Race Descriptions

Race Descriptions

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DeMar Course General Information

Here, anyone who wants to run can run. We’ll make sure you have an world-class experience. All you have to do is start.

The DeMar Marathon course runs through the exquisite New Hampshire countryside. The USATF-certified course includes stunning views of early foliage season, accessible terrain, and a finish line at the historic Appian Way of Keene State College, just steps from where marathon legend Clarence DeMar used to coach collegiate runners.

While there is a net elevation drop from start to finish, this is overall a challenging yet fair test for endurance runners of all abilities. The first half of the 26.2-mile course offers mostly gentle rolling hills. There is a long climb in mile 15 with short steeper climbs in miles 22 and in mile 24 through the beautiful Greenlawn and Woodland cemeteries.

hill-view-1150x400The Full Marathon begins in Gilsum, N.H. The Half Marathon begins at the Surry Recreational Dam in Surry, N.H. The Super Seniors and Kids’ Marathons begin 1.2 miles from the finish line.

The Full Marathon course is a Boston qualifier. See the DeMar Course Records.

Learn more about the Full Marathon, Half Marathon, Super Seniors Marathon, and Kids’ Marathon.

Get info on directions, lodging, and restaurants.

demar-finish-lineFull Marathon

The Clarence DeMar Marathon is a tremendously well-organized, welcoming race held during early New England foliage season. The 26.2-mile course is USATF-certified and a Boston qualifier. At the DeMar, we give our runners a world-class experience as we celebrate each and every cross of the finish line.

The Full Marathon Course

The Full Marathon begins in Gilsum, N.H. at 8 a.m. on Sunday, September 24, 2017. From the start line, you follow the route to Surry Mountain Dam, where you get extraordinary views and a chance to high-five your fellow marathoners.

There are portapotties available every six miles on the course and at the finish. Staffed water stations are available approximately every 1.5 miles.

Download the course map.
See the elevation map.

The course then follows the route past Bretwood Golf Course and into Keene. You finish at the historic finish line on Appian Way at Keene State College, just yards from where Clarence DeMar trained college cross-country and track runners.

Download a turn-by-turn description of the route.

Getting to the Full Marathon Start Line

You may park in downtown Keene (see the downloadable Parking Map.) Shuttles to Gilsum will begin at 6:15 a.m. and run until 6:45 a.m. See the Race Day Schedule for more bus information.

You may also have family or friends drop you off at the start line in Gilsum. Note that there are no shuttles returning to Gilsum at the end of the race.

Runners are dropped off at the Gilsum Elementary School. There is plenty of parking, as well as access to the gym/cafeteria before the race starts.

Full Marathon Award Categories & Course Records

Awards go to first place male and first place female finishers. Both these champions will have an automatic entry to the 2015 DeMar to defend their titles.

Awards also go to 1st and 2nd place in each age category:

  • 16-29
  • 30-39
  • 40-49
  • 50-59
  • 60-69
  • 70+

We recognize the top three male and female Cheshire County finishers, as well.

Full Marathon Course Records
Men – Neil Wood – 1983 – 2:17:05
Women – Cathy O’Brien – 1995 – 2:33:56

Early Start Option

If you expect to take more than six hours to complete the Full Marathon, you may begin the race at 7 a.m. You must be pre-registered to start at 7 a.m.. There will be no race day registrations for Early Starters. All Early Starters will be issued a specific bib number series. If your bib number is not in that designated series, you are not permitted to start at 7 a.m.

If you think you may finish in 6 hours or less, you are required to register for the regular 8 a.m. start.  You run the risk of being disqualified and not receiving an official finish time if you register for the early start and finish in under 5 hours and 30 minutes.

DeMar race officials reserve the right to deny requests for early registration, or otherwise switch an Early Start registration to the regular 8 a.m. start. If you have registered for the Early Start and we move you to the regular start, we will let you know in advance of the race.

Important Early Start Information

  • Early Start runners should be on the 6 a.m. shuttle bus from Keene State College. (See the Race Day Schedule for more bus information.)
  • If you are being dropped off by family or friends in Gilsum, arrive no later than 6:25 a.m.
  • All pre-registered Early Starters must start at 7 a.m.
  • All Early Starters are required to use a headlamp and reflective clothing due to the early dawn daylight conditions.
  • There is a 7-hour 30-minute time limit to complete the course beginning at 7 a.m. No marathon course support will be available after 2:30 p.m.
  • Water stops will be self-serve in the early stages of the course. Portapotties are available every six miles on the course and at the finish.
  • All participants will be officially timed and their results recorded as long as they are able to finish within the 7 and 1/2 hour time frame. All finishers receive medals. No early starter will be eligible for any award other than your finisher’s medal.

Have more questions? Read our FAQ.

demar-women-smiling-113-32Half Marathon

So you’re only half-crazy? Then the DeMar Half Marathon is for you! The 13.1-mile course winds through exquisite scenery of early foliage season. All DeMar half-marathoners enjoy a world-class running experience, along with the support and encouragement of 300+ volunteers.

Register for the race.

13 in 13 Running Logo13 in 13

“13 in 13” is a training program that helps prepare novice runners to complete the DeMar Half Marathon. The program name stands for completing a half marathon (13.1 miles) after 13 weeks of training. Participants should be able to run three miles without stopping prior to the start of the program. The program begins in late June.

The Keene Sentinel, Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene, the Keene Elm City Rotary Club, Body & Soul Personal Fitness, and Ted’s Shoe and Sport have partnered to present the program.

Register for 13 in 13

The Half Marathon Course

The Half Marathon begins at the Surry Recreational Dam in Surry, N.H. at 8 a.m. on Sunday, September 24, 2017. From the start line, you follow the route through Surry and into Keene.

Portapotties are available every six miles on the course and at the finish. Staffed water stations are available approximately every 1.5 miles.

You finish at the historic finish line on Appian Way at Keene State College, just steps from where Clarence DeMar trained college cross-country and track runners.

Download the course map.
Download a turn-by-turn description of the route.

Getting to the Half Marathon Start Line

You may park in downtown Keene. (See the downloadable Parking Map.) Bus shuttles to Surry Recreational Dam will begin at 6:30 a.m. and run until 7 a.m. (See the Race Day Schedule for more bus information.)

You may also have family or friends drop you off at the start line at the Surry Recreational Dam.

Half Marathon Award Categories & Course Records

Awards are given to the first place male and first place female. Both these champions will have an automatic entry to the 2017 DeMar Half Marathon to defend their titles.

Awards also go to 1st and 2nd place in each age category:

  • 16-29
  • 30-39
  • 40-49
  • 50-59
  • 60-69
  • 70+

We recognize the top three male and female Cheshire County finishers, as well.

Half Marathon Course Records
Men – Thomas Paquette – 2014 – 1:11:33
Women – Jessica Anderson – 2014 – 1:27:07

Have more questions? Read our FAQ.

Super Seniors

Just like Clarence DeMar, you’re never too old to be a part of a marathon! The Super Senior division is for those 70 and older.

The Super Seniors DeMar Marathon began in 2013 when more than 30 Super Seniors logged 25 miles of walking or jogging prior to the race. Completion of the 25 miles earned them the chance to walk or jog the last 1.2 miles of the marathon.

The Super Seniors’ tenacity, zeal for life, and involvement in Keene’s wonderful community is inspiring every single year. We welcome all seniors who want to participate, and we promise you a world-class racing experience.

Learn more about Clarence DeMar Super Seniors Marathon.

“The post race soup, bread, and treats were tasty and above and beyond. This is a great race and if you are looking to get a feel for New Hampshire, this race will do it.”

How to Become a Super Senior

There is no cost to entering the Super Senior Division. Simply download this log sheet, or pick one up at the Keene Senior Center the Keene YMCA, or the Keene Recreation Center. Log sheets will be available from May 1 to July 3, 2016.

Use the log sheet to keep track of 25 miles of walking or jogging prior to September 19, 2016. When you complete your log, deliver it by September 19 to the Keene Senior Center or Keene Recreation Center to earn the chance to walk or jog the last 1.2 miles of the marathon on race day, September 24, 2017.

Keene Senior Center
70 Court Street
603-352-5037

Keene YMCA
200 Summit Road
(603) 352-6002

Keene Recreation Center
312 Washington Street
(603) 357-9829

Super Senior Prizes and Perks

Participating seniors will receive a free t-shirt and finishers’ medal, plus lots of cheering at the finish line at Keene State College.

There is also an optional pre-race dinner on Saturday night with a $5 fee collected at the door. Make dinner reservation through the Keene Senior Center at 603-352-5037.

The Elm City Rotary Club is partnering with the Keene Senior Center, the Keene Family YMCA, the Keene Recreation Center and the Hoffman Family Foundation to offer this no cost opportunity for seniors 70 and older

Kids Marathon

You’re never too young to fall in love with running!

At the Kid’s Marathon, children from Kingergarten to Grade 5 log 25 miles of running and walking in the spring and summer before the race. Those who achieve this goal earn the chance to run the last 1.2 miles of the DeMar Marathon on race day in September. Tons of cheering and a huge sense of accomplishment are available for every kid finisher.

Learn more about the Clarence DeMar Kid’s Marathon.

How to Join the Kid’s Marathon

Running or walking in the 2015 DeMar Kids Marathon is free and easy. Just ask your PE teacher or other school staff!

For 2015 nearly all Monadnock Region elementary schools are on board! Homeschoolers can contact kidsdemarmarathon@gmail.com for information on how they can register.

How It Works

You’ll receive a log to keep track of your running and walking through the spring and summer.

With the help of school-based running/walking clubs, PE classes, summer activities, and your parents, you will log 25 miles of walking or running (more miles is definitely okay!).

You return your log sheet to school in September. Then, you’ll receive a free DeMar t-shirt. This shirt is your admission to the race, where you are welcome to run the last 1.2 miles of the DeMar Marathon course. You’ll receive a finishers’ medal at the finish line at Keene State College.

Parents are welcome to run or walk the 1.2 miles with their youngsters, too. In fact, parents are encouraged to walk or run 25 miles this spring and summer, just like their children!

Info Your Parents Might Like

The DeMar Kids Marathon is a cooperative effort that brings together many Healthy Monadnock 2020 Organizational Champions including the Keene Elm City Rotary Club, AFHY, the Hoffman Family Foundation, Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene, MoCo Arts, the Keene Family YMCA, the City of Keene Parks and Recreation Department, Keene Housing, and Beeze Tees.

Together these organizations hope to increase opportunities for physical activity and enhance the health and wellbeing of our region’s children. If we are going to become the healthiest community in the nation by 2020, we’ll need everyone to be more active. So get your kids signed up for the Kids’ DeMar! And sign up yourself!

Course Maps

Full Marathon course map
Half Marathon course map
Elevation map
Turn-by-turn description of Full Marathon
Turn-by-turn description of Half Marathon race
Parking map
Shuttle bus schedule
Map of Appian Way and Spaulding Gym at Keene State College (Spaulding Gym is #46)

EXCITING NEWS: Want to run the DeMar Marathon AND make a difference?Join Team DeMar
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