Beer lovers and avid runners unite Aug. 22 at the Rotary Trails to Ales 5K/2K and Beer Tasting Festival

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The Rotary Trails to Ales 5K/2K in Bedford is a great low-key run to end the summer.

BEDFORD, NH – Calling all fans of craft beer and running, alike: Join the fun this year with Bedford’s second annual Rotary Trails to Ales 5K/2K Trail Run and Beer Tasting Festival. This low-key trail race offers a great end-of-summer activity for the whole family to participate in for a low cost of $30.

Rotary Trails to Ales 5K/2K will take place at Earl Legacy Park, 200 New Boston Rd., Bedford, at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 22. Participants may choose the lighter 2K trail option or finish the 5K in its entirety at the actual fork in the road. Awards will be given to the top three male and female runners in each age group for both events. Winners age 20 and above will earn customized mason jars while those 19 and under may win division medals.  Whichever route is chosen, all participants age 21+ can enjoy some of New Hampshire’s finest local craft beers and burgers. Those under 21 or participants not looking to drink may still enter the race for the cost of $15 with full access to food and non-alcoholic drink offerings.


A full list of this year’s vendors includes:

Jennifer Boydon, Race Director for the Trails to Ales 5K/2K attributes much of the event’s startup and success to efforts made by the Bedford Rotary and members of the community.  Jennifer would like to give special thanks to Northeast Delta Dental and Goedecke Paint Flooring & Design center for their contributions as sponsors.  

“The race itself with the sponsors and the beer vendors is really a community effort. I think the Bedford Rotary can be overlooked for exactly how much they do for the community so a lot of people have turned out to really help this race and this event so that everything can turn back to the greater Bedford area. All the money goes back to different initiatives in the community so I think that’s why a lot of people support it,” Boyden said.

Course Information

2K Course

The 2K and 5K start at the same time (6:30 p.m.) in the Earl Legacy soccer field. The starting line is aligned with the light pole that’s closest to Riddle Brook School.

Referring to the map of the course, the 2K folks will follow the RED line across the soccer field, up the path by the warming hut, around Riddle Brook School, back up and around the warming hut, down the dirt road and into the trails. 

At around the .90 mile mark, you will see a 10-foot fork in the trail. This is decision time! If you go right, you will follow the BLUE line to the finish line for a 2K (approx) course. If you make a left and follow the YELLOW line, you will take the 5K course. If you really want to do the 2K, make a right at the fork and follow the BLUE line back to the finish.

The finish line is at the same place where you started.

5K Course

Referring to the map of the course, the 5K folks will follow the RED line across the soccer field, up the path by the warming hut, around Riddle Brook School, back up and around the warming hut, down the dirt road and into the trails. 

​At around the .90 mile mark, you will see a 10′ fork in the trail. This is decision time! If you go right, you will follow the BLUE line to the finish line for a 2K (approx) course. If you make a left and follow the YELLOW line, you will take the 5K course.

“The unique thing about the race is that you don’t have to decide on which route you want to go until you get to the actual fork in the road, says volunteer Stacy Boyden. Photo/Jerry Hanauer

If you make left, you will be following the YELLOW line. This is a very challenging 5K course. There are some fairly steep hills on the trail and so strollers are not recommended. We have marked the trail with signs to guide you, and yellow ‘caution’ tape to prevent you from getting lost. Just follow the signs and do not cross under the yellow tape.

Once you make a left, at the fork, you will see the 1 Mile sign, the clock, and a set of timing mats. These mats are used to detect which course you are running. Once you cross these mats, you will officially be in the 5K race. IF YOU ARE RUNNING THE 2K… PLEASE DO NOT GO NEAR THESE MATS! 

Further down the trail, you will see a set of cones in the trail. This is one of two places where there will be two-way traffic. Always stay to the RIGHT of the cones. That is, the cones should always be on your LEFT. 

Just after the cones, you will cross a bridge and head out onto the main trail which loops around and brings you back to the bridge. As mentioned, this part of the trail has fairly steep hills, trip hazards and there are rumors of bears, coyotes, jackals, bigfoot and escaped convicts. Run fast.

If you do manage to survive, and you make it back to the bridge, follow the trail back the way you came, watching for signs, and make a right onto another trail that brings you back to grand central junction (with the fork in the trail). Make a right to head up the baseball field, make a left at the baseball field and follow the fence back the way you came. Follow the signs and volunteer instructions to head directly into the finish line.

To register, participants can visit the official website of the Rotary Trails to Ales 5K/2K.REMEMBER TO USE DISCOUNT CODE INK25 FOR 25% OFF YOUR 5K REGISTRATION FEE.

Those with further questions or concerns may contact Jennifer Boydon, Race Director at Jen@gsrs.com or by phone at (617)892-4761 and Stacy Boyden, Volunteer at sseid4444@gmai.com