- Road Race
The New Balance Falmouth Road Race is a must-do, bucket list race! I may be a little biased in my review (I worked for the race for 10+ years) but it’s definitely one of the prettiest courses in the country. Honestly, who wouldn’t want to run 7 miles along the beach on Cape Cod in August?!
Registration: If you want to run Falmouth, you must plan ahead. Registration is in early May. Falmouth taxpayers get automatic entries into the race (as long as they follow registration guidelines and submit their entry on time) and there is a lottery for everyone else. They also have a bunch of charity numbers each year if you don’t get in.
Expo: Decent size expo with a variety of vendors. Big New Balance booth with race gear for sale. The race schedules guest speakers autograph signings, and local celebrities handing out bib numbers.
Swag: If you’re looking the free race shirt, you won’t find it here. Instead Falmouth is famous for their mugs, which I LOVE along with a race magazine, race poster and a cute, reusable Falmouth Road Race tote bag.
Parking/Start Line: Parking can be kind of a pain in the butt but if you plan ahead and arrive early, there are plenty of places you can park. There are buses that take you to the start line (it’s a point to point course). The downside: the start is in Woods Hole, a small town with very narrow streets. The buses take you down early so there is a lot of waiting around time. Find a shady spot to sit and bring snacks. In 2014 the corrals changed so runners seed themselves based on predicted pace. I see pluses and negatives to this but apparently it went well because they brought it back in 2015! Also this year it was hard to hear the announcer at the start because of a helicopter hovering over Woods Hole.
Bathrooms: So many porta potties! The closer to the race, the longer the lines. If you’re lucky enough to earn a seeded number, there are a number of bathrooms in your corral with little to no lines.
Elites: There is a total purse of $102,000 so the race attracts many elite athletes. Many big names have run in Falmouth. Elite athletes stay in host family homes which is a fun and exciting opportunity for the community.
Course: I just love this course! The course starts in Woods Hole and takes you along the water to Falmouth Heights. Right after you cross the start line, you go over a bridge, which I am very thankful they covered—it used to be graded with holes so you could see the water beneath. So scary! The first mile brings you to Nobska Lighthouse—it’s beautiful and then through the shady, rolling hills. Mile 3 you are along Surf Drive Beach, my favorite part of the course but also can be tough. It’s flat, totally open, no shade and potentially very windy. You make s turn through some neighborhoods, around the harbor, and pass the Falmouth Yacht Club with a half mile to go. Then the infamous hill! It can be a doozy this late in the race! You go up, plateau for a bit the downhill to the finish where there is a giant American flag flying overhead.
Weather: The race is in August on Cape Cod so you can expect it to be hot and humid. There are numerous water stops along the course and so many spectators with hoses to keep runners cool.
Food: “Will run for hot dogs!” Falmouth is famous for the finish line hot dogs. Not my first craving when I cross the finish line but there are also Yasso frozen yogurt bars (I was bummed the only flavor this year was Mint Chocolate Chip—where’s the fruity flavors?!), bananas, apples, and various other chips/pretzels/snacks.
You can read my 2015 Falmouth Road Race Recap on my personal blog Run Jen Run: