Saturday, March 18, 2017 • Ashland, MA • Course Map
The Marathon Park Prep Race is a race that should be included in all training programs geared for Boston. The mid-March Madness takes place in Ashland, Mass., which was the original start point for Boston from 1897 until 1923 — at Metcalf’s Mill, now known as Marathon Park, along the Sudbury River that 18 pioneers of the sport toed the line for that trip replicating Athens.
This race replaces the nearby Quincy Half Marathon which outgrew its surroundings, a victim of its own popularity and is the same hilly challenging course as October’s Ashland Half Marathon making it the perfect prep for Patriot’s Day.
The course takes in almost the entirety of this bucolic little town, which lies about 24 miles from Copley Square in Boston, situated in the Worcester foothills. It’s a challenging track featuring the Green Street Monster — a hill just after mile 10, our own version of Heart Break Hill. The course includes the Ashland portion of the current course.
Runners start the race at Marathon Park on Pleasant Street, and the course starts out flat enough as it heads into the downtown Ashland area, following the exact footsteps of the original Boston.
During this stretch, you’ll run along the railroad tracks to Union Street, where you’ll then follow a stretch past Wildwood Cemetery and Ashland High School, and then follow a big loop section for several miles that takes them around Ashland State Park..
After a mile and change to get your sea legs the course begins undulating with many rolling climbs, pass the High School, down Cedar Street up to Chestnut by the Warren Center and eventually through Ashland State Park which will lead you to Route 135 right on the Hopkington Town line where you will now be running familiar territory perhaps as you will now be on the current Boston Course.
A left over the Fountain Street Bridge at 9+ miles will complete the first loop. You will now continue on Fountain along the River side until you come face to face with Boston’s other “Green Monster” — Green Street. After regrouping from that you will run along Ashland Town Forest and finish back at Marathon Park.
Description provided by the Marathon Park Prep race directors
Race Weather & Climate
Located in the heart of what is known as the Metrowest region of Massachusetts, about 25 miles west of downtown Boston, Ashland typically sees cold to sometimes mild weather in March, a month that has brought record temperatures here as low as 2 degrees below zero (in 1967) and as high as 85 degrees (in 1977).
On race day (March 18), the average low is 28ºF and the average high is 48ºF.
See race website
To reserve your spot in the 2017 running of Ashland’s Marathon Park Prep Half Marathon or 5-mile race, register online at RaceEntry.com here.
Official Race Website
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