2011 Falmouth Road Race

Wow, what a race! Who knew the Falmouth Road Race was such a party?!?

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Sunday morning, I met the New Balance folks bright and early at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel (where the media retreat was held) to board a special trolley that would take us to the start line of the race at Woods Hole. (The race provides buses from Falmouth to the start.)

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The trolley took back roads to Woods Hole, so we avoided traffic/road blocks and arrived with plenty of time to spare.

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Falmouth uses a wave-start system, so the first two waves kicked off at 10:00 AM. I was in the forth wave, so I didn’t start until about 10:10 AM.

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The Falmouth Road Race is 7 miles. The first three are narrow, hilly, and wind along tree-shaded roads.

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Just before you reach Mile 1, you run up a gradual incline along the coast by the Nodska Lighthouse.

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The first three miles of the race pretty much kicked my butt. The hills just never stopped!

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Just before Mile 3, I randomly saw Elizabeth on the course and ran with her for a little while. The race had nearly 12,000 runners, but somehow I spotted her!

The last four miles of the race are open and flat and go right along the Martha’s Vineyard Sound. (After dying on the hills, I tried to make up some time here.)

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The spectators at the race were unbelievable. In fact, I think they were THE BEST I’ve ever seen at a race. At some places, the crowds were three or four people deep and they were having the time of their lives! Pretty much every house along the route had people outside cheering, and many of them were in total party mode with music, big banners, and plenty of day drinking going on. There were also a ton of people with hoses spraying down hot runners. I also loved seeing all of the excited kids– many of them were giving high fives and handing out orange slices and even plastic leis to the runners. (I took advantage of the high fives and leis.)

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At the last half mile of the race, there’s a small, but steep hill. Once you’re over the crest, it’s all downhill to the finish. In 2004, when I first ran Falmouth, I walked this hill, but this year, I was ready for it. I powered up it and finished the race strong.

  • Mile 1: 8:55
  • Mile 2: 8:49
  • Mile 3: 8:59
  • Mile 4: 8:26
  • Mile 5: 8:17
  • Mile 6: 8:39
  • Mile 7: 8:25

Total: 01:01:09 (8:36)

I wanted to run the race in under an hour, but it just didn’t happen for me. But, for once, I really don’t care that I missed my goal. Honestly. Usually, I feel a little bit disappointed when I don’t achieve my goal, but this race was so fun, I’m happy to have simply participated in it. My face was plastered with the biggest smile for the entire thing. It actually felt tired from smiling so much when I finished.

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If you want to run a fun summertime race, I highly recommend the Falmouth Road Race. They have a lottery system, so you’ll need to register sometime next May, but just sign up for their mailing list to stay in the loop.

Do you set time goals for yourself at races? Are you disappointed when you don’t achieve it?

77 Comments

  1. Yay! 1:01 is pretty freaking awesome!!! Race sounds amazing and will be on my list for next summer. It seems like it would be like the Boilermaker; fans lined up throughout the entire race, hoses, ice pops, and just really great people but on the coast! Great job, Tina!

  2. Love to see Falmouth pop up on your blog–I vacationed there every summer in high school and it was the perfect cape location! Not too toursity and close to the big guys like MV & Chatham.

  3. I ran Falmouth too! My first year racing in 2009, the hill at the end was rough. This year, my third year racing, I was ready for it! I got a PB time of 1:14:40. Hope you are enjoying CC.

  4. So far, my only race goals have been to finish – whatever it takes to cross that line. Maybe someday I will worry about time, speed, etc. and yes, I would be disappointed if I DNF.

  5. Not achieving time goals is a bummer for me, especially since I’m a slower runner in general. I’m kind of over the “it was an accomplishment just to finish” thing. That being said, it still IS an accomplishment. That looks like a fun race…I know what you mean, great crowds make such a difference…and the scenery looks great too!

  6. I always set goals for any run I do, especially if I’ve run the same event before. I tend to feel disappointed when I don’t accomplish the goal I set for myself (something I try not to do), but it does motivate me ten-fold for the next time I run that race. Congrats! Great job!

  7. That sounds like a fun race!
    When I race, I normally have a couple goals in mind. Goal #1…PR. Goal #2…time I would be happy with depending on course, weather, my mood! Goal #3…to finish! Of course, no matter which goal I make, I always want to HAVE FUN!

  8. My goal each race is just to beat my previous time at that distance; or to not get swept off the course if I have never run that distance before. So far, I’m good!

  9. Congrats on your first Falmouth! I came in just two seconds after you at 1:01:11. I agree, the crowds at this race are the best. Hope you’ll be back next year!

  10. have been wanting to run falmouth for the past few years! it sounds so wonderful and a real massachusetts race 🙂

    your time is FANTASTIC! congrats! though it may be frustrating to not reach your goal, you ARE in training for a marathon! i keep reminding myself of that, too, if i have a bad day or don’t reach my goal time.

    xoxo

  11. We were there on the upstairs deck of the house we rented as you came over the last hill and headed toward the finish line. We had someone from our group who is seventy and she ran it and looked fabulous. My daughter (with a January knee replacement) ran it in 1:08:59. Her boyfriend 1:02:08. We cheered for you all. Congratulations on a great time! It is certainly a lot of fun to watch!

  12. Sounds like a blast! I loved reading your recap as I will be racing this weekend at the Falmouth Road Race plus working at the expo with Athletes for a Fit Planet and our family farm Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs. Will you be racing again this year. I’d love to meet you! Stop by and see me at the expo if you are racing again this year. : )

    Happy running!
    Sandra

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