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2 Cities, 2 Races

Outdoors

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Posted by Casey Sullivan, guest blogger of Massachusetts Sports Office

Outdoor Adventures in Boston and Northampton

If you are a fan of outdoor, competitive fitness, then Massachusetts is the place to be the weekend of November 7-8, with two great events on either end of the Commonwealth. Go east, and you’ll find the Reebok Spartan Race at Fenway Park. Go west, and check out the annual Cycle-Smart International Cyclo-Cross Race in Northampton.

Spartan’s Fenway Park Sprint, held on Saturday and Sunday, is doubling this year’s event. Over 11,000 people are expected to participate in this exciting three-mile course competition, with waves of 250 athletes coming

onto the course every 15 minutes beginning at 7:00 a.m.

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The three mile course is the shortest distance among the series of Spartan races around the country, offering an opportunity for athletes of all levels to compete. With race categories ranging from elite men and women to special needs and kids this event has something to offer everyone.

Originally started in 2007 in the green mountains of Vermont by adventurer, Joe DeSena, it became the Spartan Race Series in 2010, and has been growing ever since. Today it holds over 130 races in 14 countries around the world annually, gaining participants and spectators each year.

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This event offers plenty of spectator-friendly options throughout the weekend, including an exploration of America’s most iconic ballpark. The neighborhood around the park and nearby Kenmore Square are filled with restaurants, bookstores, souvenir shops and some of Boston’s best sports bars.

You can find out more about the race series by visiting Spartan.com

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Now, on to the western part of Massachusetts, where the popular 25th anniversary Cycle-Smart Northampton International Cyclo-Cross Race takes place in Look Park on November 7-8.

Explaining the sport of cyclo-cross to the uninitiated is always a challenge, but here goes. Imagine steep descents, wooden barriers and other obstacles, and inevitably lots of mud from classic New England fall weather. Think of it like a combination of Tough Mudder and the Tour de France.

The Cycle-Smart International started back in 1991, with a bunch of college kids ripping around on road and mountain bikes in the fields behind Orchard Hill at UMass-Amherst. The event grew steadily, drawing hundreds of racers from around the country, and Look Park has been its permanent home since 2003.

This weekend, over 1,000 racers from around the world will compete each day, in categories ranging from kids’ races to internationally successful professionals.

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For spectators and racers alike, the event features a beer tent hosted by Fort Hill Brewery based in Easthampton, as well as food trucks from around the region.  An expo area with Bicycle businesses is set up adjacent to the course.

Find more details on this event at nohocx.com.

For more information on other sporting events in Massachusetts, please visit the Mass Sports Marketing Office website or contact Shannah McArdle. For information about visiting Massachusetts any time of year, go to MassVacation.com.

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