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The New Bedford Half Marathon is a beloved early spring running event that draws over 3,000 runners to the streets of this picturesque Massachusetts city. It offers both stunning views of the city and an exciting course for runners of all abilities.
Many consider running in the New Bedford Half Marathon an unforgettable experience. Before signing up to run, there are a few things you should be aware of.
Is the New Bedford Half Marathon Hilly?
The New Bedford Half Marathon is a challenging race that offers stunning views of the water. This USATF-certified 13.1 mile event traverses New Bedford, an historic port on Buzzards Bay.
This course encompasses most of the city, and features two major hills near miles 3 and 12. It’s fast, paved, and features some challenging bends along its course.
This race has been ranked as one of the top 25 half marathons by Runner’s World magazine and among the top half marathons in New England by New England Runner. Nevertheless, it can be a challenging run due to variable weather conditions that have ranged from 64 degrees in 2003 to just north of 17 degrees in 2000.
This iconic race, hosted by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick each year, draws thousands of runners and is generously supported by the City of New Bedford. To ensure their safety during this intense 10-mile trek, many streets in the city are closed off to runners as well as over one hundred police officers on duty along the route.
What Time is the Half Marathon in New Bedford?
The New Bedford Half Marathon is a 13.1 mile race held annually in March that draws thousands of runners and spectators alike.
It’s also an arduous event, featuring plenty of hills and the highest elevation of any city half marathon in America. This loop takes participants past some of Boston’s iconic landmarks like Buttonwood Park and New Bedford Harbor on its loop route.
As with any major event, it’s essential to be prepared for whatever the weather may bring. Fortunately, the New Bedford Half Marathon ranks among the safest in the country with scores of police officers patrolling the course and ambulances ready in case an emergency arises. Furthermore, several streets were shut down to traffic for added security, guaranteeing participants a secure experience.
New Bedford Half Marathon Course
The New Bedford Half Marathon course winds its way through the streets of this historic city, providing stunning views of Buzzards Bay along the way.
The race begins on Purchase Street in downtown New Bedford and proceeds through some of the city’s most picturesque neighborhoods, such as Cove Road, Rockdale Avenue, and East Rodney French Boulevard.
One hundred and fifty police officers will be on patrol along the course to guarantee participants’ safety. There will be rolling street closures from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to ensure a secure environment for participants.
Parking at Elm Street Garage and Zeiterion Theater parking lots is free of charge. Furthermore, the City of New Bedford provides shuttle service between Elm Street Garage and Whale’s Tooth Parking Lot between 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. daily for your convenience.
Emergency medical needs will be catered to with five or more ambulances on the course. There will also be seven water stations along the way and a complete medical area at the finish line sponsored by Southcoast Hospital Group, St. Luke’s Hospital ED, and Physical Medicine.
Half Marathon Strategy for Beginners
If you’re running your first half marathon or want to prepare for the next one, there are a few simple steps you can take. Following these tips will not only help make the experience more enjoyable but also successful in the race.
Before beginning a half marathon training plan, it is important to create one. These plans will gradually increase your distance over time while providing ample rest days and getting you prepared for race day.
Once you’ve selected the ideal plan for your needs, remain consistent! The more consistently you exercise, the greater your chances are of completing your first half marathon.
Additionally, incorporate tune-up races into your training regimen. This could be as easy as running a 5K or 10K three to four weeks prior to your half marathon; this will give you an opportunity to assess progress and stay motivated.
One essential component of any effective half marathon strategy is running long runs weekly. Although these can be challenging, they’re essential for your training regimen.
What is the Best Strategy to Run a Half Marathon?
No matter if this is your first half marathon or you are prepping for another, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you finish the race on your terms. It all begins with having an optimistic attitude.
If you’re feeling tired or sore after your run, take time to rest and drink plenty of water. Your body needs time to recover from all the hard work you put into it; giving it time will help maximize recovery for both of you.
One of the most common errors runners make is starting too fast. This can lead to fatigue and make it difficult to maintain your pace later in the race.
Janet Hamilton, C.S.C.S, a run coach in Atlanta, suggests starting your half marathon at a slower than goal pace to conserve energy so you can focus on running at your target pace during the second half of the race. This will help ensure a comfortable pace throughout each mile of the race.
Before race day, practice your strategy on short runs to make it feel more natural and effortless during the actual event. For instance, if you know there will be a significant hill around mile 3, find an effective way to get in the zone for that portion of the race without overexerting yourself.
Tips for Half Marathon Race Day
The New Bedford Half Marathon is one of the most beloved races in New England. Held annually on the third Sunday in March, it’s an iconic landmark for New Bedford and one of its biggest annual events.
The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick organize this race with support from the City of New Bedford, offering a challenging course with two major hills and stunning waterfront views.
Running enthusiasts should plan to arrive early in order to register and collect their bibs. Furthermore, make sure they have all necessary supplies such as water and sports drinks with them.
For spectators, there are plenty of places to watch the race as it unfolds. Runners begin on Purchase Street near City Hall and finish at Rockdale Avenue.
Thousands of spectators line the streets to cheer for their favorite runners during the race. After the race, runners should plan on staying for the Downtown Run – a scavenger hunt taking them around Downtown New Bedford.
What Should I Do the Day of a Half Marathon?
The day before a half marathon can be an exhilarating time. It’s the perfect opportunity to organize all your running gear and prepare your nutrition.
One of the keys to a successful marathon is making sure you have enough carbohydrates in your system. Your body stores limited amounts of carbohydrate in muscles for prolonged exercise. To stay fueled up during such strenuous activity, it’s important to ensure you always have access to this fuel source.
Running without carbohydrates during your run can often lead to fatigue and lack of energy during a long-endurance effort. To avoid this issue, aim for 30-60g of carbohydrate every hour during your race.
It’s essential to hydrate with water and sports drinks during the race, but only when necessary. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, weight gain and a slower overall pace if left unchecked.
No matter the race distance, it’s always beneficial to get plenty of rest the night before your event. This will leave you feeling rested and prepared to run on race day.
What Should I Not Do During a Half Marathon?
Before signing up for your first half marathon, there are a few things you should take into account. Make sure you’re well prepared and have all necessary items so that you can run your best race.
In the weeks leading up to your race, it is important to pay attention to what you eat. Eating nutritious meals will provide energy for long hours of training.
Be mindful of your alcohol consumption during the race. Alcohol dehydrates the body, so it’s best to abstain from alcohol for at least 24 hours after finishing a half marathon.
Another thing you should avoid during your race is trying to beat the clock. Most experts advise against this approach, as it could compromise your recovery process.
It’s essential to take a day off running every so often to give your body time to rest and recover from all the hard work you put into training. Active recovery activities like walking or yoga are great, but giving your body time to repair itself is also key.