Welcome to another month of Run It!
In case you missed it, here’s what we covered so far this year:
This month it’s all about Rave Runs.
One of my favorite things about Runner’s World magazine is their Rave Run feature. Beautiful places from around the world that make you say, “I want to run there!”
Here in New Hampshire, rave run routes are all over the place. I go in search of a rave run route when I feel like I need a little spark to my running game. These routes are also the ones that I take friends from out of town on. It’s a guarantee to get a “oh wow this is beautiful!” comment.
In all honesty, I’m kind of hesitant in sharing all of my rave runs. I’m being selfish because I don’t want too many people to know about the location for fear it will become over populated and not “special” anymore. That’s especially true for the local trails. Or maybe everyone does know about it and I’m living in a dream world.
Regardless, here are some of my favorites.
New Castle Loop
When I first started running, this became one of my favorite routes. Starting from downtown Portsmouth at Runner’s Alley and heading out of town on Route 1B, you cross over the causeway and onto the island of New Castle. You will be treated to beautiful ocean views and houses that are unbelievably amazing. You’ll pass by Fort Stark, New Castle Common and Wentworth by the Sea. You may even spot a massive yacht with a helicopter on the back of it. Once you get to the fork in the road, take a right and you’ll head back into Portsmouth for a total of 6-8 miles. You can refuel at any of the awesome restaurants and coffee shops downtown. I recommend Breaking New Grounds for coffee and people watching in the square. And stop back at Runner’s Alley to stock up on all your running needs.
I gave Katie a part of the tour when she was in town last summer.
Wallis Sands to North Beach
If you want pancake flat with nothing but sea views, this is for you. I love this route for days when I need a dose of Vitamin Sea. Local tip – try to run it early in the morning because it’s heavily traveled during the day during the summer months. If you ran an out and back on this section of Route 1A, it’s about 10 miles.
York to the Nubble Lighthouse
Just over the border of New Hampshire is York, Maine. I know it’s not the seacoast of NH but it’s pretty darn close. This rave run is great if you want to run right along the coast. As you run along Long Sands beach, you’ll spy the Nubble in the distance. At the end of the beach, follow the signs to the most photographed lighthouse in America. Head back towards York to fuel up on bagels at the Bagel Basket. Julie and I did this as a 10 mile run last week.
Sue got this tour last summer!
Stratham Hill Park
If trails are more your thing, the seacoast has got that too. We lack in serious vert, but we’ve got dirt. Located off Route 33, Stratham Hill is a great place to run trails. The outer trail is about 6 miles but there’s so many off shoots that it’s easy to go longer. There are a few hills that will get your heart rate up but overall it’s a great local option for dirt with a mixture of single track or dirt road.
I could go on and on with awesome rave runs in my area. I’m lucky to have the ocean and the mountains so close to give us a wide range of terrain. If you are ever in the area, let me know and I’ll give you a tour of the rave runs of the seacoast.
Check it out and get you ready to say – I want to run there!
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What makes a rave run for you?