Put a Little Spring in Your Stride -- Cohasset Rotary Road Race by the Sea 10K
There are a few things to count on in the Spring...the snow will melt, the first pitch will be thrown at Fenway Park and runners will come out of winter hibernation at one of the first races of the season, the 34th annual Cohasset Road Race by the Sea 10K.
Posted Tuesday, 19 January, 2010
Run or walk this terrifically scenic 10K on Sunday, April 11, 2010. It’s a time when weekend warriors begin to trade in the monotony of a treadmill for fresh air and the open road. What better way to begin your months of running outdoors than with a 10K that has just about everything a great race should: a small New England town, small field size (under 1800 runners); support and encouragement from a route lined with local residents and well wishers, and of course, the seaside course itself, which begins at one of the most photographed Town Commons in New England and then winds its way along the rocky coastline, offering views so beautiful they will be a welcome distraction to even the most focused runner.
The Cohasset Rotary Road Race by the Sea 10K is the quintessential New England hometown race. Road race organizers, town officials and residents alike hope people will come to run and then spend time after the race wandering through the town’s quaint shops and local eateries. Plan on it; it will be enjoyable.
“The entire town embraces the race and has a focus of making everyone feel welcome and at home,” says Race Director Brad Goodwin. “Our goal is to put the runner first and this idea is supported by all of our town officials, police, fire, residents, and local businesses. Everyone gets behind the event to ensure that our runners can focus on having a great race and a lot of fun.”
At least one participant felt so at home in Cohasset he decided to make it his permanent residence by the time he had run his third consecutive “Cohasset.” In 2004, when John McMahon, who lived in Brookline at the time, was searching this very website for an early season 10K he came upon “Cohasset Rotary Road Race by the Sea.” He said it was the name of the event itself that was one of the selling points.
“The thought of running by the sea made me think it might be a little like Falmouth. I had never been to Cohasset. When I first drove into town and saw the Common it instantly reminded me of the Town Green in my hometown of Bedford, New York. It’s a beautiful starting point for the race,” says McMahon. “And it was such a gorgeous run along the water...what a great way to cover a little over 6 miles. The residents cheer for you and play music and there are plenty of kids handing out water from makeshift water stations. I’ll always remember running up Forest Avenue, a challenging part of the race and hearing “Eye of the Tiger” blasting from someone’s radio.”
The view along the rocky coastline includes Minot Ledge Lighthouse and the signal which it uses to safely guide ships through the sea is 1-4-3. It's a “romantic" signal which is known to all locals and lighthouse enthusiasts throughout New England. This 1-4-3 flashing sequence is the same numerical count as the words "I love you." It’s a fitting term since there is so much to love about both the race itself and the town.
“By the third year my wife Angelica and I were here for the race we were pretty sure we wanted to make it our home, and that’s just what we did. This race is an annual tradition, a rite of spring that I would never want to miss,” said McMahon.
Annual Traditions Fit Runners to a Tee
The Cohasset Rotary Road Race by the Sea is 34 years old. As with most road races, participants look forward to collecting the race’s souvenir shirt year after year. What makes Cohasset a bit unique is that each year there is an entirely different, and much anticipated logo design and color. This year’s logo, which includes the iconic lighthouse, is one of the most distinctive of all the designs. Cohasset’s own Goodwin Graphics has been designing the logo for nearly all 34 races and has printed the shirts since the race’s inception.
The 100% heavy weight cotton T-shirts are guaranteed to the first 1,000 participants to check in. New this year--the race is planning to provide the option of short or long sleeved shirts on a limited first come, first served basis. This is incentive to check in early!
But of Course
The course is the true star of this event. It’s sometimes flat, sometimes a bit undulating or challenging. The view stays the same throughout; always breathtaking whether it's the historic small town, the gorgeous landscapes, or the idyllic view along Atlantic coastline. There’s even an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the Boston skyline.
There are timing mats at the start and the finish so runners will receive an 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 and other local merchants. These prizes are not your everyday race prizes. In years past age group winners have gone home with bikes, Tule racks, barbecues, gift certificates and the winner of each age group goes home with a stunning bouquet of flowers donated by Clifford’s Florist in Quincy, Massachusetts. These folks know how to provide awards and rewards.
After the finish, 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 will serve up hot dogs donated by Kinnealey Meats, as well as sliced oranges, bagels, water, etc.
It's a New England "picnic" in April.
New for 2010
Race Director Goodwin and his race committee work hard each year to
enhance the experience for the runners. Their goal is not to make the race bigger and bigger. The focus is to always see where it can be made better, and they insist that it keep that "hometown" feel.
Last year's race was a sellout and was capped at 1,500 runners. This year, a new cap was chosen for its historical significance, 1770, the year Cohasset was incorporated. The field size will likely remain at 1770 for years to come; a field size that will ensure a safe, fun event for all participants. So the message here again is to register early! In fact, do it now while you're thinking of it. Don't miss out on this one.
The biggest enhancement for 2010 will be use of the latest timing chip technology, the ChronoTrack Timing System. The D-tag chip comes attached to the bib and is simply removed and attached to your shoe on race day. It’s lighter and less intrusive than the conventional chip. This single change is designed to simplify and streamline the timing process for the athletes. The disposable D-Tag is a single-use tag, which will mean even shorter lines during registration before the race because the bib and chip are now together. It also means there will be no back up at the race finish line because there is nothing to return. Receptacles will be available just beyond the race finish line for those who wish to recycle their tags.
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, the Fran Coffey Memorial Fun Walk By the Sea. 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 on Atlantic Avenue at the local beach, which is aptly named Sandy Beach. The walk begins at 10:00 a.m. and proceeds benefit local charities. It's a great family event. Walkers can choose from the full 10K loop or a shorter distance that's just right if 6.2 miles isn’t in your comfort zone.
Doing Good While You Run and Walk
The Cohasset Rotary Club organizes this terrific race on a strictly volunteer basis. 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 tens of thousands of dollars to the charities supported by Rotary International, and also those specific to this local chapter. Donations include more than $500,000 in scholarships to Cohasset High graduates, and contributions to the renovation of the Boy Scout Camp, Squanto, as well as Fr. Bill's Place, and the humanitarian missions of Mir Pace International.
Register Now, Sellout Will Come Early
Brighten up your winter blues by registering now for the Cohasset Rotary Road Race by the Sea 10K! Just knowing you registered early and didn’t miss out just might put a little Spring in your step. Please visit www.roadracebythesea.com/ for additional information and registration.