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home > races/results > usa: massachusetts > the 32nd annual cape cod marathon and new balance marathon relay - classic new england beauty continues

The 32nd Annual Cape Cod Marathon and New Balance Marathon Relay - Classic New England Beauty Continues
Welcome to the Dunkin' Donuts Cape Cod Marathon and New Balance Marathon Relay, set for Sunday, October 25, 2009. This picturesque course loops around the historic town of Falmouth and offers some of the most stunning sights that Cape Cod has to offer.

The 32nd Annual Cape Cod Marathon and New Balance Marathon Relay - Classic New England Beauty Continues

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By Noreen Cohen
Posted Tuesday, 19 May, 2009

Join the excitement this fall for a signature Cape Cod running tradition that is sure to please. Begun in 1978, hosted and meticulously organized by the Falmouth Track Club, the Cape Cod Marathon caters to runners who expect quality—and stunning scenery. For over thirty years, runners of all ages and abilities from all over the world have been competing in this race, including many first time marathoners. Just what makes it so special? How about a gem of a course for starters. This certified and challenging marathon course is brimming with an abundance of quintessential New England autumn beauty.

Cape Cod has always conjured up images of sandy beaches, lighthouses, sea captains’ homes, scenic fishing villages, tidal flats and tales of mooncussers from days gone by. Falmouth is just the place to soak up the charm of a New England paradise, given that it offers more miles of coastline than any other Cape Cod town. Fine harbors and wonderful beaches dot the landscape. The southern shoreline borders Vineyard Sound and the western side overlooks Buzzards Bay.

And if have you ever wished that you could enjoy Cape Cod without the crowds, the Dunkin’ Donuts Cape Cod Marathon is the perfect time to do just that. As autumn falls over New England, you’ll find that the summer crowds have left and traffic is flowing easily. An autumn visit also means enjoyment of a whole new set of seasonal pleasures. New England’s famed autumn color reaches the Cape in mid October just in time for the race. In addition to the leaves and sea grasses with changing hues, you will delight in the spectacle of acres of cranberry bogs ripening from deep green to crimson red.

Autumn on the Cape also means terrific marathon weather! On the whole the temperature on Cape Cod is moderate. Isolation from the land mass of New England and enclosure by ocean waters create both warming effects during winter and cooling effects in summer. The average temperature for October is 44 to 59 degrees. This great running weather is also ideal for a host of recreational activities the whole family will enjoy. Plan to stay the weekend or longer to take advantage of this gorgeous time of the year on Cape Cod.

Course Highlights
The first ten miles are relatively flat with an exception of one short hill at 3 miles; it climbs for 1.5 miles about 70 feet to the highest elevation (about 100 feet above sea level). As it winds through Woods Hole, it picks up the first part of the Falmouth Road Race course. Save some energy for the hills! This eight mile stretch consists of a combination of non-stop rolling hills. The course flattens out again for the last 3 miles along Vineyard Sound toward the finish line at Falmouth Center.

Runners will appreciate a unique view of every section of Falmouth. It starts at the historic Falmouth Village Green, passes the Falmouth Inner Harbor, and runs along magnificent Nantucket Sound with vistas of Falmouth Heights and Menauhant. It passes Green Pond and goes through the rustic wooded areas of Davisville and past Falmouth’s famed cranberry bogs in Hatchville. The race then turns west towards the Buzzards Bay villages of West Falmouth and Sippewissett, and south through the famous scientific community of Woods Hole.

Winding through Woods Hole, the race returns to the beaches of the Sound with a spectacular turnaround, past the beautiful Nobska Lighthouse and along the beaches of Surf Drive, and back through the streets of downtown Falmouth to finish at the Village Green. Now in its third decade, the Cape Cod Marathon was rated by Runner’s World Magazine as one of the ten “Most Scenic” marathons in America.

It comes as no surprise that a race with this kind of longevity has excellent organization behind it. This is certainly evident by the scores of volunteers who are on the scene and behind the scenes to ensure a memorable and enjoyable experience for all. You can count on them to have all the important race details covered including water and Cytomax stops about every 2.5 miles, all miles and 5K intervals are marked, and there is excellent course signage. Medical aid is available along the course and the finish.

Runners can also look forward to music provided by bands and DJ’s along the way-and a possible Elvis sighting! With all that terrific scenery, there is no shortage of pleasant diversions and replenishment that will keep you going strong until the finish line. The “ChampionChip” system will be used for timing and scoring. Massage therapists and medics will be on hand following the race to take the edge off post race kinks.

The Annual New Balance Marathon Relay
There are so many great ways to enjoy this race. If you are looking to compete and also enjoy the camaraderie a team offers, the New Balance Relay is for you! Relay teams are comprised of a variety of participants: competitive running clubs, local organizations and corporate running teams. Five-leg relay teams of 2 to 5 members run simultaneously with the marathon. Legs range from 3.05 to 6.15 miles. Trophies are awarded to single sex and mixed teams overall and by age groups. There is also a corporate challenge for single sex and mixed teams.

Community Support
It is no secret that the success of this race is due in part to the widespread outpouring of community support. Kudos go to Cape Cod Marathon Race Director Courtney Bird for all his tireless efforts over the years to establish the kind of community support and level of organization that makes it all possible. The result is an amazing volunteer effort. Nearly 800 volunteers, including medical teams, radio amateurs, Civil Air Patrol, police, students, and scores of other businesses and local organizations, rally around this popular event making it the highlight of the year for runners, as well as a highlight for the town of Falmouth.

Since 1988, some of the proceeds have been donated to the Falmouth Service Center, Around the Table, and the Mashpee Booster Club. Additionally, in 2007, donations were made to the Penikese Island School, the Cape Cod Free Clinic, the Friends of Fairwinds Clubhouse, Wings for Falmouth Families, the Falmouth Chorale and The Falmouth Town Band, to name just a few. Year 2008 donations to community organizations totaled
more than $21,000.

For additional information about volunteering, visit the Volunteer Sign-up Page on the race website.

Post Race Celebration and Awards
Get ready for a fantastic time basking in the glory of your marathon victory. A great New England race deserves a great post-race celebration. Take advantage of a soothing massage. Then share your race story with friends old and new as you enjoy an award winning free post race meal with pasta, traditional clam chowder, salad, fruit juices and soft drinks. Family and friends are welcome to get in on the fun and enjoy a delicious meal for a nominal charge. The proceeds benefit the Mashpee Track Club.

An awards ceremony will begin at 2:30 at the Lawrence School auditorium. Don’t miss the famous New England Runner post-race party at the Falmouth Inn beginning at 3:30, and featuring the highly danceable music of the BaHa Brothers, and delicious libation provided by Offshore Ale Company of Martha’s Vineyard.

A prize purse of $12,600.00 will be distributed to the top marathon finishers, supplemented by trophies and merchandize prizes in the following categories: Overall winners, Open 14-39, Master 40-49, Senior 50-59, Veterans 60-69 and Grand Veterans 70 and older. Additionally, merchandize prizes will be awarded randomly at the finish to other participants. See the website for more information about prize money and awards.

Winners for 2008: Heidi Westerling 27, of Acworth, New Hampshire (2:50:45), top female winner for an incredible four straight years; and Mike Fisher 24, first time marathoner from Brookline, Massachusetts (2:33:12). In the relay, the New England Runner All Stars came out on top with a time of 2:37:02.

The men’s course record was set in 1986 by Randy Thomas at 2:17:35. Cathy Schiro O’Brien set the female record in 1987 with 2:37:06. John Lyon set the wheelchair division mark in 1996 at 2:15:36.

What Makes Cape Cod so Special?
For generations people have flocked to the Cape and have fallen in love with it. This split of land thrust into the Atlantic like a sandy arm lies just south of Boston, and it is the premiere vacation resort area of New England. It is easy to get to, and is within a day’s travel from New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Washington, D.C., and even Canada.

Yes, it is accessible, and there is much that makes it so special and captivating. Maybe it’s the quality of light, clear and bright as it falls on the dunes. Or perhaps it is because the area appeals to nature lovers; a paradise of dunes, salt marshes and ocean beach with the sound of laughing gulls and the cackling call of the kingfisher. Whatever the reason, you owe it to yourself to spend some time here. The Dunkin’ Donuts Cape Cod Marathon is the perfect fall weekend getaway race.

The official lodging partner of the Cape Cod Marathon is The Falmouth Inn. For information call 508-540-2500 or 800-255-4157 (outside MA). Be sure to mention that you are participating in the marathon or relay. The inn is one mile east of from the start/finish area through the center of town. For a list of other places to stay in Falmouth, visit the race website at

Save the date! Register early! The field will be limited to the first 1,200 marathoners. Both the marathon and the relay fill up quickly. Please check the website for details.



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