Connecticut > Niantic Bay Half Marathon & 5K
Niantic, CT • Sunday, September 23, 2012 • Course Map
A run along the shoreline of the Long Island Sound and through the marshlands of Connecticut's Rocky Neck State Park await the up to 1,500 runners each year who make it out to the state's eastern coastline for the annual Niantic Bay Half Marathon & 5K, which marks its sixth annual running in late September 2012, after a 2011 race that saw just over 880 runners cross the finish line in both races combined.
The race -- which until 2007 was run as the Mystic Country Marathon (and before that, the Mystic Places Marathon) -- takes runners on a double-loop point-to-point course that stays largely within Rocky Neck Park's 710 acres, starting off just across the road from perhaps its most recognizable landmark, the large stone pavilion that sits on top of a rocky bluff and looks out onto the waters of the Long Island Sound near the park's western gate.
From there, runners then head north along the looping park roads, following the curve around to the parking lot areas near the beach. The course contines east through the parking lot and then curves around to the left to head north along Beach Road, taking runners northward all the way to the intersection with West Main Street (Highway 156). Here the course turns right and heads east for a brief stretch along 156 before turning right again onto Giant's Neck Road.
The next stretch brings runners south for just over a mile, back south toward the ocean again all the way down to the houses and the neighborhood that looks out onto the water. Runners follow Giant's Neck Road as it curves left along the shoreline all the way to Lee Road, where they turn left and head north. There's another left onto Bridebrook Road, which brings runners back west toward Giant's Neck Road for the return route back north toward Highway 156.
Next, the course heads back into Rocky Neck Park and all the way back to the parking lot area, where runners will make the turnaround and then start the second of the race's two loops, giving them a chance to take in the scenery along the route they've just run a second time. Once they make it back into the park, they'll cross the finish line at the south parking lot overlooking the beach. Punctuated with the occasional hill, most of the course is fast and flat, and run on paved surfaces throughout.
The 5K runners and walkers start their race first, at 9:00 AM on Sunday morning, followed by those running the half marathon at 9:05 AM. Organizers ask that runners arrive in Rocky Neck State Park by 8:00 AM, as the park roads will be closed starting at 8:45 AM, and won't reopen until 9:45 AM.
Weather & Climate
Nestled along the bay that shares its name on the eastern Connecticut coastline, just over 45 miles southeast of Hartford, Niantic typically sees September temperatures that average between 74°F and 57°F, while rainfall totals average just over 4.1 inches for the month. On the day of the race (Sept. 23), the average high is 71°F and the average low is 54°F.
View the race route map for the Niantic Bay Half Marathon
To reserve your spot in the late summer 2012 running of the Niantic Bay Half Marathon or 5K race, register online at Active.com.
Official Race Website
Leave a Comment
Ever run in Connecticut's annual Niantic Bay Half Marathon? Share your impressions, stories and tips from the event.