The Wilmington Half Marathon: The Perfect Place to Go to Work
by Dan Vassallo
September is upon us and you gotta go to work. We know you’re looking for a race that fits into your schedule. You may be looking for a tune-up for that mid-to-late fall marathon you’re training for. You may be looking for a hard day’s work but can’t get pumped up to go it alone. You may want to take a crack at a PR without the distractions and cacophony of a typical half-marathon in the year 2015. Or, you may want to race thirteen miles without dropping three figures on it. If you’re looking for something like this, the Wilmington Half-Marathon and 5K are looking for you.
Wilmington may be the only place in America where you can race a half for thirty bucks without getting there in a DeLorean. Held in Wilmington on September 27 and presented by the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, the Wilmington Half-Marathon is now celebrating its eleventh year. It prides itself as being a low-key, affordable race in that raises some money for scholarships to Wilmington students. The starting line is less than a mile from Exit 40 off of Interstate 93, so it’s much closer to Boston than you think.
We won’t lie: There are no gaudy finishers’ medals at the end of the Wilmington Half, no rock concerts along the course, and no overwhelming expo if you choose to pick up your number and a t-shirt the day before. There are, however, 13.1 USATF-certified miles of quiet, shady, and flat streets through one of the more beautiful towns in the Boston area. There are six water stops, accurate mile markers, snacks (healthy and unhealthy) at the end, and a community that embraces this event as it celebrates the town’s birthday every year. Essentially, we provide what you need out of an old-school road race.
As a native of Wilmington who built a better-than-average running career on these streets, I designed this course with the dual intents of running fast times and narrowly dodging the MBTA Commuter Rail. Whether you’re doing 5-minute miles or 12-minute miles, this course is conducive to achieving a PR if you get the right day, and is a perfect tune-up a few weeks out from whatever goal race you trained for all summer.
If the half is not for you on September 27th, Wilmington offers a 5K option as well. It’s accurate (also USATF certified), has a pair of rolling hills, and gives you an idea of what I was doing for workouts while growing up. It’s also a tremendous value at $20 if you pre-register.
There is a little bit of cash for the top three finishers, and you won’t have to deal with racing me because I’ll be the guy with the air horn at the beginning of the race. In other words, I gotta go to work. If you gotta go to work on September 27th, we hope you consider going to work in my hometown: Come run at the Wilmington Half-Marathon and 5K.
For more information, please visit www.wilmingtonMAchamber.org/race, or check out the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page.