- Road Race
The Falmouth Road Race is without question one of the most unique, scenic and fun races that I have been a part of lately. The entire race experience from start to finish was so overwhelmingly positive and this is a race that if given the opportunity, you should not pass up.
The race is a four-day extravaganza, filled with a fantastic expo, family fun runs, kids’ races, celebrities, and the big 7-mile race through the scenic streets of Falmouth. The expo was extremely well put together, making bib pickup easy. The swag bag itself was a great, heavy duty bag with the Falmouth Road Race logo on it, and was filled with some great stuff, including a beautiful Falmouth Road Race coffee mug. Unfortunately there was no shirt, but the mug itself was something I’ll definitely get more use out of.
The expo also featured some great speakers, such as Rick and Dick Hoyt.
Race day itself was an extremely organized event. Knowing that I’d have to take advantage of the shuttle, I had left extremely early to try and avoid traffic. Getting there a few hours early is very helpful as you’ll be able to use the facilities (of which there were a ton!) without any wait, and then take your shuttle over before making the walk to the starting line. The longer you wait, the more congested everything will become.
The shuttles were lined up and I was able to board without any wait. The walk from the shuttles to the starting line was beautiful in the calm Cape Cod morning. There were again plenty of facilities on the way to the starting line.
This year’s race used a new pulse start system rather than a corral system where runners self-seeded based on their anticipated paces. Like any self-seeding race, I saw a few complaints about people jumping in corrals with hopes of being faster than they were, which caused some of the faster runners to have more obstacles to avoid on the narrow roads.
The race was kicked off by running legends that included Joan Benoit-Samuelson, Bill Rodgers, and Meb Keflezighi. The running legends added to the excitement in the air as the countdown was on to the start of the race.
As we took off through Woods Hole, the crowd support was immediately tangible. Having run many big races, I was blown away by the level of crowd support. There were thousands upon thousands of people outside cheering the runners on and having as much fun, if not more fun, than the runners!
The course was extremely breathtaking, taking runners through beachfront, as well as through the beautiful community of Falmouth. And with the temperatures getting hotter as the morning pushed on, the community showed its awesome support as dozens of people grabbed their hoses to shower off the runners as they went past.
And as if being sprayed while running wasn’t enough, the aid stations on the course were fantastic. There was water and Gatorade what felt like every mile, as well as plenty of facilities on the course which is something I don’t even see on many half marathon courses.
The seven mile course was primarily fast and flat, with the exception of a smaller hills in the beginning and end. And the finish line…what a finish! A downhill stretch overlooking the ocean with a huge American flag hanging above, and a giant screen displaying runners as they crossed made for a truly memorable end to a memorable race.
The only one downside was that while there were shuttles to get runners to the starting line, I was told by a volunteer that there were no such shuttles back to our cars from the finish line. It meant a 1.5 mile walk back after the race, but it did give me a great opportunity to cheer runners on along the way back!
The Falmouth Road Race is definitely a race that should be on your to-do list, it’s a race you will not regret!