FAQs | Great Bay 5K

Race for a Healthy Estuary

Great Bay 5K | Race for a Healthy Estuary

The 23rd annual Great Bay 5K | Race for a Healthy Estuary will be held in person on Saturday, October 30, 2021. Run, walk, or use your wheelchair on the original course. You can participate as an individual or a team, you will receive a long-sleeved race shirt, and you will be able to enjoy free beer, cider and oysters!

Competing in the Seacoast Road Race Series? Be sure to submit your times by 11:59pm on October 30, 2020 in order to be counted in the series. More details coming soon on how to submit your times.


Where is the Great Bay 5K?

This point-to-point, “wicked-fast” mostly downhill race starts on Sandy Point Road in Stratham, NH (across from the main entrance to Stratham Hill Park, 270 Portsmouth Avenue, Stratham, NH), goes left along Route 33, then through quiet neighborhoods, and finishes at the Great Bay Discovery Center on Depot Road in Greenland, NH. You can check out the course map for the route.

What is the Great Bay 5K course like?

The course is mostly downhill and wicked fast! It includes suburban/rural residential streets, and has beautiful views of Great Bay. The streets will be open to traffic, so be mindful of the vehicles, and stay to the side of the road. The course will be monitored by volunteers and local police. 

Refunds and Transfers

The Great Bay 5K | Race for a Healthy Estuary does not give refunds or allow transfers of registration to a future year or another participant. 

Custom Team Race Shirts

Any team with 10 or more members OR that orders extra shirts to get to 10 shirts, can have custom-made shirts with their team name or logo on the back. This can be a combination of 5K and 55K registrants. If you and your team only register for the 55K Challenge, you will need to purchase shirts for an additional $15 each.

Want extra race shirts for you and your friends? Just fill out this form and mail it in, with a check, to be received no later than October 23, 2020 for pickup on November 7, 2020.

What are the age groups for the Great Bay 5K?

9 and under, 10-14, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80-84, 85 to 89, 90-94, 95-99, 100+.

Age group awards will be given out on race day. 

Can I race with my stroller?

You may, but please start at the back of the pack. It is your responsibility to ensure that your stroller does not impede or injure other racers. Of course, the safety of your child should be your first responsibility. 

Is there a kids’ Fun Run?

Yes there will be a Fun Run after the 5K. It will start at the Great Bay Discovery Center at approximately 9:50. There is no charge for the Fun Run, but registration is required. Registration forms will be near the Fun Run start.

Will there be chip timing?

Yes, the Great Bay 5K | Race for a Healthy Estuary uses bib-chips, which are attached to the back of your race numbers. Please do not bend your race number as bending may damage the chip. Pin your race number to the outside front of what you will be wearing in the race. If your race number is obscured, you may not get an official time for the race.

Can I race wearing a Halloween costume?

Yes! We encourage all racers to come in costume, whether you are walking, running, in a wheelchair, stroller or just stopping by to watch! 

Can I race with my dog?

We like dogs a lot, but having them in the middle of a race is just too risky for everyone. So please leave your dogs (and cats, gerbils, snakes, etc.) at home, and go for a run with them after the race.

Will there be a post-race celebration?

The Race Committee is working on the details for a safe post-race celebration in 2021.

And don’t forget! Post-race offerings include beer, hard cider and oysters on site at various breweries and restaurants. Be sure to bring your race bib with you anytime during October to one of the participating sponsors.

How can I get back to my car after the race?

There will be a shuttle bus from near the finish area to Jack Rabbit Lane. You can also walk up Depot Road back to the parking area. It is about a one mile walk, and a good post-race cool-down.

How can I get my extra clothes to the finish area?

There will be a bag drop vehicle at Stratham Hill Park into which you can put your warm clothes. The bags will be taken to the Great Bay Discovery Center, and will be there when you finish the race. We cannot provide security for your bags, so please leave your valuables in your car.

What time does the Great Bay 5K start?

9am sharp.

Can I register for the Great Bay 5K in Person?

Sorry, all registration is being done online this year.

What are the awards for the Great Bay 5K?

The award ceremony will be in the big brown barn past the finish line, and will start at approximately 10:15am, or as soon as the results are available.

There are cash awards ($200, $150, $100) for the top male/female runners, walkers and wheelchair racers (NEW this year!) and for new course records ($100), and for the top 3 (male/female) finishers in each age group.

SPECIAL AWARD: $1,000 if the male and/or female race winner is faster than the “All Comers” State of NH 5K records (male – 13:53; female – 15:28).

Must be present to win.

Is there a Team Competition?

Yes! Go to the TEAM page for full team details.

Will there beer beer, hard cider and oysters?

Yes! After the race, take your bib (with tear-strip) to one of several great local craft breweries for a complimentary beer. Participating breweries are Deciduous Brewery (Newmarket, NH), Tributary Brewing Company (Kittery, ME), Tilton Brothers Brewing, Liar’s Bench, North Country Hard Cider and Empty Pint Brewing Company. Registered racers will also receive a half dozen oysters from The Franklin (Portsmouth, NH). This offer is good on October 30 only. You must be over 21 to participate. One complimentary beer at one participating brewery per racer.

When and where can I pick up my Great Bay 5K packet?

There are several options to receive your Great Bay 5K shirt (and hat if you are also registered for the 55K) and your race bib. For an additional $7 fee, registrants can choose to have these items sent to your home by mail. Otherwise, packet pick-up for all participants is as follows:

If you have registered by September 15, pickup for the race shirt (and hat, if you also registered for the 55K) and bib is on Wednesday, September 30 from 4pm – 7pm at the Barn at the Great Bay Discovery Center, 89 Depot Road, Greenland, NH. There will be a small selection of shirts and hats available on a first-come, first-served basis for anyone who registers September 16 – 30). 

If you have registered after September 15, pickup for the race shirt (and hat, if you also registered for the 55K) is Saturday, November 7 from 9am – 12noon at the Barn at the Great Bay Discovery Center, 89 Depot Road, Greenland, NH.

If you don’t pick up your bib on September 30, bibs will be mailed to all participants at no additional charge. 

Will there be water along the course?

Yes, there is one water stop, at about 1.5 miles.

Where can I park for the race?

There is a large parking field at the end of Jack Rabbit Lane, off Route 33, next to Stratham Hill Park. Police and volunteers will direct you there. You can also park along Route 33 in front of the Park. Please arrive early so you’ll have plenty of time to park, pick up your packet, use the port-a-potties (yes, there will be lines!), and cross the street to the race start. In fairness to those who arrive on time, we will not delay the start for late-arriving racers.

Can I park near the finish area?

There will be NO RACE PARKING at the Great Bay Discovery Center. (If you do manage to get in to the Center parking lot, you will not be able to leave until every racer has finished and the timing mats have been pulled up.) You can park on nearby side streets, and can then do your warm up run up Depot Road to get to the starting line (approx. ¾ of a mile).

What is the MacKenzie Mile?

This is a unique race within the 5K. The first male/female racers to reach the one mile mark will each win a $50 prize (assuming they complete the race at close to the same pace).

Will I get a race shirt?

Our long-sleeve, running and casual wearing race shirts will go to everyone who registers prior to October 14. If ordering Women’s shirts, please order one to two sizes up as they run small. There may be race shirts available at the Great Bay Discovery Center after the race for those who did not register by October 15. Those shirts will be available on a “first come -first served” basis.

This year we are making race shirts optional for those that register before October 14. The cost of the shirt, if you choose, will go to supporting the Great Bay estuary. When you register, you can opt out of a free race shirt. Just click the appropriate button.

Want extra race shirts for your friends? Just fill out this form and mail it in, with a check, to be received no later than September 30. Extra shirts are $15 each.

Can I change or add a Team name?

Of course! Please email the Race Director at gb5k@greatbaystewards.org and let us know the team name that you’d like to add or join. 

If you have a question that we didn’t answer, please contact the race director.


Countdown to the GB5K!