The Daffodil Run for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County has been one of the highest profile 5Ks in Amherst for the past six years. This year they added a 10K route, in addition to the 5K run/walk. This all takes place on 4/30/2017 but I took a sneak peak at the course. Spoiler alert; you are going to want to sign up for this race.
Before we get into the details I want to disclose that I worked with the race organizers to design the 10K course. I received no incentive for it; I did it because Big Brothers Big Sisters is a great cause and designing racecourses is a lot of fun.
The Daffodil 10K route is a surprisingly challenging loop with an out and back that will take you from Kendrick Park, through downtown Amherst and into the neighborhoods outside of downtown before returning back to the park.
There are no huge hills on the course. Instead the route challenges you with one rolling hill after another plus some sustained inclines in between.
I ran the course in the dark but the scenery was still fantastic; I imagine it will be even better on a sunny spring day! The race starts in downtown Amherst in an area that is lined with shops and restaurants inside of historic brick buildings. On race day you will also find a lot of cheering supporters who will inspire you to pick up the pace right from the start. After that you will run through quiet and tree lined neighborhoods where you will be treated to views of mountain ranges off in the distance. The second half of the course will take you past the University of Massachusetts and into another neighborhood with an inspiring view of the Mount Holyoke Range. You will head past Umass again on the way to the finish. You will see the tops of the downtown buildings and you will hear the roar of the crowd as you take on the long descent to the finish line.
The Daffodil Run 10K is a course with personality. It will challenge you but you will be rewarded for that with a sense of accomplishment and an included meal at the finish area. I am very excited to run the first Daffodil Run 10K and it has been an honor to play a role in making this course into a reality. I will see you on race day!