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home > races/results > usa: massachusetts > the 37th annual cohasset road race by the sea

The 37th Annual Cohasset Road Race by the Sea
This is one of the oldest of New England's 10Ks, and one of the most scenic courses anywhere; down by the sea in the historic town of Cohasset, Massachusetts. Yes, for 36 years the Cohasset Rotary Road Race by-the-Sea 10K has stayed the course - and majestic it is. Enjoy this fantastic spring event along the Atlantic shore and scenic town center.

The 37th Annual Cohasset Road Race by the Sea

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Cohasset Road Race by the Sea Website

By Linda Fechter
Posted Tuesday, 5 February, 2013

Come “home” on Sunday, April 7, 2013. No matter where you live, Cohasset, Massachusetts is everyone’s hometown on the day of the Road Race by the Sea 10K. In the world of corporate sponsored road races it seems there are few races left that truly have a strong sense of community--where you can’t tell the residents from the non-residents or the alumni from the newbies. This race is very much the same one that began 37 years ago--other than the field size which went from a few hundred to 1,770. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to run Cohasset, from the person doing their first 10K to the most serious running club member. It’s also a great spring “destination race.” And with a 1:00 p.m. start, there is still time for Sunday morning coffee and the morning newspaper before heading out to this seaside New England town.

Tradition and Technology
Answer the bell! The race uses the latest chip technology yet still maintains a starting line comprised of a line of white flour that is poured just along the length of the Start mat. For decades that was the easiest way to make the Start Line, and since tradition is an important part of the race, the flour is used year after year as a reminder of the race’s beginnings. Yet the event has also transformed into a 10K that uses the most innovative timing chips. Old-time tech traditions also include the Starting “Gun,” which in this seaside community is actually a ship’s bell—far better anyway. And perhaps the biggest tradition, and an event within the event, is the big “reveal” of the T-shirt design which changes year after year—artful and inspiring.

“What makes this race special is the simplicity of it...the beautiful 10K course; souvenir T-shirts, hot dogs at the finish party and local businesses and residents who are 100% supportive of this event,” says Lisa Hewitt, President of Rotary Club of Cohasset and one of the many Race volunteers. “We encourage runners and walkers to spend the entire day here and get to know this beautiful town.” Yes, from the historic town green to Sandy Beach to the lighthouse offshore, the ideal New England village is on display—and especially gorgeous in spring.

The field size was capped at 1770 a few years ago, the number represents the year in which the Town of Cohasset was incorporated. This manageable number ensures a better experience for the runners and a safer one. Race organizers believe that bigger is not always better. Having under 2,000 runners has benefits to all, including the community police and fire, as well as residents, volunteers and spectators. It is anticipated that the race will sell out.

Cohasset, the Quintessential New England Town
Cohasset is a small coastal town on the South Shore of Massachusetts--about 20 miles from Boston. 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 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.

For information about Cohasset visit the Chamber of Commerce at

Annual Traditions Fit Runners to a Tee
Among the traditions, 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 37 races and has printed the shirts since the race’s inception.

The 100% heavy weight, long-sleeve cotton T-shirts are guaranteed to the first 1,500 participants to check in. Shirts on a limited first come, first served basis, a big incentive to check in EARLY. Also for sale this year are the “143” hats offered in two new colors.

Goodwin Graphics is one of several sponsors who have supported this race for decades. Our major sponsors include Pilgrim Bank, Colospace, DeScenza Diamonds, Suburban Contract Cleaning, Inc. and Graham Waste Services.

But of Course, the Course
The course is the true star of this event. It’s mostly flat, but it has spots where it’s undulating and also includes a challenging fair sized hill on Forest Avenue. The views are fantastic throughout...always breathtaking whether it's the historic small town, the gorgeous landscapes, or the seemingly never ending view along Atlantic coastline to the horizon. There’s even an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the Boston skyline.

There are timing mats so runners will have an accurate chip time which is great for the top finishers who receive prize money and some incredible take away gifts 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 band, the New City Cowboys. As runners enjoy the entertainment and check out their times on the results board, Rotary volunteers serve up the traditional hot dogs donated by Kinnealey Meats, as well as sliced oranges, bagels, water, etc. It's a New England "picnic" in April.

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 while also keeping the "hometown" characteristics of the race.

Walk, Take Your Time, and 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 10:00 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.

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
Register NOW for the Cohasset Rotary Road Race by the Sea 10K or the Fran Coffey Memorial Walk. Walk begins at 10:00 a.m. and the 10K race begins at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 7th.

Registering for this beautiful and challenging race just might put a little more spring in your winter step. Please visit for additional information and be sure to “Like” us on Facebook for upcoming giveaways, merchandise/award descriptions, and the latest race information.



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