The New Hampshire Half Marathon was in the coolest little town of Bristol, NH. The race was a beautiful point to point. It started way out on a country road near the Sculptured Rocks State Park and was just one big beautiful green area with gorgeous streams everywhere. I know that I said Vermont was one of my favorite races but New Hampshire? You’re giving VT a run for their money.
The Four State Challenge
Four half marathons in eleven days. Sounds easy enough when you sitting behind a desk in the comfort of Encinitas, CA. But, then, at some point you need to actually go run the races. And, drag the whole family through what will end of being 1,600 miles and four states in the car. Just like all big goals, you have to put one foot in front of the other and charge it. And, that is precisely what we did.
- Race #1: Massachusetts – Cape Cod Trail Race and Half Marathon – Looping the Pond
- Race #2: Vermont Sun Half Marathon – Endless Beauty
- Race #3: New Hampshire Half Marathon – A FAST Country Stroll (THIS ONE!!)
- Race #4: Maine Half Marathon – Counting Miles
Choo-Choo Trains & Mount Washington
There we so many cool adventures along this trip, specifically our time spent in New Hampshire. But, one of my favorite experiences was our trip up to the top of Mount Washington on the Cog Railway. I get goosebumps just thinking about how much fun this day was.
Amy had found us a killer hotel right next to the Cog Railway. Ended UP that way, didn’t START that way. We stayed at the OMNI Mount Washington resort. It is way out there, not close to anything and is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. But, our first experience? Not so much. We stayed in one of the older buildings, not in the main area and I am not certain but I think the building was built in 1850. And, the walls were VERY thin. Our kids who had been pent up in the car all day, were let loose in our room and within 15 minutes, the neighbors below were BANGING on the ceiling and not very happy. This lead to the inevitable scolding, everyone overtired, and finally bickering. Fortunately, this was the last of the bad, all good from here.
The next morning, we had a very short drive to the Cog Railway. This is one of the reasons we stayed here. And, the day couldn’t have been more perfect. The trip up the mountain was incredible. Climbing slowly up the cogs, up through the fog and into the higher altitudes where there are no trees. The wind blows so hard at the top that the small trees that were there? They were warped and almost sideways. At the top? A killer spot called the TIP TOP house which was the old hotel. And, a lodge that reminded me exactly of a ski lodge but without the skiing And, finally, one of the coolest spots on the top, a US Postal Office where we actually mailed a couple postcards, simply, because it was fun.
One KILLER Cabin Hotel Place
One of the coolest things we did (we did a LOT of them) in the state of New Hampshire is stay at this incredible hotel called The Common Man. It was a recommendation from a friend of ours and Amy found out that they actually had a cabin that you could rent that was about 2 miles off property. And, thats what we did! It was a two bedroom, two story cabin overlooking a HUGE wilderness area. And, it had a hot tub on the back deck that Gage and I actually enjoyed one evening. It had a kitchen and a living area and although this trip was filled with SO many fun memories, this was one of my very, tip top favorites.
It appeared as thought the folks at the Common Man also liked the idea because they were building 4-5 more of these cabins next to this one. I think they are onto something.
Last mention, the FOOD! We could walk 50 feet (no joke) from our cabin to this amazing Italian Farmhouse Restaurant. And we did! Twice, it was delicious. They had this bread stand with pipin’ hot fresh bread and butter and the most delicious Italian food your could possibly eat. The free food at the main hotel was pretty tasty too.
I love races like this. The packet pickup was at a high school. Everyone was so incredibly nice. And the race start? Way out on a country road, next to a state park called Sculptured Rocks.
The start line was around a construction site, right on a little stream that looks like there would be great trout fishing in it. My mind always drifts towards trout fishing for some reason. And the mood was really mellow and the air was cool and wonderful.
The race was equally as beautiful as the Vermont race (almost) with a beautiful view, lake, stream or other around every corner. And, as you can see from the time? This was one of my fastest races too! I ran a 1:38 which if you think about it is pretty amazing. This is the third race, I have GUZZLED syrup, slept in bed with one of the two kids and driven at this point 1,000 miles. And, don’t forget lugging 300 lbs of luggage into our room at every stop.
1:38? I’ll take it! And, New Hampshire? Honestly, I dream of returning many days. Even as I stare out at the beauty of Southern California. Someday!