The New Balance Falmouth Road Race is a must run event! Read this race report from competitive runner and coach Joe Muldowney to find out what it’s all about.
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NEW BALANCE FALMOUTH ROAD RACE SCORES
OVERALL: 5 STARS
DIFFICULTY: 2 STARS
LOCATION: 5 STARS
FACILITIES: 4 STARS
There are many major road races from which to choose from these days. However, few are as truly unique as the New Balance Falmouth Road Race.
The Falmouth Road Race, which features a distance of 7-miles (11 Km), began over 40 years ago.
In 1972, a group of 92 runners organised a race that began at the Captain Kidd Tavern and went on to finish at the Brothers Four Tavern in Falmouth Heights. The distance of around seven miles was given the name “The Woods Hole-Falmouth ‘Marathon”.
Tommy Leonard, a Boston bartender, and an avid follower of long distance running, then went on to organise the first “official” Falmouth Road Race in 1973. The first race drew a mere 93 participants. This year’s race will draw over 11,000 runners.
New Balance Falmouth Road Race takes place on Cape Cod. In August, this is a beautiful place, and few courses are as scenic as Falmouth.
The race is seven miles long, point-to-point and begins in front of the Woods Hole Community Center, near the drawbridge on Water Street.
The first three miles are narrow, hilly, winding tree-shaded roads, while the last four miles are open on the flat right next to Martha’s Vineyard Sound.
A small steep hill leads to the last half-mile of the race but when you crest the hill, you have a fast downhill finish. There are great views of the Atlantic Ocean on your right.
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Weather conditions may vary, as it can get hot and humid on Cape Cod in August. Fortunately there is plenty of shade along the route.
When I ran the Falmouth Road Race, I found it to be, in the tradition of the Boston Marathon. It is a great New England event which has a special atmosphere due to the huge support of the spectators.
Spectators, many with beverages in hand, cheer runners at the start, and all along the course. The final half mile to the finish is enough to give the most frequent runner a case of the goose bumps. Thousands of spectators cheer wildly for each and every runner, from the elites to the joggers.
The post-race picnic is vast, and is a real summertime event.
The highlight for me is the atmosphere that the folk in New England create. They have a unique appreciation of runners and the dedication and sacrifices they make for their sport.
About Joe Muldowney
Joe Muldowney is an accomplished runner who has been involved in competitive long distance running for 40 years. His vast experience has enabled him to coach several running teams and he now provides a one-on-one coaching service.
During his running career he has run 54 marathons, 51 of which have been under 3 hours. His best marathon time is 2:22:54, and, at age 57, he ran the 2010 Philadelphia Marathon in a time of 2:58:56. The Boston Marathon is a particular favourite – he has completed this an impressive 16 times. Marathons aside, he has run more than 1000 road races, and logged over 123,000 miles.
Joe is also the author of the book “Running Shorts: A Collection of Stories and Advice for Anyone Who Has Ever Laced Up a Pair of Running Shoes” and his latest book is, “Personal Best.”
To find out more about Joe Muldwoney, you can visit his blog.