Sunday, October 28, 2018 • Newmarket, NH • Course Map
Rolling country roads with plentiful shade on either side, followed by a three-mile-long stretch along a rail trail, awaits at the Loco Half Marathon, run when the trees are turning brilliant shades of orange, red and gold in the fall in this small town in southern New Hampshire.
Home to just under 9,000 residents, many of whom work and study at the University of New Hampshire in nearby Durham, N.H., Newmarket and the nearby towns of Lee, Epping and Newfields offer up a beautifully scenic — and fast — course for the race, which unfolds along terrain that starts at about 60 feet above sea level and never rises above 140 feet.
The race follows a loop course that starts and finishes at Rockingham Junction, where Ash Swamp Road and Exeter Road meet next to the Rockingham Country Club. From there, the course follows a counter-clockwise loop around Ash Swamp Road, Campground Road, Grant Road and Bald Hill Road and onto the Rail Trail for the final few miles of the race.
The event is a small one — fewer than 400 runners crossed the finish line in both races combined last year, and organizers say that the field size offers an intimacy and friendliness that past runners have described as “low-key” with a course that’s “not over crowded, and the landscape was beautiful.”
The first half of the race features a gentle uphill climb from the start to the half-way point in Epping, along Campground Road, followed by an equally gradual downhill in the second half of the race — past runners say it’s fast but not flat, as there’s plentiful rolling hills.
But it’s also a great race to qualify for Boston if you’re running the full marathon, as organizers note that nearly a third of those who run the full marathon end up qualifying for the big Beantown marathon.
The course is not closed during the race, they add, and the course time limit for the half marathon is 3 hours.
Race Weather & Climate
Nestled along the Lamprey River that feeds into the Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge in southern New Hampshire, Newmarket, roughly a 40-minute drive from Manchester, Newmarket typically sees cool to sometimes quite cold weather in late October and often its first snowfall of the year during the month, when temperatures average between the upper 30s and the low 60s.
On race day (Oct. 28), the average low is 34ºF and the average high is 57ºF.
- 2017 Loco Half Marathon Results
- 2016 Loco Half Marathon Results
- 2015 Loco Half Marathon Results
- 2014 Loco Half Marathon Results
- $69 and up for the half marathon
- $89 and up for the full marathon
To reserve your spot in the fall 2018 running of Newmarket’s Loco Marathon or Half Marathon race, register online at the event website here.
Official Race Website
Ever run in the Loco Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, as well as anything you learned about the race that you think other runners/walkers should know.