I ran the Falmouth Road Race on Sunday and, as expected, I had a grand old time. In fact, when I crossed the finish line, I said to myself (in my head – I’m not a total creep): “Yep, still my favorite race.”
Falmouth is an experience. And if you’re a runner, I highly recommend that you put this race on your bucket list. I promise it will not disappoint. A huge THANK YOU to Health Warrior for providing me with a bib. I can’t express enough how thankful I am to run my 4th Falmouth Road Race.
Since we stayed on the Cape last week, Mal, Quinn, and I headed into Falmouth on Friday morning to pick up my bib and check out the race expo.
Number pick-up was a breeze and the expo was excellent. I wish I had taken a photo, but it was really rockin’ with all sorts of great vendors and running-related opportunities.
We headed home from our vacation on Saturday morning, so I woke up bright and early on Sunday to drive back down to Falmouth for the race. I live about an hour away and wasn’t sure how things would go with getting bused to the start line in Woods Hole, so I gave myself about 1:45 to get there– just in case finding parking was tricky or the lines for the buses were super long.
That extra 45 minutes ended up being more than enough time. Parking was a little nuts at the bus drop-off area, but I found a lot nearby, which was a quick walk away. FYI: I parked at the John Wesley United Methodist Church at 270 Gifford Street. The folks there were super nice and even had water, bananas, and oranges for runners when we picked up our cars after the race!
The church lot was about a 5-minute walk from Lawrence School (113 Lakeview Avenue) where the buses took you to the start. I arrived just after 7:00 AM and there were lines everywhere! (I kept singing: “Lines, lines, everywhere a line. Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind”… in my head, of course.) There were two lonnggggg lines for the buses and one long one for the porta-potties, so immediately jumped in to wait. FYI: There were plenty of porta-potties at the start in Woods Hole with much shorter lines, so, next time, I’ll probably just hop on the bus and skip the porta-potty line.
The porta-potty line actually took awhile, so I was kind of worried that I would miss the “final” bus at 7:45 AM, but there were still TONS of people waiting to get bused to Woods Hole at that time. Basically, the last bus isn’t really the last bus, but I would still aim to be on it.
I arrived at Woods Hole at about 8:15 AM, so I had a solid 45 minutes until the race started. I hit the porta-potties again (why not?), found my way to the start line, and waited.
Ready to run!
The race organizers used a “pulse start” to spread out runners, which meant it took my group (I lined up with the 9 minute pace runners) about 15 minutes to cross over the start line after the gun went off.
The first mile of the race winds around Nobska Lighthouse, which was so pretty, and continues along a number of hilly, but shaded (!) roads. I started out slow and steady with my pace and enjoyed the race experience.
- Mile 1: 8:58
- Mile 2: 9:15
Around mile 3 or so, the course flattened out along Martha’s Vineyard Sound, and I was feeling pretty good at this point. I picked up the pace a bit, but I was definitely feeling the heat. The sun was blazing down, and I really wished I had worn a hat (or more sunblock). I took advantage of the water stations and spectators spraying hoses along the route to keep cool.
- Mile 3: 9:12
- Mile 4: 9:18
The next couple of miles were PACKED with spectators. Everyone was having a great time and there was so much energy, I just naturally picked up my pace. I was cruising along, but I knew there was a massive (and quite infamous) hill right before the finish line, so I saved some energy.
- Mile 5: 8:14
- Mile 6: 8:50
I lost a little of my pep on the final mile (probably because of that huge hill), but I finished strong and sprinted from the top of the hill to the finish line!
- Mile 7: 9:00
Total time: 1:03:33 (9:05)
After the race, there was all sorts of food, vendors, and entertainment for runners and their families to enjoy.
I grabbed some water and a couple of snacks before I hit the road home.
Once again, the Falmouth Road Race did not disappoint. I’m so happy for the opportunity to run it again. THANK YOU, Health Warrior!!