Tuesday, March 13, 2018

New Bedford half-marathon preview

New Bedford ½ marathon
Although the half-marathon is a staple of the Grand Prix series it was not part of the series from 1985-1989.  Since 1990 it has been part of the series every year except for 1992.  This year will mark the 21st time that New Bedford has hosted the championship.  The Law Enforcement (Melrose, MA) was the championship five times between 1998 and 2003 (the race was last held in 2004).  The only other races to host the half-marathon championship were the now defunct Newport Savings (Newport RI) and the Bay State Half (Lowell, MA) in 1996 and 1997 respectively.  CMS has won the open team title eleven times, the most recent was 1999.  BAA has also taken top honors eleven times.  WMDP, GLRR, and RB have each won twice.  CMS holds the championship record for individual and team with Donahue’s 63:12 and the 1990 teams combined time of 5:30:39.  That is an average time of 1:06:08 for five runners.
Top Team times
1990  CMS 5:30:39
1993  CMS 5:36:08
2011  BAA 5:36:59
1991  CMS 5:37:55
1999  CMS 5:38:04
2016  BAA  5:38:42
1998  CMS 5:39:15
2010  BAA 5:39:29
2009  BAA 5:41:01                       
1991  GLRR 5:41:32
1995  CMS 5:41:41

1997 1 GLRR 6:00:40
1999 1 WRT 6:04:02
2015 1 BAA 6:04:35
2000 1 WRT 6:04:38
2000 2 CMS 6:04:42
1996 1 CMS 6:04:54

Seniors (prior to 2012 only 3 scored)

2013 WRT 6:33:00 (=avg. of 1:18:36)
2015 WRT 6:3509
2012 WRT 6:35:11
2017 CMS 6:51:22 (1:22:16)
2017 WRT 6:52:30
2014 WRT 6:54:51
2017 BAA 6:55:55
2013 GLRR 6:56:20
2016 WRT 6:58:13

Fastest times by USATF NE runners at a USATF NE championship ½ marathon
Rank     Time     Name                Team    Date      Location
1          1:03:12 Mark Donahue      CMS      03/18/90            New Bedford
2          1:03:27  Pat Tarpy           RUN      03/15/09            New Bedford
3          1:03:32 Geoff Smith         CMS      03/18/90            New Bedford
4          1:05:00  Geoff Smith        CMS      03/17/91            New Bedford
5          1:05:02 Dave Dunham      CMS      03/23/93            New Bedford
6          1:05:03 Dennis Simoniatis  BAA       03/23/93            New Bedford      
7          1:05:24 Joe Lemay          GLRR     03/17/02            New Bedford
8          1:05:25  Ruben Sanca       BAA       03/20/11            New Bedford
9          1:05:32  Dan Verrington    CMS      03/21/93            New Bedford
10         1:05:50 Ruben Sanca        WRT      03/16/14            New Bedford

New Bedford logistics:
As with any city race parking can be an issue.  There is a fair amount of on-street parking if you get there early (but remember to park on the south side of the course or you will be stuck there until the roads open).  Best bet for off-street parking:

Elm Street Garage
51 Elm Street
New Bedford, MA 02740

The course:
This can be a fast course if conditions are good (read: not windy) as the CR of 1:01 and change can attest.  There is a total of 400’ of climb/drop over the span but most of that is in the first 4 miles and after that just the “20k” hill.

The first mile drops 30’ and is a straight shot.  Mile 2 has a 35’ gain as you continue straight.  The third mile climbs 50’ then drops 30’.  The fourth mile has your last uphill until the very end of the race.  That climb is a tough 100’ gain in ½ mile.  This is not the time to power through the hill, better to conserve at this early point.  3.5 miles to 7 miles is a nearly steady drop of 185’ just enough per mile to gently move you along.  Seven to nine miles is nearly dead flat, but there can be wind.  Turning the corner at 9.3 miles is typically where you hit the worst of the wind and it can last for a long time as you can see the city draw nearer.  Twelve miles to 12.7 is the “hill” that you will remember as you climb 100’ over that span.  After that if you have anything left it is downhill and flat to the finish.

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