2008 Hamilton Hangover 5 Mile Run – Course Change

Looking for the results of the 2008 race?

Ironically, just days after I posted the course map online for the Hamilton Hangover 5 Mile Run, the race officials changed it. The change is a good one in some respects because the run no longer traverses the mud and tree roots along the packed dirt path. Unfortunately, there are now two 180 degree turns. The first one is near the east entrance, marked by a set of traffic cones. The second one is near the west entrance, marked by a large stone. The new course map is here:

Alternate 5 Mile Course Map, Hamilton NJ NJ07031LMB [PDF]

The five mile race began at 12:30 today. Yesterday’s rain which continued into the morning had stopped and the sun joined us for the run. My official finishing time was 35:31. This is not my best time, but I didn’t do any speed work to train for this. Now it’s time to focus on the 2008 E. Murray Todd half-marathon in March and New Jersey Marathon in May.

The Hamilton Veteran’s Park five mile course begins in the same location as in years prior, on the main park road near the south entrance tennis courts and parking lot. It circles the Albert Cowell Soccer field and Bob DeMeo Baseball field in a clockwise direction and doubles back onto the main road and then into the woods.

After the turn in the woods is the first mile marker. This is where the course has changed. Traditionally the course would branch to the left toward the lake, but turn abruptly onto a packed dirt path, eventually onto the boardwalk. Instead, it branches to the right, downhill to the children’s playground entrance. After crossing the footbridge, the course circles the formal gardens and Veterans Memorial Plaza in a clockwise direction, crossing the north entrance just after the second mile marker.

The course doubles back on itself near the footbridge and entrance to the playground, then heads left toward the east entrance. At this point runners coming from the other direction are visible; give them a high-five! The course turns 180 degrees just before reaching the east parking lot. As you double back west, runners advancing in the opposite direction can be seen again — time for another high-five.

Just after the third mile marker is a gazebo at a fork in the path. The course follows the right branch, with a slight incline. Traditionally, you would be running in the opposite direction during this leg of the race. I believe this is the first noticable incline on the course, not counting a short hill by the soccer field.

The course continues toward the west entrance with a view of the lake to the right. There is a sharp downward hill which can be slippery after a rain, than a short uphill before running along the hill with the lake immediately to the right. There is a 180 degree turn just prior to the Robert Martin Monument, fountain and west parking lot. Again, as the course doubles back other runners will be travelling in the opposite direction. Just prior to the same short steep hills you descended and climbed is the fourth mile marker.

The course doubles back again, this time onto the first mile, heading south. Emerging from the woods, the course turns sharply to the left at an incline, around the soccer and baseball field a second time. After passing the dog park on the right, make a right as in the first mile and toward the ball field parking lot, but then a left toward the finish line near the pavilion.

Happy New Year.

4 Responses to “2008 Hamilton Hangover 5 Mile Run – Course Change”

  1. Bill Yorke Says:

    hey frank, nice run today! one of these days i’m gonna keep up with you to the finish…well, maybe not but certainly longer than that first 100 yards like i did today…i thought maybe you stole somebody’s iPod the way you took off there…hahaha…just kidding! you rock bud…kick butt, take names (ya know like my hero matt furey 😉

  2. admin Says:

    Nice job Bill! You’re setting personal records every year and should be very proud of that. I was a little worried when I saw you not so far behind at one of those double-back turns.

  3. Graham Alig Says:

    Frank, good run yesterday. The course change was wise but the hairpin turns were awful. Nevertheless it was a fast course and a great day for running.

    That was smart of you to tuck away a course map. However, if you need a coursemap in the future you should look at the USATF site. They have a search engine for all their certified courses:


    Best of luck at the Tood E Murray Half.

  4. admin Says:

    Awesome job on the race Graham! 5 miles in 27:28; wow — very impressive.

    Thanks for the comment, and yes, very true — the hairpin turns were horrible.
    Thanks also for the reference to the USATF site – didn’t know they had all the certified course maps online — excellent!

    Happy New Year!


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