The 35th Annual Cohasset Road Race By-the-Sea—Great Race, Beautiful Place
This is one of the oldest of New England’s 10Ks , and certainly one of the most scenic courses anywhere; down by the sea in the historic town of Cohasset. Yes, for 35 years the Cohasset Rotary Road Race by-the-Sea 10K has stayed it’s Course
Posted Wednesday, 23 March, 2011
In the world of road races it seems there are few local races left that have maintained that small “hometown” feel, and Cohasset Rotary Road Race by-the-Sea is among them. It will run on Sunday, April 3, 2011 in Cohasset, Massachusetts. It is very much the same race it was 35 years ago. What started out as a competition among local runners is now a 1,770-person race with everyone from the most serious and experienced running club member to the beginning weekend warrior who is pushing himself or herself to the limit. The race uses the latest D tag technology and still maintains a starting line comprised of a strip of white flour that is poured in front of the timing start mat (tradition). A ship’s bell still serves as the starting “gun” and each year participants anticipate the beautiful custom T-shirt design which has changed every year for more than three decades. It is a keeper!
“The Cohasset Rotary and the Race Committee are very careful to maintain the comfortable, casual feel of this race,” says Rich Fitzpatrick, president of the Cohasset Rotary. “Of course there are those from out of town who ask why we don’t have more health food choices at the finish area, but the hot dogs and soda have been around a long time (more tradition), and remain the favorite sustenance among our finish line offerings”
The race could grow if wave starts were added; however, the Race Committee maintains that bigger is not always better. Last year the field size was capped at 1770, the year in which the town of Cohasset was incorporated, and it sold out. There is no intention to increase this number in the future, though it will easily sell out again. It’s a good number that is manageable and it makes it more fun for the participants.
There are those who have been involved with the race for decades, such as Wayne Sawchuck, Rotarian and owner of Colospace, a long-time sponsor. “What makes this race special are not the bells and whistles, it’s very simple, we have one of the most beautiful 10K courses in New England, souvenir T-shirts that people look forward to getting every year, and a townspeople that are 100% supportive of the participants who come to spend a Sunday afternoon in their hometown.”
All those participating are encouraged to register on-line as soon as possible, the race is expected to sell out quickly and nearly a thousand are registered so far.
Cohasset is a small coastal town on the South Shore of Massachusetts. If you’re looking for a destination race there is much to entice you to come and stay for the weekend. Local hotels, a village with great restaurants and gift and clothing stores and a coastline with a million dollar view all make the short drive south of Boston worthwhile.
The race also has a walk component. The Fran Coffey Memorial Walk takes place on the same day as the race and starts and ends at Cohasset’s Sandy Beach. The 10K begins and ends at the quintessential New England Cohasset Common.
The Walk begins at 10 a.m. and the 10K begins at 1 p.m. allowing plenty of time for runners to get to Cohasset (and maybe participate in both).
Annual Traditions Fit Runners to a Tee
The Cohasset Rotary Road Race by the Sea has a lot of tradition, as you might expect from a race is 35 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. 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 is that the race is planning to have available the option of short or long sleeved shirts on a limited first come, first served basis, a big incentive to check in EARLY.
Goodwin Graphics is just one of several sponsors who have supported this race for decades.
But of Course
The course is the true star of this event. It’s sometimes flat, sometimes a bit undulating with a fair sized hill on Forest Avenue. 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. 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 have an accurate chip time. The brief awards ceremony will be hosted by Cohasset’s own Anthony Everett, WCVB-TV anchor and past participant of the Cohasset Road Race. Everett will help congratulate the top finishers, which includes prize money for the male and female winners. 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, and gift certificates of all types. And the winner of each age group goes home with a stunning bouquet of flowers donated by Clifford’s Florist in Quincy, Mass.
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 serve up hot dogs donated by Kinnealey Meats, as well as sliced oranges, bagels, water, etc. It's a New England "picnic" in April.
The biggest enhancement of 2010 was the use of 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 all athletes. The disposable D-Tag is a single-use tag and it means short lines during registration before the race, and because the bib and chip are now together it also means no backup at the race finish because there is nothing to return. Receptacles will be available just beyond the race finish line for those who wish to recycle their bib or chip.
The Rotary Road Race Committee works hard each year to enhance the experience for the runners. Their goal is to keep the race at its manageable size and concentrate on the quality of the experience. The focus is to always see where it can be made better and to keep that "hometown" feel.
The field size will remain constant for years to come to ensure a safe, fun event for all participants. So the message here is to register EARLY. In fact, do it now while you're thinking of it. Don't miss out.
Walk, 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 at the local beach, aptly named Sandy Beach on Atlantic Avenue. It begins at 10 a.m. and proceeds benefit local charities. It's a great family event. You can choose from the full 10K loop or a shorter distance 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, an all-volunteer affair. 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 including more than $500,000 in scholarships to Cohasset High graduates. They have contributed to the renovation of the Boy Scout Camp, Squanto, for example, and Fr. Bill's Place and the humanitarian missions of Mir Pace International.
Register Now, and be a Part of it All
Registering NOW for the Cohasset Rotary Road Race by the Sea 10K. The field is already half full, and knowing you will be participating in this beautiful and challenging race just might put a little more spring in your step. Please visit www.roadracebythesea.com/ for additional information and registration.