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Event to give runners a choice

Half marathon, 5K trail run Aug. 10

For the third straight summer, the Monadnock Half Marathon will take over the streets of Jaffrey and Rindge.

A total of 193 runners tackled the 13.1-mile course last year, just seven shy of the inaugural run in 2011. But the 2013 version is expected to be the best one yet.

“We are way ahead,” said race director Chris Bernier. “I’m thinking we’re going to have around 400 runners this year.”

On Aug. 10, the same day as the Monadnock Challenge Series Sprint Triathlon is going on in Peterborough, runners of all ages and abilities will battle the rolling hills and dirt roads, while dealing with the heat and humidity that is typical of an August day. The race, along with the 5K trail run, will begin at 8:30 a.m.

The courses will start and finish at Well Field, next to the Jaffrey Fire Station, and in the lawn area in front of the Jaffrey Bible Church. And everything in between will be a test to the runners who have decided to challenge the USA Track and Field certified course.

The first four miles are relatively flat with runners hitting the Rails to Trails system after the first mile, but there are some very tough spots on the course, like drag hill as Bernier referred to it.

“It’s a pretty formidable hill,” said Bernier. “I tell people to take their time and just make it to the top where we have an aid station.”

Sean Duncan set a new course record last year in a time of one hour, 16 minutes and 7.50 seconds. Former Conant standout Andrea Walkonen is the female record holder after placing third overall last year in 1:19:50.58. David Herr, who won the inaugural event in 2011, finished second a year ago.

The cost is $55 for the half marathon prior to race day, while the 5K trail run is $20.

The 5K trail run is for those who want to run, but are not quite ready to tackle the 13.1-mile distance. The trail run is made up of 98 percent trails and will start at the same time as the half marathon, the only thing is that the runners go in opposite directions.

After the first year, the decision was made to tweak the course a bit, but this year it will be exactly the same as last August.

To register, visit Runners may sign-up online until the night before the race and in person the day of the race, if there is space available.

“As of right now we will have race day registration,” said Bernier. “Currently we are north of 150 and last year at this time we were at about 87.”

Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. The costs do go up to $65 for the half marathon and $25 for the 5K trail race. After the normal race day expenses, the proceeds from the event go to Show Hope, an organization that helps provide medical treatment for orphans.

Runners can pick up their race packets the morning of the race between 7-8:45 a.m. at Well Field.

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