Known for its combination of gorgeous New England seaside scenery and a course that remains flat for nearly the entire race down the New Hampshire coast, the Eastern States 20-Miler and the 13.1-mile Run for the Border Half Marathon make their 23rd annual running this year, after last year’s race saw more than 700 runners cross the finish line.
The race follows a point-to-point course with two starting lines. The first, for the 20-mile run, starts in nearby Portsmouth, while the half marathon starts down the coast at Wallis Sands Beach State Park in Rye, N.H.
From there, runners in the half marathon join the twenty milers and follow the route as it winds from Wallis Sands through a series of small coastal towns and villages like Rye Harbor, Jenness Beach and Hampton Beach, all the way south to the race finish line in Salisbury, on the New Hampshire-Massachusetts state line.
You’ll quite literally be running through a piece of New England history at this race, as the course takes runners in the 20-miler through Odiorne Point State Park, the site of the state’s first settlement back in the early 1600s.
This stretch features what is perhaps New Hampshire’s biggest undeveloped coastal land area, and runners here will make their way first through the park’s forests before heading out along the edges of the marshes near its southern end, passing by the Seacoast Science Center along the way.
Runners in the half marathon — which, unlike most running events, is the smaller of the Eastern States event’s two races, with just over 330 finishers in 2016 — won’t miss out on the scenery.
The course features plenty of beach views on the left and quaint coastal homes on the right side of 1A as they head south toward Salisbury, passing by the marshes at Rye Harbor State Park and Hampton Beach along the way.
Once the course makes its way into Hampton Beach and runners cross the bridge just after passing through Hampton Beach State Park, the race enters the home stretch to the finish line between Hampton and Salisbury Beach.
Both races have a scheduled starting time of 11:00 AM, and the course for the race is a USATF (USA Track & Field) certified course.
(PHOTO BY JIM LAWRENCE/FLICKR)
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