Monday, June 25, 2012

Getting to Know You - Jamestown RI UHCTC Half Marathon

Sunday I headed to Jamestown RI for my getting to know you run.  I always try to pre-run a race course so that I can enjoy and learn the route.  The UHCTC Jamestown is going to be a beautiful race, but it is also going to be a difficult race.  I did not know the island was so hilly!

From the start it is uphill for the first 4 miles.  The road across the top of the island is steep up and then down.  Starting south it rolls down for a ways, before going up and then down again to dip under Route 138.  Then wouldn't you know is up again back into the residential portion of the island.  Once you clear town to the south it is back onto the rollers as you wrap around the south end of the island.  You come back down into town as you head north along the coast.    The bridge comes back into view and you know you are almost there.  Once you hit Bay View you are really close, but up hill you go again before finishing near the water.

It is one circuit around the island.  The roads are decent everywhere except the north and south ends.  The roads are pitched dropping off from the high center line to the lower edges.  There are places where there is no shoulder with overgrown plants hanging out onto the road.  People were very polite.  Divers are used to cyclists doing laps on their island.  There are road signs everywhere telling people to share the road.

I did not get an early start on Sunday morning.  I arrived in town at 10 am and headed right to the public restrooms.  I was all ready to head off to the start line, but when I consulted my map I realized we are not starting in town.  We are starting north of the bridge near the toll booths.  So I had to move the car.  There is a 20 space parking lot on the south side of the cove and that is where I parked.

I did not have any difficulty running the island.  It was very runner friendly (by this I mean the people & the cars).  I carried my 20 oz. water bottle and wore my running belt with 2 10 oz. bottles.  I went through 30 oz. in 11 miles and refilled the bottles as I went through town.

So what did it look like? Well I took a few photos!

So here is what my Garmin says the course looks like.  4.5 to 8 was nice and it was also shady.
Everything else was rollers in the sun!

Town of Jamestown Recreation Center

The Rest Rooms are on the south side of the building.

View from the start line
RI Turnpike and Bridge Authority complex near the start line.

View from the start line looking back over our shoulders at the bridge
(and the 20 car parking lot).

On the road headed north with 138 off to the left.

The island just has an amazing feel!

Every now and then you catch a glimpse of the water off to the east as we are still heading north.

If you ever question if the turn you are about to take (in RI)
is the main  route just look for one of these signs.

The road across the north end of the island is steep and rough!
The road may be rough, but boy is it beautiful!

Rock walls abound!

Down, down, and down we go under Route 138.

In this case what goes down must go is time to climb.

Rewards along the way

I wonder if there will be a breeze race morning?

Interesting clouds!

Happy Horses!

Check that out!
A great view of the bridge as we head south.

Belted Galloways - or as we call them "Oreo Cows"

Orange Lilies were in bloom all over the island.

Fantastic playground on the drag south in town at Swinburne St.

Down at the south end of the island right at the turn to head back north.
Caution: the road makes a tight left turn and kicks up (your body will want to walk).

No visit to the park for is a run by.

Running back into Jamestown

See the run to it!

Well check that out...we made it to the bridge!


  1. Thanks for posting this Erin! I'm very much looking forward to the race and meeting you!

    1. Right back at you! I had a great run and I think it will be a great race. I do question the lack of a bag drop and wonder about the lack of connection that the race is going to have with the town. With everyone bused in and out of Newport Grand the town will not see as much of an economic boost as they might otherwise. I have done the fall cycling race around the island and people eat at the restaurants and do some shopping etc. It can't help but help out the local economy. I am not so sure about this race. How many people do you think are running?

  2. I am a local Jamestowner and have run many parts of this course many times but my first time running the whole thing will be Saturday! Looking forward to it!!!

    1. It is a beautiful island! The race is going to be amazing! As a local - which part of the course do you advise off islanders to watch out for (both good and bad)?

  3. i think mile 6(ish) is a little tricky b/c it is a deceptive hill - seems innocent until you're half way up! also, the road conditions on the northernmost part of the course are in terrible shape...stay in the middle whenever possible. the crown of north road is also tricky...if they close off a lane, try to stay in the middle there as well. highland drive (mile 10, maybe 11?) is beautiful but the last hill by ft. weatherill is tricky too! the last 3 miles are probably the easiest and most scenic of the entire course.

  4. Thanks for the advice! It is looking like the weather is going to be good.

  5. Whoa! Even I underestimated this race - definitely one of the toughest 1/2's I've ever run!!! What a great race though - well, except for the fact that I beat the porta-potties to the start, haha!

    1. I hope they never make that mistake again! Pay for them to sit there overnight! And if they can't sit on an open road overnight figure out where they can! Can you imagine if they don't have them in time for Newport! That will never happen, right?

      I loved the race as well. But boy would those hills have mentally killed me if I had not pre-run!

  6. I absolutely Loved reading this blog! I wished I had found it before the race! I kept saying to myself are we going to eventually fall of a cliff or something cause we are going up and up and up but I feel like we barely ever went down! I have an amazing running partner so although the hills were kicking my butt mentally he kept me in check along the way and we finished super strong! It was a very pretty run and I loved going thru town! Can't wait till newport!