The event kicks off with packet pickup at 6 a.m. on Sunday, October 1st in Hampton Beach, NH. Both the 5k and the half marathon start at 8 a.m. and the party goes until 1 p.m.! Click a section below for more details.
With an elevation gain of only 60 feet, The Smuttynose Rockfest Half is the flattest, fastest and most scenic half marathon course in New England!
The course begins with two thrilling loops around downtown Hampton Beach with thousands of spectators cheering you on. It then heads north on Ocean Boulevard right along the beach and then turns inland for a loop on tree-lined roads before coming back out to the ocean at Mile 10. It finishes with a three-mile stretch along the beach, ending at the famous Sea Shell Stage for a well-deserved party!
This course is very spectator friendly with great views of the runners at the Start, Mile 2, Mile 4, and at the Finish. All miles are marked with mile markers and all corners have at least one arrow. Race marshals and police will be stationed at any confusing corners.
The race starts in designated pace stalls. The course is measured and certified by the USATF (Certified #NH14030TY).
The Smuttynose Rockfest 5k is one of the most scenic road races in New England! The course is comprised of the first 3.1 miles of the half marathon course, which means you’ll be cheered on by thousands of spectators as you run beside the beautiful Atlantic ocean. After the finish, head on over to the famous Sea Shell Stage where the Rockfest after-party awaits!
5k runners start alongside the half marathoners at 8 a.m. and experience the same great food, band, and beer garden (they just get the party started a little earlier)!
Packet pick-up will be held in the large, white tent at 40 Island Path Road on Saturday, September 30th from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, October 1st from 6 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. You’ll receive your bib and fleece (half) or tech shirt (5k). Shirts and fleeces won’t be mailed out after the event if you don’t pick yours up.
You’ve never seen a party like this at a half marathon! The Smuttynose Rockfest Half & 5k features a massive festival that’s free to the public. Over 7,000 people descend on this scenic beach town to cheer on the runners and party all day! So bring your friends and family and get ready for a day of fun at one of New Hampshire’s biggest festivals!
Get your dance moves ready for 80’s tribute band, Nimbus 9, performing on the new multi-million dollar Seashell Stage! We know you’ll be hungry after you run, so all runners get treated to a smorgasbord of food, including lobstah rolls, clam chowdah, Stonyfield yogurt, Clif Bars, and vegetarian options. Oh, did we mention the unlimited Smuttynose craft beer? The best part? It’s all included with the cost of your registration!
Check out Nimbus 9 here.
Directions & Parking
Both the 5k and the half marathon start at the corner of B Street and Ashworth Avenue. There are three ways to get into Hampton Beach. The usual way is to come in on 101 East directly to the beach, but this event draws over 8,000 runners and spectators so if everyone uses 101 we’ll have a 5-mile backup!
To make this a smooth event for everyone, please use one of these alternate routes:
Option 1 – Winnacunnet Road
-Take 101 East (Exeter Hampton Expressway) to Exit 13.
-Take a right on Rte 27/Exeter Rd and continue until you reach the traffic light at Lafayette Rd.
-Take a right on Lafayette Rd.
-After 1/4 mile take a left on Winnacunnet Rd and follow it to the end.
-Take a right on Rte 1A South and follow it to Hampton Beach. Park in the large lot before Ashworth by the Sea Hotel.
Option 2 – Route 1A
-Come up 95N and take Exit 60 towards Seabrook.
-Follow signs for Rte 286 East to Seabrook.
-Follow Rte 286 about 2.5 miles to Rte 1A.
-Take a left on Rte 1A North to Hampton Beach (about 2.5 miles).
-Find parking along the beach by South Bath house or on side roads. You should be able to park immediately in the lot by the ocean if you come early enough.
Parking can be difficult on race morning, so if you see an open spot, TAKE IT! There are multiple parking options: (A) You can park in paid lots off Ashworth Avenue for $5 – $10. (B) You can park on the street at a meter and pay with coins or card at the automated machine. (C) You can park in any of the State Park lots and pay by credit card. Download our parking map here.
Spectators and Hampton residents: Due to the size of this race, many roads will be closed to car traffic. Please take note of the following road closures on Sunday morning:
7:45 to 9:15 — The Beach District
8:30 to 11:00 — Ocean Blvd from the Beach District to High St
8:30 to 9:40 — High Street from Ocean Blvd to Little River -Westbound only
8:40 to 10:20 — Little River
8:45 to 10:30 — Woodland
8:50 to 10:40 — Great Gate
9:00 to 10:50 — Juniper
9:00 to 11:00 — Huckleberry
9:00 to 11:30 — Ocean Blvd (from Huckleberry to Hampton Beach)
Signs listing the closure times will be posted on all closed roads by September 25th. Detours will be set up around a few key areas. In particular, Route 1A at Atlantic Road will have a detour to Route 1 using Atlantic to Winnacunnet Road. Please arrange your travel plans accordingly. For example, if you live on a street scheduled to be closed but need to drive early on Sunday morning, park your car on a non-closed street on Saturday night so you’ll be able to easily drive out.
If you have questions about road closures, please call or email Mike at (603) 659-2824 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Please support our local host hotels and inns. Simply click on a hotel’s name to visit its website.
Lamie’s Inn — This is our host Inn for the race. Located just 2 miles from the start line, this family-owned and operated Inn has been delivering quality service since 1740. Limited number of rooms, book early.
Atlantic Breeze Suites –Atlantic Breeze Suites is the newest oceanfront four story luxury hotel over looking the Atlantic Ocean and Hampton’s main beach center. Located within walking distance to the start and finish of the race and all that Hampton Beach has to offer.
Ashworth By The Sea — Steps away from the start and finish, Ashworth by the Sea offers friendly New England hospitality in an elegant, boutique setting overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Boardwalk Inn & Cafe — You can’t get any closer to the finish line (1 block) than the Boardwalk Inn and Cafe. It overlooks Hampton Beach and the seashell stage where the after party takes place!
Royal Crest Motor Inn — A two minute walk from the Casino Ballroom, the center of the boardwalk and the main beach, come to the only beach in New England given a 5 star rating by the NRDC!
Harris Sea Ranch — Located a few short blocks from the start/finish line, the Harris Sea Ranch is a charming, historic family destination with one of the best beach views Hampton has to offer.
The Mainsail — Super clean, comfortable rooms with on-site parking and kitchenettes, located on quiet Ashworth Ave., one block from the beach, restaurants and race course.
Grand View Motel — Located on Hampton Beach this lovely oceanfront property has been in business for over four decades. Conveniently located within a 5 minute walk to the race start/finish!
The Seabrook Inn — Located in Seabrook, NH the Seabrook Inn provides superb customer care and a variety of amenities to make each and every guest feel at home; all for an affordable price.