17th Annual Seacoast Half Marathon
Run through history to benefit Portsmouth NH 400
Welcome to our FAQ page!
FAQ’s for 2021 are below, but will be updated soon for 2022. Thank you!
- Will the 2021 Seacoast Half Marathon be in-person or virtual?
It will be both! You can choose to race in person, or virtually. The in-person race will take place on October 31, starting and finishing at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, NH. Registered walkers will start at 8:00, and runners will start at 8:30. If you choose the virtual half marathon or our other virtual races, you can complete any or all of them on the course of your choosing, anytime between October 23 and October 31.
- What is a “virtual” race?
A virtual race is one that you run/walk on any course that you choose (as long as it is the correct distance), at any time during the race period (Oct. 23 – Oct. 31). There will be no course marshals, traffic control, or water stops on your course, so be as careful as you would be on any training run/walk that you do, especially if you will be on local roads. With no water stops, be sure to take what you need for proper hydration during your race.
- Why should I sign up for a virtual race?
While a virtual race is not the same as a “real” race, it still gives you the opportunity to test your capabilities at the distance of your choosing, to compare your time to others completing the same distance (all finishing times will be posted after October 31), and to support the great work by the essential personnel of Cornerstone VNA.
- Why are there 3 distances in the virtual option?
It is good to have options, isn’t it? In this years’ virtual SHM offerings are a half marathon (13.1 miles), a quarter marathon (6.55 miles), and a 5K (3.1 miles). You can choose the distance that is right for you.
- Where can I register for the race, and how much will it cost?
For either the in-person or the virtual race options, you can register on-line at https://seacoasthalfmarathon.com/online/. Registration is $35-$40 for virtual distance options. The in-person half marathon distance is $65 this year. This will increase to $70 on August 1st.
- Can we register as a team?
Yes, you and your family and friends can register as a team. You can also enlist your teammates to help you fundraise for Cornerstone VNA.
- When will registration close?
On-line registration will close at 11:59pm (EST) October 27 for the in-person race, and on October 30th for all of the virtual options.
- Where will my entry fee go?
100% of the race revenue, after expenses, will go to Cornerstone Visiting Nurses Association (VNA). The expenses include items/services directly related to the race that have not been paid for by our generous sponsors. Cornerstone VNA is a registered non-profit (501c3) organization whose mission is to promote the optimum level of well-being, independence and dignity of those living in the community by providing trusted, compassionate and expert health care. You can learn more about Cornerstone VNA at https://cornerstonevna.org/
In the 15 years that the race has been run, the Seacoast Half Marathon has raised over $1,350,000 for local non-profits. The race organizers are all unpaid volunteers, so more of our revenue can go to our beneficiaries.
- Will there be any extra fundraising for the beneficiary?
During online race registration, there is a field to make a donation to Cornerstone VNA, and you can set up your own fundraising page where your family and friends can help you raise money for this great organization.
- What do I get with my registration?
All racers, either in-person or virtual, will get a 2021 race t-shirt (please note: due to a limited supply, shirts are not guaranteed for registrations received after 10/25). Finishers of the in-person and virtual half marathon will also receive a finishers’ medal.
- Will I receive a confirmation when I register?
Yes, if you register on-line and provide a valid email address, you will receive a confirmation email. If you attempt to register on-line, and do not receive a confirmation email within about 5 minutes, your registration did not go through, and you should try again.
- If I can’t make it to the race, can I give my number to someone else?
Seacoast Half Marathon race numbers are not transferable, so please do not give or sell your race number to anyone else if you cannot complete your race. Attempts to transfer race numbers will result in disqualification.
- If I can’t complete my race, can my entry fee be refunded?
We’re sorry, but entry fees cannot be refunded. If you have registered and cannot participate, consider your entry fee to be a much-needed, appreciated donation to Cornerstone VNA.
- How do I get my race number?
For in-person racers we will have our usual packet pick up on Saturday, Oct. 30 at Runner’s Alley (104 Congress St, Portsmouth, NH) from 10:00 to 4:00. You can also pick up your packet on race day, Oct. 31, at Portsmouth High School (Academy Drive, Portsmouth, NH), starting at 7:00AM. In the virtual version you can download your personalized race bib after you register. Wear it when you complete your virtual race, and make sure you get photos of you with your bib on!
- Will I get a race shirt?
Yes, all registered racers, virtual and in-person for any distance, will receive a 2021 race shirt, as long as they’ve registered by 10/25. Unfortunatetly, due to a limited supply, shirts are not guaranteed for registrations received after 10/25. We have decreased the registration fee starting on 10/25.
- In the virtual event, how do I report my finishing time?
After you register, you’ll receive an email that will tell you how to upload your race time to RunSignUp (where you registered for the race). After the race window closes, the times will be posted on the Seacoast Half Marathon website. All virtual race times must be submitted by midnight on October 31st.
- What prizes will be awarded?
There will only be prizes for the in-person half marathon. Specific Prizes TBD. But they are always fabulous, so plan to run or walk fast.
- When can I do my virtual race?
You can complete your virtual race any time between Saturday, October 23 and Sunday, October 31.
- Can I walk this race?
Of course. All runners and walkers are welcome. If you register for the in-person race as a walker, you MUST walk the entire race. If you think you might run part of the race, please register as a runner.
- Will there be an early start for the in-person race?
Registered walkers will start at 8:00, and runners will start at 8:30. There is no early start for runners.
- Will there be pacers in the in-person half marathon?
If we are allowed to have a group start in 2021 there will be pacers running at 7:00, 7:30, 8:00, 8:30, 9:00, 9:30, and 10:00 minute per mile paces. You will be able to run with the pacer of your choice.
- Will there be finishers medals?
All finishers of the in-person and virtual half marathon will receive a finishers’ medal
- Where can I post my race photos?
We’ll set up a Facebook group where everyone can post their Seacoast race photos so you can show your family and friends what you accomplished.
- Where can I park on race day?
There is a lot of parking room at Portsmouth High School. However, carpooling will do a lot to help reduce congestion before and after the race.
- Will there be a place where I can leave a bag during the race?
There will be a designated bag storage room at Portsmouth High School. Bag storage will not be monitored, so leave your belongings at your own risk, and please leave your valuables in your vehicle.
- Are there any race-day mask requirements?
- We ask all in-person racers to wear a mask at all times while inside at Portsmouth High School. It is recommended that you also wear a mask while lining up and waiting for the race to start. After the start, put your mask on your wrist so you’ll have it at the finish as well. We will have masks available at Portsmouth High School.
- Where does the race start, and how can I get to the start area?
The 2021 Seacoast Half Marathon will start on South Street which is just outside of Portsmouth High School. Directions to PHS are on the race web site.
- How long will the course stay open?
If we are able to have a mass start the course will close at 11:30, 3 hours after the runners start. At that time, course marshals will leave the course, and all water stops will close down and pack up. If you are still on the race course at 11:30, please move to the sidewalks and observe all local traffic regulations as you make your way to the finish line.
- What is the course like?
There are a few hills near the start/finish area. Most of the rest of the course is flat or with gently rolling hills. The course passes though suburban neighborhoods, by salt marshes, along New Hampshire’s rocky coastline, through the historic village of New Castle (where you’ll see homes from the 1700s and 1800s), and along part of the Piscataqua River and Portsmouth Harbor. You will be on roads that are open to traffic, so you should always stay to the right for your own safety, unless course marshals ask you to do otherwise. There is one metal-grate bridge on the course, so please be careful of your footing, especially if it is wet. Check the web site for a course map.
- Can I wear earphones during the race?
You may, but it’s really not a good idea. Parts of the course are on narrow roads, and you must be able to hear oncoming traffic and instructions from our course marshals. We want you to enjoy the race, and we want you to be as safe as possible while on the course. At the discretion of the course marshals or local Police, anyone using earphones irresponsibly may be disqualified during or after the race.
- Can I run the race with a stroller or with my dog?
For insurance and safety reasons, strollers and all pets (yes, even racing gerbils) are not allowed on the race course.
- Will there be water stations on the course?
Because of COIVD, and in an abundance of caution, we encourage every racer to carry their own fluid replacments on race day. However, there will be 5 water stations, approximately 2 miles apart. Each of them will have water. The 3rd station (at approximately mile #7) will also have gel packs. Each water stop will be staffed by a different local nonprofit organization. They will all be working hard to provide you with nourishment without you having to miss a step in the race, and to keep you smiling and motivated. Each of these non-profit groups will receive a cash donation for their service at the race.
- Will there be port-a-potties on the course?
There will be port-a-potties next to the Bean Real Estate building at the corner of Sagamore Ave and Wentworth Road, which racers will pass at about 1.5 miles, and again at about 7.5 miles.
- What kind of weather should I expect?
This is New Hampshire – we don’t know! Fall temperatures in coastal New Hampshire are typically in the 40s. However, the weather can be quite variable, so watch the local forecasts, and be prepared for changes.
- Will the race be run if the weather isn’t good?
We will only cancel the race if local authorities decide that it would be unsafe for racers to be on the roads. In the unlikely event that it is necessary to cancel the race, a notice to that effect will be posted on the race web site by race day morning. Please check the race web site on race day morning if the weather is questionable.
- Does this race use chip timing?
Yes, the Seacoast Half Marathon uses ChronoTrack “B-Tag” disposable chips for the in-person race only. The chips will be on the back side of your race numbers. Please do not fold your race number, as that may damage the timing chips. Please make sure that your number is pinned in all 4 corners on the front of your torso, and that it is not obscured by a jacket or other garment, water bottle belt, etc. And please make sure you are wearing your own race number!
- Will there be food available after the race?
We will be offering “Grab ‘N Go” prepackaged food bags this year. Each bag will contain a variety of foods for your post-race recovery. Racers should feel welcome to grab a bag after their finish, along with bottled water.
- As a spectator, where is the best place to watch the race?
There are several good places from which to watch the race, including the round-about by the Atlantic Grill restaurant, Wallace Sands Beach, by the Wentworth hotel, and of course, at the finish line.
- I’m coming in from out of town. Where do you recommend I stay?
There are several local hotels that are only a short drive to the race start. We’ve posted links to those hotels on our website.
- Can I get a massage after the race?
Because of COVID concerns, we will not be providing massages this year.
- Will showers be available after the race?
Because of COVID concerns, showers will not be available this year.
- Where and when will the awards ceremony be held?
- Because of COVID-19, there will not be an award ceremony this year. Instead, we will have a table near the finish line where overall and age-group winners can pick up their awards.