Wallis Sands State Beach
Named for the state park where the loop route for this race starts and finishes, Rye’s Wallis Sands Half Marathon takes runners and walkers — the event is open to both — on a loop tour along the oceanfront highways and the scenic country roads of this small town along the New Hampshire coast.
The town’s history dates all the way back to 1623, when it was first founded as a town called Pannaway by settlers who landed in the area now known as Odiorne Point State Park.
Both this park and Wallis Sands State Park make up part of New Hampshire’s 18-mile coastline here along the Atlantic Ocean, and are known for the serene beauty of their wide sandy beaches, quaint New England homes, and the coastal roadways that overlook the waves crashing onto the rocks just below.
Home to just over 5,000 hardy New England souls — including famed novelist Dan Brown, the author of The Da Vinci Code, and New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg.
The course will feature both the dramatic scenery of the Rye coastline — from the starting line in Wallis Sands Park, the course will take runners first out along Ocean Boulevard, also known as New Hampshire 1A — as runners make their way north along the highway and then make the turn left, following the highway along the inland side of Odiorne Point State Park.
The 13.1 mile one loop course will start and finish in the Wallis Sands State Beach parking lot. The seashore will be visible for half of the race's route and the inland part of the course allows runners a close-up of many quaint views of some of New England's spectacular scenery.
Runners will exit the park and turn left on 1A (Ocean Blvd) heading south along Route 1A for several miles, then turn inland and go north through the town of Rye, hit Route 1A again and travel south along the seacoast to finish back inside Wallis Sands State Park.
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