Granite State Marathon

Granite State Marathon

Granite State Marathon

( 1 review )
100% of reviewers recommend this race
  • Nashua,
    New Hampshire,
    United States
  • May
  • 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon
  • Trail Race
  • Event Website

Michelle Ladonne

Rockland, Massachusetts, United States
2 22
"Granite State Marathon - New England Challenge 2016"
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management
Michelle Ladonne's thoughts:

This race is part of the New England Challenge, a series of five marathons in five days throughout new England in mid-May. The Granite State marathon is held on the second day of the series in Nashua, New Hampshire. The race takes place in Mine Falls Park, a 325-acre park with forest, wetlands and open fields, bordered by the Nashua River.

The race started at 6 AM, and I was surprised to find that there were no porta-potties at the start/finish (there was a delivery issue). Luckily, runners were welcomed to use the restroom at the YMCA across the street, but this made for a somewhat challenging start to the day.

The course began with a quick 0.8 mile out-and-back along the road leading into the park, and then began a series of five 5-mile loops around Mine Falls Park. The course was almost entirely on packed dirt trails, but with very stable footing and only minor elevation changes. The wooded areas made much of the course shady, and the sections along the Nashua River were stunningly beautiful. I enjoyed running past bridges that crossed the river, and sections of wetland that reflected the sun.

The park was open to other walkers and runners, but trail traffic was minimal and it made for a peaceful run. There were two aid stations along the course - one with water and Gatorade on the back part of the loop, and a larger aid station at the turnaround point/timing mat area with water/Gatorade as well as some food - peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, potato chips, pickles and other salty snacks. Luckily, I also noticed as we ran that there were two porta-potties located within the park near soccer fields that we ran past twice on each loop, which somewhat eased the bathroom facility issue earlier in the day.

Course support was excellent, with volunteers who were highly encouraging. Several volunteers snapped photos throughout the course which were later made available for free on the race's Facebook page. I loved having race photos almost immediately after finishing to post! The race medal was in the shape of New Hampshire, along the theme of the New England Challenge, where each consecutive marathon was run in a different state, with that state's medal.

Best parts of this race?
- Incredible scenery
- Packed dirt terrain, easy on the joints, which made for a fast run
- Excellent ultra-style food available on the course

Toughest parts of the race?
- Lack of porta-potties at the start/finish
- Course markers were somewhat unclear, which caused several runners to turn the wrong way on the trails

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