The Black Bear is back for another Labor Day weekend full of fun in New Hampshire’s White Mountain hide-away, Waterville Valley. Take your pick of the three trail races around the Valley’s historic forested trails. Entry includes your custom Black Bear race bib, a wood-cut medal, and the chance to win great prizes! Run your hardest and you might take home a handmade award! This year we will also have custom printed shirts available for purchase with your race registration up until July 31.
New in 2021
Custom printed Black Bear shirts!
Click here to go to Virtual Race registration
All your hard work on the trails will support the Waterville Valley Elementary School PTA in their mission of fostering student growth and development through exploration and adventure. The support from last year’s racers made an amazing impact in the school community as the student body tripled in size! Thank you for all your support, racers!
Kids Run Free!
Waterville Valley Ski Resort is well known for its unique “Kids Ski Free” program. Introducing… Kids RUN Free! Children under 13 years may sign up to run in the 1 mile or 5k distances. Kids Run Free participants MUST sign up online or on race day. Select the “Kids Run Free” options when checking out online.
The Black Bear Half Marathon starting at $55
You get a finisher’s medal (if you finish!), post-race snacks, and the chance to win prizes. Be sure to pace yourself as you race along the 13.1-mile course on the oldest maintained trail network in the US. Starting and finishing in the picturesque Townsquare, the route rolls along the valley floor and into the hills as you travel in the shadows of the towering 4,000 foot peaks of Tecumseh, the Osceolas, and the Tripyramids. Three aid stations with water, hydration supplement, and nutrition. Terrain: 85% double-track trail, 13% single-track trails, 2% road.
View the Black Bear Half Marathon on Strava
The Black Bear 5K starting at $25
You get a finisher’s medal (if you finish!), post-race snacks, and the chance to win prizes. Challenge yourself and support WVES on this 5K course along the valley floors’ forested trails. The course runs along wide dirt double-track and some windy single-track around the valley’s south-end trails with NO ROAD! Terrain: 90% double-track, 10% single-track.
The Bear Cub Fun Run $10
The whole family, including Grandma and Grandpa, will enjoy the scenic 1-mile Bear Cub Fun Run! Whether you take in the Valley's grand views at a walk or make a mad dash for the finish line, you'll lend your valuable support to students at WVES and take home a signature Black Bear medal waiting for you at the finish line. Terrain detail: 100% double-track trail.
The Black Bear Virtual Race $25
You pick the time and place, we'll send you your bib and medal. Record your activity on Strava or enter it manually and upload it to see yourself on the leaderboard. Terrain detail: 100% your choice!
Raffle for EVERYONE!
Stick around till after the fun run to be entered into a free-for-all prize raffle. The raffle will include great goodies from a wide range of vendors including Waterville Valley Resort, Sport Thoma, local restaurants, The Dam Brewhouse, and other local races!
PLEASE BRING A WATER BOTTLE WITH YOU! We want to cut down on waste as much as possible! Aid stations will have water, a hydration supplement, and nutrition. Last year, we had gatorade, and honey-stinger gels. The half-marathon will have 3 aid stations and the 5k will have 1 distributed around the course. Locations of the aid stations will be detailed in the course map once it is released. An aid station will also be present at the finish line.
Black Bear Shirts!
Don't miss out on these slick looking shirts. Represent our favorite mountains whether you’re on trail or off. Add one of these on to your registration before July 31st for $30. After July 31st, a limited number will be available for purchase on race day. Available in men’s and women’s sizes.
Prizes and Age Groups
Handmade awards and your pick of a prize: Top 3 female/male overall and 1st female/male in age-groups in the half marathon, top 3 female/male overall in the 5k.
Age groups: U19, 19-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60+
Our prize sponsors will be announced prior to the race. Expect goodies like free growler fills at The Dam Brew House, gift cards for local gear shops, discounts at local running stores, entries to upcoming races, and much more! Prizes and results will be available at the timing tent shortly after you finish.
30 days before race day: Full refund minus $35, credit ($35) for Black Bear 2022, OR all race gear sent to you.
15 days or less before race day: No refund, race gear and any purchases sent to you. Participate in the virtual race!
Race Day Schedule
7:30AM Check-in opens
8:30AM Black Bear Half Marathon
10:30AM Black Bear 5K
11:30AM 1mi Cub Fun Run
All details are subject to change. Participants will be notified of any changes.