FAQs | Great Bay 5K

Race for a Healthy Estuary

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.

When and where can I pick up my packet?

Packet pick-up for all runners, walkers and teams is as follows:

Thursday, October 22 from 12pm – 6pm at the Hugh Gregg Coastal Conservation Center (“the Barn”), 89 Depot Road, Greenland, NH.

Friday, October 23 from 12noon – 6pm at the Hugh Gregg Coastal Conservation Center (“the Barn”), 89 Depot Road, Greenland, NH.

Saturday, October 24 from 7:30am – 8:45am at Stratham Hill Park, 270 Portsmouth Avenue, Stratham, NH. 

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).

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 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.

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 there be a post-race celebration?

Join in on the celebration of completing the Great Bay 5K for a fantastic post-race celebration just beyond the finish line. There will be plenty of food in the pavilion, including pizza, chowder, fresh fruit and plenty of homemade muffins and cookies. Find the revelers to the left of the big brown barn beyond the finish line. 

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 on October 24 and 25. 

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.

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+.

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. We’re sorry, but giving away your race number creates safety and liability risks for the person running, and can create havoc at the award ceremony.

We ask you to not give your race bib to another person. Anyone found racing with another person’s number will be disqualified.

Will there be 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 24 and 25 only. You must be over 21 to participate. One complimentary beer at one participating brewery per racer.

What time does the race start?

9:00 AM sharp.  For more details, visit the 2021 GB5K Schedule (pdf). 

Will I get a race shirt?

Our long-sleeve, running and casual wearing race shirts will go to everyone who registers prior to September 30. If ordering Women’s shirts, please order one to two sizes up as they run small. Please note, we cannot be responsible for lost or delayed mail-in entry forms, so please register well before the cut-off date if you want to make sure you get a race shirt. There may be race shirts available at the Great Bay Discovery Center after the race for those who did not register by September 30 – 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 September 30. 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.

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.

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.

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.

What is the course like?

The course is mostly downhill and wicked fast. It includes suburban/rural residential streets, and has great 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.

Can I race with a 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.

Will there be water on the course?

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

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.

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! 

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.

Is there a Team Competition?

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

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!