Winter/Spring Racing Just Around the Corner

While we at Manchester Running Company, of course, love our very own Finally Spring 5k! and Rockville Bank Kids Run, we also do enjoy other races! Every now and then someone will ask “is the Finally Spring 5k! a hard course?” Well to be honest, we don’t really know. We don’t actually get to run in the race, we are very busy attempting to put on a high quality event for all those who register and simply can’t get in the race.

That being said, we still like to race and train for events in and around the state. In Connecticut we have been very fortunate with a mild winter in 2012 (knock on wood) and are looking forward to some great races in the coming weeks and months. We’ll try to go through every distance for you.

Disclaimer: No one is paying us and there have been no exchanges of any kind to write anything about their race or website.

Personally, (yeah, that’s right I just switched from using “we” to “me” – I’m going with the singular from here on out in this post) I like to start my season with a long race and work my way down; of course this thought changes in marathon season, but for me Spring of 2012 is not a marathon season. Moving on, I like to start with a good solid distance run, and the Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club (SMAC) puts on a great 10-miler in Amherst, Mass. at the end of February each year. This year the Jones Realty Amherst 10-miler is on February 26 at 11:00 a.m. This race has something for everyone, prize money for the elite, team scoring, and they really do a great job putting on the event. It’s a great way to kick off the season!

After a nice 10-miler to get the legs going we have a few options for really high-quality races. One option is head back up to Western Mass and run the Holyoke St. Patrick’s 10k; if you’re looking for a real party atmosphere or some incredible competition, this is the place to go, spectators are out in full-force and this really is an event you should try. ┬áIf you’re not up for a big party and like to hang around and support the local crowd, the Bolton Road Race is the place to be. The Bolton Road Race has everything you need in a local road race and features a 5 mile and 5k option. Both of these races are on St. Patrick’s Day weekend in 2012 – Holyoke is on Saturday, March 17, and Bolton is on March 18th.

Continuing further down the distance spectrum we have the Finally Spring 5k! on March 24, 2012. Well we just can’t write enough about this event so we won’t, you can check out the link at the top right hand corner of every one of our pages for all the details. This is a fun day for everyone and who else in the state gives out free running socks!? You should act soon if you want those, today is Feb. 4 and we have 4 pairs of socks left to give out. In just our fourth year we are expecting close to 300 participants.

April gives us a number of 5k’s in Connecticut and if we had to pick just one, we would plug the Eco Husky 5k. This is a lovely little 5k started by Nick Au Yeung in 2006 that tours the UConn campus and the proceeds go towards a great cause – as most do. Fortunately, we don’t have to plug just one race in April, so we would also recommend the Glastonbury River Run. As much as the Hartford Marathon Foundation doesn’t need our endorsement, it’s still a great run that has grown substantially in the last few years. We might also be endorsing it because a friend of ours works for HMF but that’s besides the point.

May is when we get in to the fun stuff! Who doesn’t like to challenge themselves with a nice, short mile. While this is a tough race to find, it’s still a fan favorite and who doesn’t like a free race! The first option we have is slightly limited as you have to be an alum of a high school that participates in the JI Track Meet, if your town doesn’t get the JI, you’re probably not an alum of that high school. Either way, it’s the one time a year all the older guys and girls get to strap on their spikes and go all out on the track in mile against each other, it really is a great time. If that wasn’t enough to convince you, they also hand out the most obnoxious trophy in the world to the winner!

Finally, Memorial Day is one of my favorite races of the year, it is little known, but hopefully this plug will help change that. The East Hartford Memorial Mile, they don’t do much promotion for it at all, which is a shame because a downhill mile on the road is a great time, it costs $20 but all that goes right to the East Hartford Parks & Rec. department and takes all of 30 minutes total out of your day, that includes driving there, warming up and cooling down.

I’m sorry I don’t have a link for the last two races but as we get closer I’ll be sure to put one up. If you have a race you’d like us to talk about please let us know on our Facebook page! How do you get to our Facebook page? See our home page, it’s right there on the right hand side.

Happy Running!

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