Monday, August 12, 2013

Whales, Dolphins and Seals, oh my!: Falmouth Road Race (8/11/13)

Approaching the last big hill
Photo by Amie Gauthier

BIG 20

Race: Falmouth Road Race
Distance: 7 miles
Location: Falmouth, MA
Goal Time: 49:00
Actual Time: 48:16

I put together the Big 20; 20 non-marathons I want to run in my life.  Massachusetts has probably the most famous marathon.  But it also has one of the large non-marathon races - Falmouth Road Race.

The Race starts in the Falmouth village of Wood's Hole is home to Marine Biological Laboratory.  The research and teaching facility has been a top level research center since its founding in 1988.  Students and researchers study, among other things, my favorite - aquatic mammals.

Blue Whales: Mile 0 - 2.5

I, along with Dan, Lino and Scott, started in the second corral.  At many races you spend the first half mile weaving through people who aren't going the speed you want to go.  I decided even before the race started to not get involved in the bobbing and weaving.  Dan and I started out easy while Scott and Lino took off...

It was refreshing to climb the beautiful hill at Nobska Lighthouse early in the race.  The Cape Cod Marathon runs up the hill at Mile 22 and it's when you start to jump off into the tough stages.

After we came down the hill, I caught up with Scott and was going to run behind him for a little bit.  But soon he had to go left to avoid someone; and I had to go right.  As I went right, I passed him.  Oh well, just keep running.

Bottlenose Dolphins: Mile 2.5 - 5

The middle third of the race is beautiful as it stretches down the beach and past the point where Chris Spinney mistakenly told me the wind ended at the Marathon.  I got a high-five from Jason who was cheering.

Harbor Seals: Mile 5 - 7

I still felt good when we turned off the beach and back toward town.  I got my last bit of shade around mile 5.   At mile 5 and a half I was high fiving a row of children when one of them moved weird to and got his face right in the line.  Yep, I smacked some random kid right across the face.  I just told myself: don't look back; just keep running.

The end of the race is a beautiful downhill with the beach stretching out in front of you.  But to get to the downhill, you have to run up what Ruthanne would call: a snotty little hill.  Having climbed that hill in the Cape Cod Marathon I knew it wasn't a real bad hill.  But it is in the first 10% of the marathon and the last 95% of the Falmouth Road Race.  While my head knew it wasn't hard, my legs begged to differ.  Soon enough,  I was pulling off to the right to get out of people's way if they wanted to attack the hill.

I sprinted down the hill and finished 45 seconds below my goal.  (200th - Age Group; 379th - overall).

Another of the Big 20 finished! We celebrated at the Silver Shores Shanty with a Shipyard Monkey Fist IPA.

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