Massachusetts > Ashland Half Marathon
Ashland, MA • Sunday, October 27, 2013 • Course Map
If you know your running history, then you know exactly the significance that the small town of Ashland, Mass., plays in the sport's most legendary race. It's here that the Boston Marathon got its start (quite literally) back in 1897, as the starting line for the race was here in what is now Marathon Park on Pleasant Street, and it's where the race started every year until it was moved in the mid-1920s to Boston.
That's because the marathon distance -- the Boston Marathon was originally a 24 1/2-mile race -- was extended to 26.2 miles in the 1908 Olympic Games in London, and it's been 26.2 ever since. For the all-new Ashland Half Marathon, which makes its 2nd annual running in 2013, the race organizers -- who also stage the annual Half of Quincy Half Marathon in March -- decided to bring some attention back to this important place in the history of running.
Runners at this fall's Ashland Half will follow an out-and-back course that starts and finishes in Marathon Park, and from there follow a figure-eight-shaped course along the rural country roads and through residential neighborhoods just outside this town of about 16,000 residents just outside Boston. The hilliest stretches occur around the middle portion of the race, as runners are making their way around Ashland State Park and the reservoir lake that sits along its southeastern edges.
Much of the course is framed by tree-lined roads, especially the final few miles that bring runners along the edges of the Framingham Reservoir, through City Park and through the neighborhoods along Green, Myrtle and Winter Streets. The last mile is almost all downhill back in to the finish line, where Cordaville Road meets Pleasant Street, near Marathon Park.
The scheduled starting time for the race is 10:30 AM, and the race starts on the same spot where the first Boston Marathon was run on April 20, 1897 -- "the site of Metcalff's Mill on the Sudbury River and where it all started on a line drawn in the dirt on Patriots Day, 1897," as the race organizers note.
Be sure to check out the official race website, where you can read the original press coverage of the race (won by runner J.J. McDermott) that the Boston Globe published back in 1897.
Race Weather & Climate
Nestled in the heart of what is known as the Metrowest region of Massachusetts, about 25 miles west of downtown Boston, Ashland typically sees October temperatures that average between 40°F and 63°F, while rainfall totals average just over 4 inches for the month.
On the day of the race (Oct. 27), the average low is 37°F and the average high is 59°F.
View the race route map for the Ashland Half Marathon
See race website
To reserve your spot in the late October 2013 running of the Ashland Half Marathon, register online at RaceMenu.com.
Official Race Website
www.ashlandhalfmarathon.com • Facebook • Twitter
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