I’m back with a second race recap from Memorial Day weekend, this one for the 35th Annual Boalsburg Memorial Day Run. The course is a 3.8 mile trek that starts at Blue Spring Park. It runs through the quaint and historic downtown of Boalsburg, out of town on Main Street for two out-and-back sections that include long hills before returning to town via a downhill and flat stretch back to Blue Spring Park.
This was my second year doing the race. Last year I finished with a time of 31:45. It was hot and humid last year and this year wasn’t much different, although a little bit cooler if you were in the shade. I was happy to see I improved my time from last year by more than a minute with a 30:36. Again, while they don’t do awards I was happy to see I was fourth in the 18-29 age group.
This year the race was run for the first time by an organization called Left Right Repeat. The previous race director of many years retired. While the race does not offer awards of any kind, an added perk this year was a finishers medal for all participants in honor of the 35th anniversary of the event. As you can see above it’s a really nice medal with a pretty festive ribbon and it can be used as a bottle opener.
The race has a great turnout each year and this year was no different. The start is a bit of a jumble since we start in a field in the park, but the race quickly spreads out so you’re not feeling overly crowded for too long. I love that the course runs through downtown Boalsburg. Boalsburg has a great festival every Memorial Day so it’s great to run past all the vendors as they’re all at their booths cheering you on. Even when you head out of downtown, residents along the route set up chairs at the ends of their driveways and cheer on all the runners.
The course is challenging. Once you get out of downtown, you head up a long gradual hill to the first turnaround point. While you’re rewarded with a downhill section, when you turn onto Bailey Lane it’s back up hill for .6 miles. What’s tough is you can see the next turnaround point the entire time. Once again though you’re rewarded with a long downhill back to downtown Boalsburg before it flattens out to the finish line. The bulk of the course is not shaded so the sun proves to be its own challenge.
Despite new management this year, the race was once again well done. As per usual it was chip timed, the aid stations were managed well, and the finish line chute was organized. The water was right out of the chute so you didn’t have to walk far. I think this year I downed a bottle of water in possibly one long gulp.
If you ever find yourself up in this area around Memorial Day, consider taking part in the race and visiting the festival. It’s a great way to celebrate the holiday, remember the soldiers we lost, and support a local community.
Did you participate in a Memorial Day run/walk?