The course: a return to a classic New England Road Race
We did some experimenting with the course over the last few years, heard your feedback, and decided to bring back the original course. The course is USATF certified (certification #MA09028JK) and sanctioned. The race will begin in front of Amherst Regional High School (21 Mattoon Street) and finish in the parking lot of Wildwood Elementary School (71 Strong Street), with registration and post-race amenities halfway in-between, in the Amherst Regional Middle School (170 Chestnut Street). That means that we brought back that pesky run-around- the parking-lot finish, AND the a .3-ish-mile walk from the finish to the post-race food and showers, but don’t worry – you will be able to leave your warm dry post-race clothes at a bag drop near the start line and they will be delivered to the finish line in our gear car.
The course can be viewed in MapMyRun: http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/1106887552.
Also, see this map with details of the start, finish, parking areas. Parking also available on street surrounding the schools, where permitted.
What to expect along the way:
The Amherst 10-Miler is a challenging road race along scenic, hilly rural roads. There is a stretch of approximately 2 miles that is dirt, which, given that this is February in New England, may be slippery with mud, coated in snow, slick with ice, or – if we are lucky – dry and solid. There will be water tables at miles 2 ½, 5, and 7 ½, manned by cheering teams. There will also be cheering teams at major turns.
Major turns will also be marked with lime and/or signs.
History of the Race:
Since 1975, the Amherst 10-Miler has served as the unofficial start to the road racing season in the region. The race course was created by founder Tom Derderian – accomplished runner, former coach of the Amherst High School cross-country team, co-founder of Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club, and author – who intentionally designed the race to be challenging. Bill Rodgers won the inaugural race, using it as a training run for his first Boston Marathon victory that same year. The course records are held by Bill Hodges (seven-time Mt. Washington Road Race winner and 1979 Boston Marathon third place finisher) and Nancy Conz (six-time Amherst 10-Miler winner and first female to cross the finish line in the 1982 Chicago Marathon).
From the 2018 race onward, the race has been renamed for Nancy Conz, who passed away on February 8 2017. Nancy’s record on the 10-miler course set in 1986 remains unbroken. Nancy was an inspiration for Western Massachusetts runners and was a pioneer in women’s running. She finished second at the 1980 London International Marathon, and won the 1981 Ottawa Marathon and the 1982 Chicago Marathon. Nancy also set an American record of 1:08:45 for the 20K at New Haven in 1982, which still stands as the record for a women’s-only race. She also still holds the U.S. record for the one-hour run; 10 miles 1,290 yards, run at the University of Massachusetts in 1981. Nancy was known for her kindness, humility, and dedication, exemplifying all the best of our sport.
The course records are:
Nancy Conz – (original course, 1986) 57:05
Meg Hogan – (modified course, 2014) 55:29
Bob Hodge (1984) 48:57
Race Rules (we don’t have many, but PLEASE follow them!):
There will be a 2 ½ hour time limit for finishing the race. After 2 ½ hours (i.e., at 1:30 p.m.), the course and finish line will close and anyone finishing will not get an official time or finisher award. Please do not register to run if you cannot maintain an average pace of 15 minutes per mile or faster.
For everyone’s safety, the following are prohibited on the race course/while running the race:
– Strollers of any kind
– Listening to headphones (some roads are open to traffic)