Cohasset Rotary Road Race by the Sea 10K...1-4-3
This year marks the 33rd annual Cohasset Road Race by the Sea 10K. It’s perhaps the first race of the spring running season and should be on everyone’s calendar. The date is Sunday, April 5th and if you’ve never been to Cohasset, Mass. it’s worth the trip.
Posted Monday, 16 February, 2009
If you stand on the rocky coastline of Cohasset, Massachusetts you will see a lighthouse in the distance. It’s called Minot Ledge Lighthouse. It safely guides ships through the sea with the signal 1-4-3. This flashing sequence has endeared itself to many a local resident and lighthouse enthusiast for it is the same numerical count as the words “I love you,” a phrase so fitting for this town--and its Cohasset Rotary Road Race by the Sea 10K--because there is so much to love about both.
Cohasset is a small, seaside town on the south shore of Boston. The 10k loop starts and finishes at the Cohasset Common. The course is sometimes flat, sometimes a bit challenging, but the view stays the same throughout…always breathtaking whether it’s the historic small town, the gorgeous landscapes, or the seemingly never ending view along Atlantic coastline. On this spectacular stretch of the south shore you can even catch a glimpse of the Boston skyline in the distance.
“It’s truly one of the most beautiful 10K courses in New England,” says Brad Goodwin, Race Director. “And when you combine that with the warm welcome that the runners get from the race volunteers and residents, it makes for an unforgettable experience.”
Cohasset Road Race by the Sea is the quintessential New England hometown race in early spring. The 10K course is lined with families shouting and cheering for the participants. Young and old clap as familiar faces go by and they clap just as loudly for brand new “friends” who have traveled to the South Shore for the day…and there are many. Last year runners came from almost every state in the union. Throughout the years there have been some big name runners and triathletes mixed in among the weekend warriors including Dave McGillivray, the race director of that other April race…the BAA Boston Marathon. McGillivray has run this course several times, along with many other Boston running heroes. Even Cohasset’s own Anthony Everett, a familiar face from WCVB Channel 5, has shown his competitive spirit on this undulating course.
After finishing, all are treated to live music by a fantastic local group, the Armstrong Brothers Band. As runners enjoy the entertainment and check out their times on the results board, Rotary volunteers serve up a New England “picnic”, 10K style at the South Shore Community Center where the finish/post race festivities take place. Sustenance includes sliced oranges, bagels, water and hot dogs donated by Kinnealy Meat. In fact, some runners have even been quoted as saying they actually run because of the promise of that well deserved hot dog, of which there are hundreds prepared and served by the Rotarians themselves. Somehow they taste that much better when you’ve earned the right to indulge a little.
This race is about the friendly (and maybe sometimes fierce) competition among friends and family; and those doing it for the personal challenge; the views; the great prizes, and the camaraderie. And of course, who could forget the t-shirt. The raison d’être for so many runners. Each year the new design and keepsake long-sleeved shirt has been designed and screen printed by Ron Goodwin of Goodwin Graphics, a Cohasset based company. With all the local residents and companies that support this event, it’s truly a hometown affair.
New for 2009
Cohasset must be doing something right. This race has been around for more than three decades and began at a time when the sport as we know it was in its infancy. However, Race Director Brad Goodwin does not rest on his laurels. Each year he and his dedicated race committee work hard to enhance the experience for the runners. Their goal is not to make the race that much bigger, but to continue to improve. The focus is to always see where it can be made better.
New this year, Granite State Race Services will have timing mats at the start AND the finish so runners will have a more accurate chip time. There is also prize money for top male and female finishers. And as always, there are incredible prizes donated by Curtis Liquors in Cohasset. These prizes are not your everyday race prizes. In years past age group winners have gone home with bikes, Tule racks, barbeques, gift certificates and so much more. In fact, most age group winners get a beautiful bouquet from Clifford's Florists in Quincy—another long time supporter of the race. All the great gifts make it seem like Christmas in April at the Awards Ceremony.
Also new this year is the race “cap” of 1,500 runners. This will ensure a safe, fun event for all the participants. So the message here is to register EARLY. In fact, do it now while you’re thinking of it. Don’t miss out. The first sign of a crocus will be here before you know it.
Take Your Time, Enjoy the View
If running is not your thing, then this race has a little surprise for you, there’s also a walk. It’s a “fun” walk. There are no prizes or recognition for being first, your reward is that you get to enjoy the same great course as the runners. The Walk begins and ends at the local beach, aptly named, Sandy Beach on Atlantic Avenue. It begins at 10:00 a.m. It’s a great family event. You can choose from the full 10K loop or a shorter distance that’s just right if 6.2 miles isn’t your thing.
The Walk proceeds benefit the Bishop Ruocco House for Girls, Lakeville, Mass. and People In Need, Roxbury, Mass.
Doing Good While You Run and Walk
For 33 years the Cohasset Rotary Club has voluntarily orchestrated and produced this amazing race. There is no paid race director and virtually everyone you come in contact with on race day is volunteering their time. It’s a true reflection of the Rotary International motto, “Service above self.” Unlike other “charity” events, this event gives back in a very quiet, low key manner, but their contribution to charities locally and internationally is enormous. Over the years Cohasset Road Race by the Sea has donated thousands of dollars to the charities supported by Rotary International and those specific to this local chapter. Some of the projects that Cohasset Rotary has been involved with include those that benefit: Water wells for public schools in the Philippines; Rotary International Polio Project; Boston Aids Walk; Father Bill’s Place; American Cancer Society; American Red Cross and the Cub Scouts just to name a few.
The Cohasset Rotary Road Race by the Sea is one of the first outstanding races on the spring calendar. It’ll be time to celebrate the fact that all the New England snow has melted and gone away (wishful thinking?).
So come to Cohasset on April 5th and learn the true meaning of why that 1-4-3 beacon shining from the lighthouse is so appropriate. Register early at www.roadracebythesea.com and enjoy the fun, camaraderie and support.