a nice fast race for those trying to make Boston (about: 2000)|
A Runner from Boston, MA (10/23/00)
Baystate is run on an almost completely flat course between two bridges of the Merrimack river in Lowell MA. One part of the course is through a residential/commercial neighborhood, the rest is scenic with lots of fall foliage along the river. It's all on paved roads that are adequately blocked off and marked. There are water stops about every two miles, and clocks every mile.
The downside: For the marathon you'll do two laps on a 13.1 mile loop. The first lap feels very crowded because the half-marathoners start at the same time - which is about half of the runners. The second lap feels much lonelier. For the first time, chips were used for timing, but no splits were taken. Since it is a qualifying race for Boston, this could make it prone to cheating.
Shuttle buses are provided from and to a big parking lot about a mile away from the start. The race has picked up popularity in recent years, and it felt like organization hasn't quite kept up yet.
If you're living within reasonable driving distance, or if you're looking for an easy qualifying race, give it a try!