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Newburyport, MA Half Marathon Race Review and Runner Recap

Posted Oct 24 2011 9:39am

I can add another item to my list of things I love about Newburyport. We now have an awesome Half Marathon!

The 1st Annual Newburyport Half Marathon too place yesterday and not only was an awesome chance to run around my favorite town but my buddy Emmy took the train up from Boston to run the race with me.

plum island nature reserve, newburyport ma massachusetts

Saturday night Nick was nice enough to prepare two huge trays of his favorite new lasagna recipe so that we could be well fueled for the race.

Newburyport Half Marathon Race Review, running, MA, pre race meal lasagna

After watching City Island we got a long night’s sleep because unlike most road races, the Newburyport Half Marathon didn’t start until 10am. The late morning start allowed us plenty of time to breakfast on PB and banana topped multigrain bagels, enjoy a little of coffee, drink lots of water, and make plenty of trips to the bathroom.

Nick dropped us off at the race start and after a light warm up, stretching, and yet another bathroom trip. We were off!

I didn’t carry my camera with me during the race however, the Newburyport Half Marathon race organizers were nice enough to shoot a video of the entire course.


The first few miles headed west along the Merrimac River towards Maudslay State Park and then wound through beautiful forests and along rolling hills. I hadn’t expected to have a great race after all the stress of the past week and because I wanted to keep my legs relatively fresh for the Cape Cod Marathon. However, running and chatting with Emmy boosted my mood and my pace and we ran together for the first 9.5 miles.

Our plan for the first half of the race was to run conservatively at around around a 9:00 to 9:15 minute per mile pace. I glanced at my Garmin every half mile or so to keep us in check but we both felt fresh enough to maintain a 8:32 min/mile average for the first 9.5. Nearing the 10 mile mark I knew that Emmy could go faster and that I would have a tough time keeping up with her so I encouraged her to go ahead.

Newburyport Half Marathon Race Review, running, MA Emmy finish

Emmy finished her first official half marathon finish in 1:50:50!

And I rolled through the beautiful harbor finish line a couple minutes later for a new PR of 1:52:50.

Newburyport Half Marathon Race Review, running, MA, finish

Not too shabby! I was pretty tired at the end of the race but I feel confident that my legs will be ready for the full Marathon on Sunday. I stayed well fueled during the race by swallowing Clif Shots (Chocolate Cherry and Strawberry) with water at miles 6 and 10. I also tried my best to drink plenty of water at the stations but they were seriously understaffed. Fortunately, the beautiful fall weather was cool enough that I didn’t sweat myself into a dehydrated state. Hopefully, the water stations at the Cape Cod Marathon will be better!

Going into this race I wasn’t even sure if I would break 2 hours so my new PR is a wonderful surprise. I’m generally a solo runner but it was so much fun to run and chat with Emmy and I know that I wouldn’t have run nearly as fast without her.

Thanks Em!

Newburyport Half Marathon Race Review, running, MA, finish, post race line

The post race celebration featured beers from three local breweries, lots of post race snacks, and free massages.

Newburyport Half Marathon Race Review, running, MA, post race beer fest

Emmy snagged a rub-down while Nick and I waited in the beer line. Each participant received two beer tickets with their registration and Nick deserved mine as a thank you for being our cheerleader, personal chef, and just being an overall wonderful husband.

It took forever to get to the front of the beer line so I was glad that I grabbed an everything bagel and a bottle of water from the food table so that I could refuel while we were waiting. I also snagged a Vanilla Mix 1 shake that I enjoyed later on the in afternoon which was surprisingly tasty.

Overall, The Newburyport Half Marathon was a fabulous race and the organizers did a great job. The course was gorgeous, the number of racers (1500) was perfect and the atmosphere was festive. The only cons were the seriously understaffed water stations and the long lines for beer post race.

I definitely plan to run the Newburyport Half Marathon again next year!

P.S. Thank you so much for all of your support regarding my last post. I won’t be writing much more about this particular situation in the near furture but I so appreciate all of your kind words.

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