Cohasset Road Race by the Sea Presented by the Rotary Club of Cohasset
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 enjoy one of the season’s first events, the 36th annual Cohasset Road Race by the Sea. It runs Sunday, April 1, 2012; yes, April Fool's Day--and that's no joke.
Posted Tuesday, 21 February, 2012
The course is the true star of this event with a beautiful view helping runners face the challenging hills that are flanked by some of the more forgiving flat parts of the course. The view stays the same throughout...always breathtaking whether it's the quaintness of the small town, the gorgeous landscapes, or the seemingly never ending ocean views along Atlantic coastline. There’s even an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the Boston skyline.
What started out more than three decades ago as a friendly competition among a few hundred runners is now a 1,770-person race, a number that represents the year in which Cohasset was incorporated. The field includes competitive running clubs and weekend warriors. The race uses the latest D tag technology yet still maintains a starting line comprised of a strip of white flour, just as it was done well before the addition of the electronic timing mat. A ship’s bell still serves as the starting “gun.” And the t-shirts have remained long-sleeved, 100% cotton tees that runners look forward to year after year.
“The Cohasset Rotary is very proud of the fact that this race is very much the same one it was 35 years ago,” says Rich Fitzpatrick, Race Committee member. “We still serve hot dogs at our finish, and we are grateful to have most of the same sponsors we’ve had since year one. Our goal is still to make everyone feel like this is THEIR race, no matter where they call home.”
There are those who have been involved with the race for decades, such as Wayne Sawchuck, President of Rotary Club of Cohasset 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 and a townspeople that are 100% supportive of the event.” Visit www.roadracebythesea.com
At least one participant felt so at home at this “hometown” race that he decided to move to 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 numerous 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 time my wife, Angelica, and I came 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,” continued McMahon.
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.
WALK, DON’T RUN
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 10:00 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.
ANNUAL TRADITIONS FIT RUNNERS TO A TEE
The Cohasset Rotary Road Race by the Sea is 36 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 design and color. The logo “unveiling” is something all runners anticipate as the race gets closer. Cohasset’s own Goodwin Graphics has been designing the logo for nearly all 36 races and has printed the shirts since the race’s inception.
T shirts are guaranteed to the first 1,000 participants to check in.
OK..THERE ARE A FEW BELLS AND WHISTLES
There is 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, and gift certificates. 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 musical 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.
DO GOOD WHILE FEELING GOOD
The Cohasset Rotary Club organizes this terrific race and provides many of the volunteers. 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 hundreds of 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 also contributed to the renovation of the Boy Scout Camp Squanto, Fr. Bill's Place and the humanitarian missions of Mir Pace International.
Brighten up your winter by registering NOW for the Cohasset Rotary Road Race by the Sea, running April 1. Just knowing you registered early and didn’t miss out just might put a little Spring in your step; you need that incentive, that spring goal. Visit www.roadracebythesea.com