race is the sixth race in the Capital Area Race Series. If you are already registered for the full CARSeries, you do not have to register separately for this race.
As in previous years, 100% of the race proceeds benefit two amazing nonprofit groups working to make Concord a better place to live: the Concord YMCA and Intown Concord.
Bill Luti 5 Miler & Kids Fun Run
July 20, 9 a.m., Memorial Field (70 S. Fruit St.)
Don’t miss being a part of one of the oldest races in New England! This is the seventh race in the Northeast Delta Dental Capital Area Race Series. The race is a genuine classic featuring a certified loop course that passes through the scenic St. Paul’s School campus.
Run United 5K
Aug. 1, 6 p.m., Northeast Delta Dental (1 Delta Drive)
Proceeds will benefit the Granite United Way. The Granite United Way is committed to investing in the areas of the community with the most critical needs – education, income and health.
5K Race to the Ledges
Aug. 24, 9 a.m.
Proceeds will benefit the Aging Well Alliance Fund through Concord Hospital Trust. This fund helps support amazing programs to help keep our seniors healthy and strong.
To register, go to genesishcc.com/GL5k.
Friendly Kitchen 5K
Sept. 6, 5:30 p.m., NHTI Grappone Hall (31 College Drive)
Fundraiser for the Friendly Kitchen. Entrance fee is $20. Awards, refreshments, raffle and more! For more info, contact Perry Seagroves at email@example.com.
Granite State 10 SMiler
Sept. 22, 9 a.m., NHTI Grappone Hall (31 College Drive)
Join us for a beautiful 10-mile road race hosted by volunteers from the Granite State Racing Team. The 9th Annual Granite State 10 Smiler supports the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central New Hampshire and the NHTI cross country running team.
NAMIWalks New Hampshire
Oct. 6, 9 a.m., South Fruit Street soccer fields
In 2019, we are celebrating 17 years of NAMIWalks, the nation’s largest mental health awareness and fundraising event. NAMIWalks is a fun, family-friendly event and there is no cost to register.
Northeast Delta Dental New England Half Marathon
Oct. 13, 9 a.m., New Hampshire Motor Speedway (1122 Route 106, Loudon)
This half marathon starts at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon and ends at the State House in Concord. Post-race festivities will include live music on the State House lawn with post-race refreshments. Beer tickets will be redeemable at Margarita’s.
Oct. 20, 11 a.m., Memorial Field (70 S. Fruit St.)
Sign up online for easy check-in the day of the walk. All event participants, including children, need to register for the walk. If you do not register online prior to the event, please visit the check-in area upon arrival.
To learn more about the Making Strides of Concord or for other information, call 1-800-227-2345.
Wicked FIT Run
Oct. 26, 9:30 a.m., Rollins Park (33 Bow St.)
Get your sneakers and costumes ready for the 8th Annual Wicked FIT Run! This “spooktacular” certified 5k run (or walk) is a family-fun event benefiting those in need in your community. Prizes are awarded for top runners and best costumes, as well as top fundraisers. This is a flat course through the beautiful neighborhoods of Concord. The race will take place rain or shine.