Category Archives: News

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April Update – New Start Time & Cycling Training Guide



April News Update

Ride, Baby, Ride!

Leg 5 Bike Training Guide

Plus 2017 Race Start Time Change


We’re just over 3 months to the start of the 3rd edition of Race the State and now with the warmer weather, it’s a perfect time to start your bike training. We caught up with Terry Halpin, who has been on the winning relay teams in both 2015 and 2016, to chat about the course and provide you with some race day and prep tips. In addition to being on the winning teams, Terry owns the fastest time at 1 hour 10 minutes and 33 seconds on the bike leg, that’s an average of 23mph!

Also, due to the Newport Jazz Fest, we are making a change to the race start time from 6am to 5:30am. This timing change will help minimize our impact with Jazz Fest traffic at Fort Adams and on the water. Please take note of how this will affect timing for the rest of the course, which can be viewed HERE.

And finally, we had a great time promoting Race the State at the first annual Newport Rhode Race last weekend! We raffled off an entry to Race the State to competitors and are pleased to announce that Valerie Pratt is the winner! Congrats, Valerie, see you on the course!

Sponsor Spotlight
Founded in 1919, Balise Auto is one of the largest retailers of new and used automobiles in New England with locations spanning Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Balise Subaru, located in West Warwick, RI provides customersthe most recent and relevant new models and carefully selected used cars. Their goal is that you will remember how you were treated: it’s part of the Balise mission to support you in every step of the car ownership process. Balise Subaru is ready to support their customers now, and for many miles down and around I-95.
Register for Race the State Today!
Cycling Training Guide

Tips for crushing the bike leg of Race the State from Terry Halpin, bike course record holder at 1 hr 10 min 33 sec!

What do you think of the course?
The bike course is good; it has quite a bit of terrain to it – 900ft of elevation, I think. The hardest part about it is not to go too hard on the first hill.  Once you cross Post Road (aka Route 1), it’s pretty much “game on” all the way to the finish.It’s a beautifully scenic, rural course…going by the lake is especially nice. It’s a rolling hills course, which, for me, is pretty good. Maybe some people don’t enjoy that as much as I do. You have to maintain a pretty steady power output, and keep going along.The roads are in good condition mostly, [it’s] a little rough going over Chase Hill Road so you need to be mindful of that because you’re going quite quick going down the hill. But all in all it’s a very nice, scenic race.

Anything on the course competitors should be aware of?

If you do a reconnaissance mission on  the course, some of the hard turns become part of your memory and you’re able to anticipate them instead of being surprised. Generally speaking, the traffic was quite light, and I didn’t have any problems with that.

How do you prepare for the race?

The two years I’ve done it, I managed to recon the course a couple of times each year. I feel like its very important to know where the turns are and where you can accelerate and make the most of your available energy before you try to accelerate too quickly in an area where you’re going to have to slow down or turn. I can’t say enough how important it is to recon.

The ride is only 29 miles, so for my recon I went out and back from the URI Bay Campus. It’s pretty critical, [the recon] will show you the steepness of the first hill, and force you to figure out how to manage your time going up that—it’s not where you’re going to win the race, but you can certainly lose it there.

How many miles are you riding a week?
150-180 miles a week, mostly by myself. 2-3 days I’ll ride with a group, but mostly by myself.Any advice for first timers?The best thing you can do is try to find an aerodynamic position on the bike that you’re comfortable in. I rode a standard road bike, but made adjustments to the position and added a set of aero bars for a bit of aerodynamic performance and it seemed to work well for me.

Anything you do to keep yourself motivated during long rides?

Dream of what might have been… No, just kidding.

For the race, it’s important to prepare for conditions of the day, as not being prepared will affect your motivation. If it’s dry and hot, bring enough water. I’d probably something to eat, maybe, 2/3 a way during the leg. I don’t, personally, have issues staying motivated for 30 miles, that’s less than a standard day on the bike, for me!

Any suggestions for someone who doesn’t have enough time to do many long rides during a week?

Anything that gets you time in the saddle. If you can increase your endurance, that is probably the best method of training. One is interval training, high intensity for short bursts, both increasing the intensity and lengths of the bursts over the course of a long period of time so your body because more in tune to running at threshold. Try and ride the mileage. If you can ride 2 hours on a stationary bike, if the weather’s not good, or you don’t have enough time to get outside when it’s light, that should get you through.

And last but not least, enjoy it, have fun!

Additional Training Tips

If you’re in the Newport area, Pulse has the best spin classes around! Pulse will be entering five teams to Race the State 2017, so keep an eye out for them on the course!

Know the Route
The bike leg of Race the State takes competitors from South Kingstown to Westerly along back roads. The course is as straight as possible without having competitors go on busy traffic congested streets. There will be arrow signs on the course marking the way but it will pay to study the map beforehand to really know the route. 




Crossing Route 1 5.5 miles into the bike course, competitors must cross Route 1. Because the safety of our competitors is of the utmost importance, timing chips are setup on either side of the rode to pause timing to allow for a safe crossing. Police detail will also be present to stop traffic.

Other Upcoming Events

April 30 – Kayak/SUP – Run of the Charles, Boston MAMay 6 – Run –  Providence Marathon and Half Marathon, Providence, RIMay 13 – Bike – Rhode Kill Spring Classic, West Warwick, RIMay 20 – Multi Sport – Mystic River Herring Run and Paddle, Mystic, CT

June 4 – Run – Newport 10 Miler, Newport, RI

Register for Race the State Today!

2017 Race the State Sponsors and Partners

Interested in becoming a sponsor for 2017? E-mail us for more information!


Help us to grow the race for its third edition in 2017!
Refer a friend and get $15 if they sign up as an individual and $10 if they sign up for a team! You can earn up to the full amount of your entry fee!Here’s how it works:1. Register for Race the State HERE
2. Collect your referral code
3. Give code to your friends and tell them to register
4. You get a refund!


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Race the State at RACE-MANIA 3/26!


RACE-MANIA this weekend, Sunday March 26!

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Stop by our booth this Sunday at Race Mania in Boston!

RACE-MANIA Summit & Expo

915 Commonwealth Avenue

Boston, MA

Sunday, March 26


Register here

If you’re in the Boston area, come visit us Sunday at the 2017 RACE-MANIA Summit & Expo! We’ll be setup from 10am-5pm and anyone who registers for Race the State at the RACE-MANIA expo will receive 15% off their RTS registration fee! We’ll also be raffling off a free entry to anyone who visits our booth. 

Designed to educate, equip and excite endurance athletes at the start of a new season, RACE-MANIA offers attendees seminars, clinics, workshops, competitive events and an expo with 80+ exhibitors! 

Hope to see you there!

Register for Race the State Today!

Registration Fees Increasing Soon!

Registration fees will increase on April 1st. Register before midnight on March 31st to save some cash!

Event Swag

Men and Women sized t-shirts for you and your support crew! Plus all competitors receive Race the State pint glasses at the finish line!

Training Guides

Raffle Prizes
All competitors have a chance to win prizes from:

2017 Course Map

Did you hear the news? We’ve tweaked Legs 1, 2 and 3. The stand up paddle board is slightly longer and the run through Newport is a whole lot shorter. Check out the updated course for 2017 HERE

Fuel Stations

Hammer Gels, fruit, water and Hammer HEED sports drink will be available at all transition zones of the race!

Post Race Party

Competitors, friends and family are invited to the post race party at the finish line in Westerly, RI. Refuel with eats, Mighty Squirrel Beer, FitVine Wine!

Upcoming Events

A great way to train for Race the State is to race in other events leading up to August 6th. Check out these events this spring and summer that will be sure to gear you up for RTS 2017!

2017 Race the State Sponsors and Partners

Interested in becoming a sponsor for 2017? E-mail us for more information!


Help us to grow the race for its third edition in 2017!

Refer a friend and get $15 if they sign up as an individual and $10 if they sign up for a team! You can earn up to the full amount of your entry fee!

Here’s how it works:

1. Register for Race the State HERE

2. Collect your referral code

3. Give code to your friends and tell them to register

4. You get a refund!



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Course Change Announcement 2017

2017 Race The State RI Final Map w legend updated

In response to previous editions’ competitor feedback, we have updated the first three legs of the course as follows:

Start – South Shore Beach, Little Compton

Leg 1 – 4.5 mile run from South Shore Beach to Taylors Lane Beach, Little Compton

Leg 2 – 2.5 mile SUP from Taylors Lane Beach, Little Compton to 3rd Beach, Middletown

Leg 3 – 8 mile run from 3rd Beach, Middletown to Fort Adams, Newport

From there the kayak and bike legs will remain the same. This course change allows for a more challenging SUP leg (from 1m to 2.5m) and a shorter second run leg (from 12m to 8m).

For a detailed map view, CLICK HERE.

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BankNewport and OceanPoint Insurance Return as Presenting Sponsors!


Welcome Back BankNewport & OceanPoint Insurance

Plus Race the State Training – Run Edition



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BankNewport and OceanPoint Insurance Return as Presenting Sponsors!

We’re thrilled to announce that BankNewport and OceanPoint Insurance are returning for the 3rd straight year as presenting sponsors of Race the State! The support from the entire team at BankNewport and OceanPoint Insurance has been unparalleled and we’re proud to have such an iconic brand synonymous with Rhode Island as our presenting sponsor.

In a joint statement, BankNewport President & CEO, Sandra J. Pattie and OceanPoint Insurance President & CEO, Douglas K. Mayhew expressed excitement:  “We’re excited and very proud to bring the third edition of Race the State Rhode Island back for our customers and communities to enjoy!  There are so many beautiful locations along the 53 mile course, from Tiverton down to Westerly, giving fans and spectators the opportunity to cheer on the athletes as they navigate the unique challenges of this multi-sport event. We encourage everyone to join us on race day!”




Run Leg Training Guide

Also in this newsletter, check our Run Training Guide section for tips and tricks for mastering the run legs of Race the State! From the first quick run to the long haul on Aquidneck Island, we’ll get you prepared to do your best in both! We caught up with Dirk Johnson, member of the team with the fastest overall time, Island Idiots. Dirk contributed to the team’s overall ranking by running the second run leg of the course with a split time of 7:33/mile! Continue reading to find out more.




Sponsor Spotlight

Founded in 1819 and headquartered in Newport, BankNewport offers a full suite of loan and deposit products and services for families and businesses throughout Rhode Island.  In addition, OceanPoint Insurance Agency, Inc., a subsidiary of BankNewport, offers a broad range of property casualty insurance products and a full array of financial services.  With 16 banking offices and $1.4 billion in assets, BankNewport is one of the oldest community banks in the United States and, as a mutual organization, is committed to the financial success of its customers, employees and communities.

Headquartered in Middletown, Rhode Island, OceanPoint Insurance, a BankNewport subsidiary, is a Trusted Choice independent insurance agency providing a broad range of property casualty insurance products, in addition to a full array of financial services. Tracing its roots back to 1863, OceanPoint Insurance is proud to serve the needs of clients from three full service offices located in Middletown, Barrington, and Coventry, Rhode Island, forming one of the largest independent insurance agency operations in southeastern New England.


Register for Race the State Today!


Run Training Guide

Tips for crushing the run legs of Race the State!




Race the State 2016 Run Leg 3 Recap and Tips from Dirk Johnson, member of fastest team overall, Island Idiots





Normally I live on the Port-o-John line until the national anthem starts to play, which if I plan right gives me about 30 seconds to find my way to the starting line in time for the gun. Once the gun fires I’m good to go, unfortunately the waiting before the start also makes me good to go.

Unlike most running races where you have a prerace routine and known starting time, Race the State, as a relay, does not afford you the luxury of knowing exactly when your leg of the race will start. This can cause some anxiety for those who have pre race bathroom jitters as I do. Do your prerace transition area recon and know where the nearest port-o-john is, or if none, do yourself a favor and pack some TP in your kit, it’s much less stressful than looking for the nearest available properly sized leaves…

Transition 1

Once your teammate has come off the SUP it’s your job to remember to transfer the timing chip. Don’t expect your winded and exhausted teammate to remember to take it off and hand it to you. Nothing worse than getting through your run and reaching the Ft Adams transition only to have your relay teammate asking where the chip is. Ugh…

The Run – Strategy

While the nature of the race is an endurance effort, it is critical to pace properly yourself within a small or nonexistent running pack. I never saw another runner the whole 12.3 miles last year after the Sandy Point hill. It takes some practice and mental toughness to run at 100% race effort by yourself and without pacing runners. It’s very easy to let up ever so slightly with no other runners around.

On the other hand you also can’t run looking over your shoulder the whole time. Faster runners undoubtedly will catch you and pass you, do not get into a drag race when it happens. Stay in your zone and ignore them, run your race not theirs.




The Run – Course

The hills are the hardest part of the run and it’s important to manage them. Adrenalin pumped, energetic and excited, you will want to gallop to the top amid the cheers of the fans lining the side of the road, big mistake! Stay in control here, yes you will spike your HR and yes you will have to recover once at the top, but just don’t blow up. Keep your breathing steady and do NOT go anaerobic this early in the race.

Once on the road, cars, dogs and pedestrians will not be giving you special racing room as they will have no idea you are in a race. You will look like every other Sunday jogger who stops at intersections and looks both ways before crossing. When you dash across the road make sure you have the opening you need.

Back to hills, there are 4 hills that will get your full attention before the race is over. Everyone knows Purgatory Hill at Surfers End which is minimized somewhat by the left turn onto Tuckerman part way up. Memorial Hill is next, watch the cobles past the entrance to Cliff Walk. Once on Ruggles the steep dip and Rogers Highschool Hill thereafter will get your heart going but it’s way too early to think about kicking it home from here. Regain your rhythm and hold on as you still have over a mile and one last sneaky badass hill at the Ft Adams entrance yet to come.

The Finish

Finally you turn right into Ft Adams feeling the elation of being almost done. However this glow quickly fades as you start to feel the hill that you didn’t even know was there start sapping the last energy from your legs. You will feel like you are running in quick sand and your HR will be redline by now. Power through this with head high past the Ft Adams guard shack and you will see the finish down on the beach. It’s all downhill from here…!





Additional Training Tips
Offseason: just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean you can’t run! But don’t take our word for it, check out these tips from a Boston Marathon winner on running in the winter.

Know the Routes
The first and third legs of Race the State are designated running legs. Before doing any road race it helps to familiarize yourself with the course. If you’re in the area, practice running the race course a few times leading up to the race. If you’re not, here’s a break down:

The Sprint - the first run leg is a short 4 mile run. The course is straight and flat with only a few road turns that are clearly marked by signs and traffic police. There will be water provided at the start of the race and at the finish of this sprint leg, but not during. If you’re new to running, taking on this first leg as part of a team is a great goal to set for yourself and work towards

The Long Haul - the second run leg is the leg that brings you from the SUP finish to the kayak start at Fort Adams. This is a big run, people, so train accordingly. The route is beautiful and scenic but along with the rocky cliffs of Aquidneck island come hills. We recommend running this route ahead of time or incorporate hill sprints into your training.















Run with a group: Get your friends to sign up for Race the State with you and make weekly plans run together and you’ll be less likely to back out!

Speed training: do some Fartleks. Sounds funny, but does wonders for your speed. Grab a timer and get going.

Unconventional speed training: run fast or the zombies will get you! This app is Pokemon Go! meets zombies meets Race the State training. Turn on the app and start running, listen to music as you normally would. When you hear the zombies chasing you, pick up your speed! Set up timed intervals or have the app surprise you with zombie attacks!

Practice the transition: the second run leg comes after the SUP. Don’t let race day be the first time you run directly after paddle boarding!  





Practice, Practice, Practice…

Warm up for Race the State with some of these other local races:

March 4 – Boldrdash Winterdash 5k, Exeter, RI

March 19 – New Bedford Half Marathon, New Bedford, MA

April 15 – Newport Marathon and Half Marathon, Newport, RI

May 21 – Mystic River Run and Paddle, Mystic River, CT





Upcoming Events

March 26: Visit Us At Race Mania Summit & Expo

Boston, MA

Come visit the Race the State booth at the The RACE-MANIA Summit & Expo! Designed to educate, equip and excite endurance athletes at the start of a new season, RACE-MANIA offers attendees seminars, clinics, workshops, competitive events and an expo with 80+ exhibitors! 




Register for Race the State Today!


2017 Race the State Sponsors and Partners

Interested in becoming a sponsor for 2017? E-mail us for more information!





Help us to grow the race for its third edition in 2017!

Refer a friend and get $15 if they sign up as an individual and $10 if they sign up for a team! You can earn up to the full amount of your entry fee!

Here’s how it works:

1. Register for Race the State HERE

2. Collect your referral code

3. Give code to your friends and tell them to register

4. You get a refund!






















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Race the State – SUP Training Guide


Race the State Training – SUP Edition



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Race the State Training Guide – SUP Edition

Set the bar high for 2017: race across the state of RI!

We’re one month into 2017, how are your fitness resolutions holding up? By signing up for Race the State, you’ll resolve to train hard in multiple fields for the ultimate challenge of racing across Rhode Island!

Intimidated by a certain leg? Have no fear! For the next few months, we’ll feature training guides and tips for each of the different disciplines that make up Race the State RI, starting with the first water leg of Race the State: paddle boarding! Read on for training tips from top ranked SUP racers and Paddle Board RI’s own Kristin Kaczmarek!




Register for Race the State Today!



Introducing the Inaugural

Mighty Challenge!

We’re challenging bars and restaurants in the area to Race the State!

Work in the restaurant biz? Grab 3 of your coworkers and train for Race the State to compete in the first ever Mighty Challenge! Battle it out amongst other industry professionals to see which restaurant/bar is the Mightiest of all! In order to be eligible, you must work at a restaurant or bar and be registered as a 4 person team.

Mighty Squirrel Beer has now officially launched in Rhode Island, so be sure to check them out! Follow them on Facebook and stay tuned for latest news and upcoming events!




SUP Training Guide

Tips for a successful paddle leg of Race the State!




Now that Race the State is on your radar, its time to start thinking about a training regime that will have you performing your best on race day! Paddle Board RI is gearing up with RTS to offer a special discount for Race the State competitors who join our weekly Skills-n-Drills class. These classes are designed for paddlers that have the fundamentals down and now want to excel at specific skills such as distance training, interval training, pivot turns and advanced paddling techniques to up your game for race day.  Sessions will focus on different drills, training routines and time trials for participants to evaluate their performance over the course.

If it’s too early to think about playing in the water just yet, remember there are tons of other ways to start preparing for a distance SUP race, and to get ready for the other events at Race the State. Try adding cardio, such as jogging or jump rope, for the distance bike and run, if they are not already part of your routine. Indoor rowing and strength training will get you ready for the kayak crossing. And, if traditional methods aren’t for you, it’s always fun to step out of your comfort zone and try something new to keep you fit, challenge the body and mind, have fun and keep your goals in sight!





Know the Water

The paddle leg of Race the State crosses the Sakonnet River going East to West. For paddling on a river, current, wind direction and speed, and waves are important factors to consider. It’s helpful to get out on the body of water you’ll be racing on in different conditions to practice and be most prepared for race day!




Current: check the local tide chart to find out what the current is going to look like at the time you’ll be paddling. If the tide is coming in or out, you’ll have some push from the water either up or down the river, respectively. If the tide is slack (at peak high or low), you will not feel much current at all.
Wind Direction & Speed: If the wind is coming from the direction you’re trying to go and is decently strong, it can slow your paddling efforts significantly. The stronger the wind, the more challenging it will be to paddle against (or, the more helpful it will be if its coming at your back!). Usually, the wind is pretty light (low velocity) on summer mornings in RI. 



 while we’re on the subject of current and wind direction/speed… if you have the magical combination of strong wind against current, the result will be big waves. Those types of conditions are challenging and you must be prepared for this in order to be fast and, more importantly, safe!





Offseason: cross train for paddle boarding in the winter with Crossfit, indoor rowing on an erg, and these exercises that will help you build up the muscles you need for paddling.
Get out on the water:
train like a champion. Even if he’s not paddling, 2016 SUP world champion, Kai Lenny, is out on the water everyday doing some type of watersport.
Improve your technique: check out these
tips from SUP expert Dave Kalama. Follow his blog for more tips.
Practice the start: “Don’t overlook the start!” says top ranked US SUP racer, Candice Appleby. “My favorite type of start is a running one because if you get a good skim, you can leave your competitors behind. Read more tips from Appleby 
Get Inspired: the video name says it all:
Stand Up Paddle is Amazing.





Practice, Practice, Practice…
Warm up for Race the State with some of these other local races: 

April 30 – Run of the Charles, Boston, MA
May 21 –
Mystic River Herring Run and Paddle, Mystic, CT
June 18 –
SoundSurfer Waterman Challenge, Bridgeport, CT
June 19 –
Charles Island SUP Cup, Milford, CT






Lifejacket: no matter your level of expertise, it’s always prudent to wear a lifejacket or flotation device when paddling out on the water. Race the State rules require competitors to wear a lifejacket or PFD during the paddle board leg of the race. If you don’t have one, you can purchase one from Team One or West Marine.
Leash: some may call it a “kook cord” but we don’t care, race rules require competitors to have and use a board leash. You can get one at your local surf shop. 

Paddle: paddles can differ in material, length, blade width and height and palm grips. Check out this guide to find the right one for you. 
Last but not least, The Boardlength, width, bend, shape… there are many factors to be considered when choosing a paddle board! For racing, you want a board that is built for speed. Look for a board that has a displacement hull (pointed, not rounded), is long (>12′), narrow (<30″), and has straight stiff fins. If you don’t own a board and don’t want to, no problem! There are many local options for renting a board for race day.















Upcoming Events

Feb 3-5: Providence Boat Show
Providence, RI

Providence Boat Show is a great place to check out Paddleboards! Explore the latest and greatest in the boating industry so you’re sure to hit the water with the best gear in 2017! East Coast Paddle Sports will have over 30 paddleboards at the show available for demos.

March 26: Race Mania Summit & Expo
Boston, MA

Come visit the Race the State booth at the The
RACE-MANIA Summit & Expo! Designed to educate, equip and excite endurance athletes at the start of a new season, RACE-MANIA offers attendees seminars, clinics, workshops, competitive events and an expo with 80+ exhibitors! 




Register for Race the State Today!


2017 Race the State Sponsors and Partners

Interested in becoming a sponsor for 2017? E-mail us for more information!
























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Announcing Balise Subaru as 2017 Sponsor of Race the State!


Balise Subaru Announced as Gold Level Partner of Race the State!

Balise Subaru will provide sweep vehicles for the course

We’re thrilled to announce that Balise Subaru will be back in 2017 as a gold level sponsor of Race the State! For the 2016 edition of the race, Balise used one of their Subaru Crosstreks as the sweep vehicle for the bike leg. In addition, a lucky raffle winner walked away with a bike rack for their Subaru, donated by Balise!

Founded in 1919, Balise Auto is one of the largest retailers of new and used automobiles in New England, with locations spanning Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Balise Subaru, located in West Warwick, RI, provides customers the most recent and relevant new models and carefully select used cars. Their goal is that you will remember how you were treated: it’s part of the Balise mission to support you in every step of the car ownership process. Balise Subaru is ready to support their customers now, and for many miles down and around I-95.

“At Balise Subaru, we pride ourselves on building connections within our communities,” says Ian Miller, General Manager of Balise Subaru. “We’re happy to continue our relationship with Race the State for a second consecutive year and thrilled our Subaru vehicles can support racers through a safe, enjoyable racing experience.”  

Balise chose Subaru as the official sweep vehicle of Race the State because they know this car is the perfect vehicle for those who are active and love to get outdoors! Whether you’re running, paddle boarding, kayaking or biking — Subaru can handle the equipment!


You Can Win a Roof Rack!
Register for Race the State and you’ll be entered to win a roof rack courtesy of Balise Subaru! We’ll raffle off this awesome prize and many more at the finish party in Westerly.



Register Today To Get the Best Pricing for 2017!
Entry fees go up on January 1, so don’t wait, sign up today!Hop on the lowest prices now! Click HERE to register for the race! 

Entry Fees Now:

$120 – Individual$89 – 2-person relay$77 – 3-person relay$65 – 4-person relay$55 – 5-person relay

*All fees noted are per person*




Give the Gift of Fitness!
If you’re in search of the perfect gift for your fitness-minded friends and family, look no further! Entry for Race the State make the perfect present for someone looking for a challenging competition next summer. Sign someone up to compete individually or sign your whole family up as a team!


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Mighty Squirrel Returns As Official Beer Partner

Mighty Squirrel Returns as the Official Beer Partner of Race the State!

PLUS FitVine Wine Joins as Official Wine Partner for 2017 Race

We’re excited to have Mighty Squirrel back as the official beer partner for the 2017 Race the State. We know competitors loved sampling their beer at the finish party this past summer and we’re pleased to say that competitors can again celebrate their #MightyMoments at the finish line!

Mighty Squirrel Brewing Co. was launched in Boston in 2015 by two friends, Naveen Pawar and Henry Manice. The two of them always loved playing tennis and enjoying celebratory craft beers afterwards, so they decided one day back in 2011 to set out and create what they call the Mighty Squirrel SportTM beers. Their SportTM beers are all super refreshing, low carb, and have 4 grams of protein. The Sport line includes a Kiwi White, a Grapefruit IPA, and a Pilsner. They also have traditional beers including a Tropical IPA, Mocha Stout, India Pale Lager, and Belgian White.


Announcing the Mighty Squirrel Race the State Rhode Island Restaurant & Beer Challenge!
Mighty Squirrel is launching its products across the state of Rhode Island in 2017 and to celebrate this ‘Mighty Moment’ they and race organizers created the Mighty Squirrel Race the State Rhode Island Restaurant & Bar Challenge. The Challenge is open to any restaurant or bar in the state of Rhode Island and teams can register HERE and entering code mightychallenge. The fastest four-person team in the Challenge will win the inaugural trophy and bragging rights amongst Rhode Island restaurants and bars.



But Wait, There’s More!

Let’s face it, carboloading before a big race feel a bit bland without a nice glass of Chardonnay to wash it down, but we know you can’t risk the adverse effects of drinking the night before a big race. The solution is finally here: FitVine Wine!FitVine Wine was born when three friends discovered that they could make amazing wines that also fit their healthy lifestyle. They set about combining their love for wine and fitness with an ethic for sustainability. Their proprietary process delivers high-quality wine rich in antioxidants with no residual sugar, lower carbohydrates and fewer sulfites. Grown at high altitude in the Sierra Foothills of California, FitVine grapes naturally yield higher concentrations of beneficial compounds such as resveratrol, polyphenols and proanthocyanidins- resulting in a cleaner wine.

The FitVine team is always active, whether it’s CrossFit, cycling, running, skiing, paddle boarding or just enjoying the outdoors, and  will be adding Race the State 2017 to their roster of events! FitVine will be serving samples of their wine at the post-race party in Westerly for Race the State competitors to enjoy!

Register Now for Race the State 2017! Entry fees go up Jan 1.
Give the Gift of Fitness this Holiday Season!
The holiday season is upon us! If you’re in search of the perfect gift for your fitness-minded friends and family, look no further! Entry for Race the State make the perfect present for someone looking for a challenging competition next summer. Sign someone up to compete individually or sign your whole family up as a team! Training can begin when you’re all together for the holiday season!Registration fees will increase in the new year so hop on the lowest prices now! Click HERE to register for the race!




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2016 Results

5-Person team takes top overall time in 2nd edition of Race the State Presented by BankNewport and OceanPoint Insurance Agency 

1st and 2nd place in the women’s division separated by 47 seconds and brothers, Tyler & Josh Mason, take 1st and 2nd in the men’s division


August 8, 2015 – Rhode Island – Yesterday, 75 competitors competed in the second edition of Race The State sponsored by BankNewport and Ocean Point Insurance. The multi-sport event created and run by Manuka Sports Event Management, a Newport, Rhode Island based business, had individuals and teams run 3.8 miles through Tiverton, paddle 1 mile across the Sakonnet River, run 12.3 miles from Portsmouth to Newport, kayak 5.6 miles to Narragansett via a portage in Jamestown and cycle 28.5 miles from Narragansett through South Kingstown, Richmond, Hopkinton, Charlestown and finishing in Westerly.

The 5-person, all-male team, Island Idiots, finished the 53-mile course in 4 hours 37 minutes and 26 seconds an overall average pace of 5:25/mile. Team members included: Shawn Westoven (Portsmouth, RI), Dan Dytch (Newport, RI), Dirk Johnson (Middletown, RI), Mike Giles (Cape Town, South Africa) and Terry Halpin (Middletown, RI). The second team across the line was the 4-person team, Hot Club Harbor Seals out of Providence, RI with a total elapsed time of 5 hours 20 minutes and 47 seconds. The winners in the 3-person team were the Three Dirty Rats out of Reading, PA and in the 2-person division, the husband-wife duo, No Excuses, from Dedham, MA took top honors.

On the individual side, brothers Tyler and Josh Mason took first and second respectively in the men’s division with Bethesda, MD native Scott Madden taking third overall. Tyler of Charlestown, RI finished with an elapsed time of 5 hours 44 minutes and 20 seconds. In the women’s division, Mill Valley, California resident Shawn Connell-Clark had the top overall time at 5:56:45, with Ashaway, RI’s Caroline Duksta a mere 47 seconds behind. In third place was Portsmouth, RI native Sarah Ethier.

Complete results with splits can be viewed HERE.

Race the State was designed to take advantage of the unique geography of the state of Rhode Island was made possible through the support of BankNewport and Ocean Point Insurance. The logistically challenging race spanned 10 communities and two bodies of water. All competitors were required to have a support team assisting with logistics throughout the race and race organizers had over 65 volunteers both on water and off stationed throughout the course. A portion of all entries benefitted Special Olympics Rhode Island.

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Kayak Training with Tim Dwyer

The Race the State Kayak Leg traverses Narragansett Bay and while at 5.6 miles it’s length is not exorbitant, it does require you to be adept at understanding tides and ocean kayaking.

Tim Dwyer, the kayaker with the overall fastest time in the 2015 Race the State Kayak leg (with a time of 1:01:25.4) has teamed up with us to give our racers tips to prepare them for the 2016 5.6 mile kayak leg!


To be fully prepared to Race the State, training both off and on the water is imperative, below Tim lists some suggestions for building your overall fitness and specific paddle strength.

Off the Water

  • General fitness: a good aerobic base from endurance sports, running, biking etc. establishes a good base for paddling
  • Core work: planks, stability ball, bodyweight exercises, burpees, mountain climbers, Russian twists.
  • Paddle specific exercises: pushing and pulling exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, bent over rows, band pulls, lat pulls

On the Water

  • Paddling:
    • Early season–establish a base with long slow paddles of 90’—120’ using quality technique to create muscle memory for proper form.
    • Gradually introduce speed work by doing 4’ easy with good form and 1’ hard efforts x 15 repeats or more if you have time.
    • If you can commit to 2x/wk. paddling do: 1) ii. For up to 2 hrs. 2) intervals 3’ on x 2’ easy x 10
    • If you can commit to 3x/wk. paddling do: 1) ii. For up to 2 hrs. 2) intervals 3’ on x 2’ easy x 10 3) intervals 40” on x 20” easy x 40
    • On water drills—designed to improve technique and power but beyond of the scope of this writing.
  • Training tools: A Garmin type GPS/heart rate measurement device that gives Time, Speed, Distance and Heart rate is an essential training device. You can set up the workout and the beeper goes off to keep me from slacking.  The Garmin Forerunner is one example and there are others. I use the Garmin 910XT but there are less expensive equivalent options. I get mine at REI or EMS in case they die and they are quickly replaced.

Stay tuned for more tips on: 

  • Forward Stroke: posture, efficiency, power, endurance
  • Hydration/nutrition: pre-race, race and recovery
  • Navigation: familiarity with the course, the portage, currents/wind, set/drift
  • Race tactics: strategy/pace/drafting

About Tim DwyerPhoto Aug 09, 1 37 50 PM

As an outdoor guide and instructor, Tim sailed with Outward Bound and led kayak trips in New England and the Pacific Northwest, Florida and Alaska. For a fundraising effort Tim paddled 300 miles around Long Island for the Memory Paddle Challenge in a record setting passage. He has earned a number of national and regional Championships including the 2002 USCA National Kayaking Championship, the New England 2010 Surfski (kayak) Championship and the Paddle the Bay Kayak Racing series from 2002-2006. Tim completed the Kayak leg of 2015 Race the State finishing first overall in the kayak along with first place on Team Kettlebottom in the 4 person relay. Tim is a child psychologist and lives with his family in Jamestown, RI and consults for Epic Kayaks.

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Cover image w winners for Newsletter

2015 Race Recap

The morning of August 9th dawned with crystal clear blue skies with a light breeze in Little Compton. As the competitors approached the start line, which just a few hundred yards from the Massachusetts border, there was a slight chill in the air.

The gun went off shortly after 6am and field of 40 were on their first 5-mile leg en route to Little Compton harbor. The first to arrive at the harbor was Adrian Masse of Newport, Rhode Island who ran the 5 miles in 33 minutes and 48 seconds. Just one minute and 23 seconds behind him was Dave FitzGerald of Middletown and 15 seconds behind him was Antoine Lavigueur of Newport.

Adrian Masse leading after Leg 1

As competitors entered into the harbor the wind unfortunately started to pick up which would make the paddle extremely challenging. In a weird twist, the few who had selected to use a prone paddle board were in a much more advantageous position than the majority who had the more traditional stand up boards. As the wind conditions deteriorated far more rapidly than forecast, the safety boats on the water had their work cut out for them. Of the field of 40, only 17 made it the full 3 mile course across the Sakonnet River. The first paddler to finish the course was Dave FitzGerald who raced the 3 miles on his prone board in 49 minutes and 46 seconds. This put him in first place. However, the first stand up paddler to finish Connor Wallace of the 4-person team Kettlebottom. He paddled in 1 hour 4 minutes and 55 seconds.

Dave FitzGerald (L) Connor Wallace (R)

Third Beach in Middletown was the first hand-off for relay teams and for the individuals they kept on moving through for the 3rd 7.5 mile leg taking them along the beaches to Fort Adams in Newport. The 4-person team of Rhode Racers owned leg 3, completing the 7.5 mile course in 52 minutes and 26 seconds. In the Mens division it was a battle for first between Dave FitzGerald and Adrian Masse who were separated by a mere 2 minutes and 11 seconds, with Masse holding the slight edge heading into the kayak leg. In the women’s division, it was only the run legs determining the leader as none of the women completed the second leg. Kelly Murphy of Douglas, MA was holding a 2 minute 21 second lead over Dawnie Amado-Desmarais of Litchfield, NH. In the team divisions, 1 if by land, 2 if by see held a slight edge in the 2-person division, 33 Donahue had a sizable lead in the 3-person division and it was anyone’s game in the 4-person division between Kettlebottom, MidTown Oyster Bar and Portsmouth Dads.

From L to R: Rhode Racers, Kelly Murphy, Dawnie Amado-Desmaris

The 4th leg of Race the State was a 5.6 mile kayak across Narragansett Bay with a portage in Jamestown through Mackerel Cove. The wind conditions were in the teens from the north which would make the kayak also extremely challenging for the competitors. However, Timothy Dwyer of Team Kettlebottom would make extremely quick work of the kayak course completing it in 1 hour 1 minute and 25 seconds! The next closest competitor was 19 minutes and 32 seconds behind and that was Adam Donahue of the 3-person Team, 33 Donahue. In the men’s division Dave FitzGerald had the fastest kayak time clocking in at 1:23:38, but Antoine Lavigueur was a close second with a time of 1:29:57. 

From L to R: Timothy Dwyer, Dave FitzGerald, Antoine Lavigueur

As competitors approached the kayak finish, they had to run uphill to the transition zone to hop on their bike to head out on the 28.5 mile course of which 27.3 miles were timed (two untimed areas existed to safely get competitors across Rt 1A and Rt 1). One of the first challenges on the bike course was a sneaky and sizable hill heading up Torrey Road. That hill would lead to a number of competitors pulling the plug on their race. For those who conquered the hill, the race was on to the finish and the stand out in the mens division on the bike course was, Antoine Lavigueur, who after running, paddling, running and kayaking he managed to cover the 27.3 mile bike in 1:15:20 which is an average speed of 21.7mph! Unfortunately it wouldn’t be enough for him to take first as Dave FitzGerald had earned enough extra time in the prior legs to secure first place.

Antoine Lavigueur (L) Dave FitzGerald (R)

In the women’s division, Kristen Ralphs secured first on the bike with the fastest time for the women coming in at 1:37:03 at an average speed of 16.9mph. With that speed she secured first place overall!

Kristen Ralphs

In the 4-person team division, it was Terry Halpin of Team Kettlebottom though who owned the bike course, he completed the course in 1:10:33, at an average speed of 23.2mph! NWC Warriors would go on to win first in the 2-person team as would 33 Donahue in the 3-person team division.

Terry Halpin

The inaugural Race the State was one to remember and the course challenged the teams and competitors straight through the entire day. Congratulations again to everyone who came out and we look forward to seeing you next year!


Race the State is on August 6, 2017