So, as promised I’m back to give a full rundown of the Falmouth Road Race! (See Part 1 here.) I’ll get into more specifics, but to start, here are the positives/negatives about the race:
- Very well-organized. There were PLENTY of shuttles, and porta-potties everywhere you looked from the shuttle pick-up point in Falmouth to the starting area in Woods Hole.
- Tons of crowd support. I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever run a race with this many cheering fans crowding the roads, and it really does give you a HUGE adrenaline boost. I’m glad that the locals don’t mind 10,000+ runners taking over their city for a few days because all the support really does make a big difference.
- Beautiful course. It’s the Cape, so you know it’s going to be beautiful, but somehow, it still managed to surprise me.
Ok, now here are a few negatives:
- The course is CROWDED. Even with staggered start times, the group never thinned out along the course, so my mom and I were doing a ton of weaving, which did get tiring.
- You have to get to the shuttle pick-up point very early (my mom and I got there around 6:15 or so), but then you end up having HOURS to kill at the start in Woods Hole. Not a huge issue, but I do prefer races where you can sleep in a bit more, especially if it’s a 9 am start time.
- It’s an expensive race for 7 miles. Yes, it’s a great experience. But at least for me and my mom, if we’re going to spend good money on a race, we’d rather it be a half or full marathon.
Ok, now for the specifics of the day!
Because the course is point-to-point, my mom and I took the shuttle from the finish in Falmouth to Woods Hole bright and early. The good news about being there 3-ish hours before the race was that we were able to grab a couple of iced coffees at a little local bakery while we walked around, checking out the views along the water.
Finally, when it was getting closer to 9 am, my mom and I found ourselves a spot in the middle of the 9:00 min./mile corral (it was self-seeded based on the honor system). This part was not the most fun. It was already hot and sunny, and we were packed in with other runners.
But then, what REALLY annoyed me, was when a group of 4 or 5 girls jammed themselves in front of me and my mom a few minutes before the start, when there really was NO space. They then proceeded to talk loudly about their lives, take a bunch of group photos, and fix their hair (which was essentially right in the face of the runner they had jumped in front of). I’m not trying to be a stick in the mud, and I know running should be a fun, social activity, but they just really didn’t seem to follow any basic running etiquette, and it just rubbed me the wrong way.
From where my mom and I were in the pack of runners, it ended up taking 25-30 minutes for us to actually start after the first waves of runners began at 9 am. But FINALLY, we reached the start and were on our way.
The course had more rolling hills than we had expected with it being so close to the water, but luckily, my mom has been doing a lot of hills as part of her marathon training and I’ve joined her for a bunch of those workouts, so we had no problem coasting up and down the small hills, maintaining a pace right around 9 min/mile. Unfortunately, it seemed a lot of people were much less prepared for the hills, so getting around people taking walk breaks was a little challenging.
By this point, it was also really hot – 80s, humid, with absolutely ZERO seabreeze. Thankfully, many of the spectators were out in their front yards with hoses, spraying down runners as needed. My mom and I took advantage of this a bunch of times, and it made all the difference.
At mile 5, my mom encouraged me to take off. She wanted to slow the pace a bit, and I was feeling good so I decided to go for it for the last 2 miles.
Mile 6 split – 8:19, not too shabby for already having 5 sweaty miles under my belt! Mile 7 had a brutal hill into the finish, but the last street into the finish was INSANE – the crowd of spectators was at least 3 people deep, all of them cheering like it was the end of the Boston Marathon. I loved it, and ended up running my fastest split of the day, 8:00/mile, to finish. My final time ended up as 1:03, with an 8:55/mile pace, which I was pretty pleased with, given that I wasn’t really trying to race it, but rather just enjoy the whole experience.
The end was a little confusing. I saw tents along the beach, and automatically assumed that was where the post-race party was, so I hopped out of the finish chute. A few minutes later, my mom called me, trying to figure out where I was. Well after a lot of confusion, I finally realized I was supposed to stay in the finisher chute, and walk about another half mile around a corner – that’s where all the food, porta-potties, and awards were! It didn’t help that by this point, the heat had really caught up to me and I desperately wanted to sit down. But eventually, I caught up to my mom and found out she had only finished a minute behind me! We gladly grabbed food from the awesome spread they had laid out for runners – bananas, bagels, Cape Cod potato chips, cranberry juice, chia bars, and my personal fave – Yasso frozen Greek Yogurt bars.
We also got to see the awards ceremony, where our new buddy Meb got first in the Masters division (for ages 40+), and tenth overall. Woo, Meb! A local woman who is a regular at the Good Times Series 5k my mom and I have been running this summer took first place in the Masters for the women, so that was pretty cool too.
After hanging out for a bit, my mom and I headed out to check out the rest of Falmouth and grab some lunch. We ate outside at a cute little Mexican restaurant that had been taken over by sweaty runners! After seeing some of the other runners enjoying some delicious looking drinks, I decided to order a margarita! It was totally delicious, but I’m not sure my stomach really appreciated tequila after the 7-mile run. 😉
*Note: I realized I made a mistake in my Part 1 post of the Falmouth Road Race – with the detailed results chart, I was passed by 10 runners during the last mile of the race (not the whole thing), and I passed 246 runners during that last mile.
Have a great day!