This weekend it was up north to Portsmouth, New Hampshire for the Market Square Day 10K. This race is a component to a great downtown festival in the heart of Portsmouth, New Hampshire called Market Square Day and is sponsored by Pro-Portsmouth, a non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating and sustaining the vitality of Portsmouth’s arts, culture and history through events and community collaboration.
If you’ve never been to Portsmouth, you have to go. A New England town along the water, Portsmouth features an idyllic downtown area with some amazing restaurants, breweries, pubs, shops and more. The downtown area is a spot visitors could spend a day, relax and take in some great culture. Market Square Day capitalizes on that New England charm with streets closed down and vendors selling their wares, food vendors offering their food and drink and a 10K road race taking runners throughout the streets of Portsmouth.
The 10K kicks off right in the heart of Market Square and takes runners out of the central downtown area and into some Portsmouth neighborhoods throughout the course. The race has some really excellent fan support along the way and it seems as though mimosa helped make a hot morning a bit cooler for spectators watching the race. Parts of the course reminded me of the fan support along the Covered Bridges Half-Marathon course.
A decent hill around the 4 mile mark added a little challenge to the course and a shaded section in the fifth mile added a little reprieve from the warm temperatures and sunny race time conditions. Heading into the finish line there was a sharp and steep uphill sprint which once crested led to a nice, fast downhill 100 yards or so into the finish line.
The race course was perfectly prepared with water along the way though it could have been a touch cooler as particularly in the later miles the water was warm. Also, mile markers were missing from the course which made for a little added challenge to the race trying to determine where you were along the way.
Overall, a great run at the Market Square Day 10K and I finished the race with a time of 53:33, good for 8:38/miles. This was my first time ever running the Market Square Day 10K but it certainly will not be my last. An amazing course, great support and an awesome New England city welcoming runners; it doesn’t get much better than that!