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home > races/results > usa: massachusetts > cohasset rotary road race by-the-sea spring racing goal, splendid setting

Cohasset Rotary Road Race By-the-Sea Spring Racing Goal, Splendid Setting
Need a spring running goal? Spring forward! The Cohasset Rotary 10K Road Race By-the-Sea is an inspiring spring racing target for all runners in the Northeast. This race runs a magnificently beautiful shoreline loop that will motivate every runner

Cohasset Rotary Road Race By-the-Sea Spring Racing Goal, Splendid Setting
Beautiful vistas along the course

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By Skip Cleaver
Posted Monday, 22 March, 2004

If you have never visited Cohasset, you definitely should. If you have never run a road race there, you absolutely must. The 28th annual Cohasset Rotary 10K will spring into action on Sunday, April 4 beginning at 1:00 p.m. Starting and ending at the historic Cohasset Common, this race is a symbolic and practical beginning of the spring racing season for several reasons, including the date—the first day of Eastern Daylight Savings Time. This 10K makes an ideal motivational tool for those who want to get into racing shape for the season. Post it on your calendar and enter it in your log, then plan your training accordingly. It is especially friendly for beginning runners and veterans alike, sporting a very flat and scenic course.

There is also a separate event for walkers, which begins three hours earlier at 10 a.m. at Sandy Beach. Walkers can cover the same beautiful seaside course, or take the 5K option. Either way, they will have their own event and won’t be involved with the runners’ later race. Some participants plan to walk the course early with family members, and then race the 10K in the afternoon.

The entire route is simply stunning, beginning with stretching and warm-ups on the idyllic town common. Temperatures in the region are usually ideal for racing on April 4th, and the organization and planning for the event are first rate. It is one of the oldest 10K races in the Boston area, and loops through the gorgeous seaside village of Cohasset with beautiful ocean vistas and colonial structures. It’s like racing back in time, back through history.


Striding down the common, you will feel you have returned to colonial times, and John or Sam Adams could ride up at any time from nearby Quincy.


The race will benefit the many local, regional, and international charities for which Rotary Clubs are famous; and this type of racing will give your heart rate and your heart a lift. The Cohasset 10K is an especially memorable and motivational way to get those feet moving toward an early spring goal, and to test your fitness.


The central village of Cohasset surrounds the spacious quintessential town common, with its specialty shops, community center, town hall, historic homes, a small pond, and colonial churches--St. Stephen’s has a 56-bell carillon that has entertained since 1824. The town race, appropriately, starts and ends on the common. Striding down the common, you will feel you have returned to colonial times, and John or Sam Adams could ride up at any time from nearby Quincy.

Registration and check in will be at the South Shore Community Center on the southeast side of the common both Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 9:00 a.m. the day before and on race day. Registration tables will be open until noon (EDT), so make sure to get there early. The race starting horn will go off at 1:00 p.m. with between 600 and 800 participants expected. The start itself is on North Main Street near the Community Center, and the course is USATF-certified.

You will have plenty of parking, either at the famous South Shore Music Circus a few blocks away, or at the nearby Town Central Parking Lots. There will be race day registration, but you can save by registering on-line before the race. The finish is only a block away adjacent to the historic Town Hall, so you won’t have to worry about transportation or bag checks.


When the horn sounds hundreds of runners will blast out of the common on North Main to South Main, and then turn left or east on Elm toward the beach for the counter-clockwise seaside loop. Elm takes the runners to Cohasset Harbor, with a left on Atlantic Avenue, passing Minots Light and Bassings Beach--out to Quarry Point. Views of the ocean, Scituate Neck, the lighthouse, and Strawberry Point frame the open Atlantic. From Quarry Point the bridge will take runners along Little Harbor on the left with Sandy Beach and the Ocean on the right.

As you turn on Jerusalem Road the “Black Rocks” will be visible off shore, with distant views of Nantasket and the skyline of Boston beyond. A left on Forest Avenue takes the field past Wheelright Park and along Forest, an attractive, tree-lined road with a few hills. The course flattens out at the final turn on North Main and takes participants back to the village center and the common for a triumphant finish at Cohasset Town Hall.


The finish and post race refreshments and ceremonies are very well organized. The Winning Time chip timing system eliminates crowding and confusion at the line.

Awards will be given to overall winners, the top five in the open division, and the top three in all other age groups. Team awards (top three members score, women and men) will also be presented. The awards will definitely include some surprises.

Last year Kit Wells of Brookline (34:34) and Margaret Bradley of Falmouth (38:38) were the winners. Franny Haney of Duxbury (43:41) and Robert Chasen of Weymouth (35:40) won the masters’ divisions. The Greater Boston Track Club won the team competition. All are from Massachusetts.

Of course the biggest winners of all are the charities of Rotary International. They have pledged $500 million to eradicate polio, and have helped make such phenomenal progress that only 10 countries remain in which the disease is still a threat. Locally the Cohasset Rotary has provided many charitable gifts, including over $400,000 in scholarships.


The Cohasset Rotary Club is a part of Rotary International, a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders that specialize in humanitarian service and encourage high ethical standards in all vocations. They are 1.2 million strong, and represented in 166 countries with 31,000 clubs on six continents.

They have, since their founding in 1905 (the world’s first service club), been dedicated to world peace and to helping those in need. They were involved in the formation of the United Nations, and remain dedicated to that body today, especially in their support of UNESCO.

The name Rotary came from the early practice of “rotating” meetings between the offices of the few members. In February of 2005 they will celebrate their centennial. Rotary Clubs, especially in New England have become more and more involved in race direction and promotion as a means of promoting and sustaining their charitable causes.


Cohasset is a historic town of about 7,400 inhabitants located 23 miles southeast of Boston on the Atlantic shore and incorporated as a town in 1770. It covers, in land area, approximately 9.89 square miles and predominantly residential; total area is 31.47 square miles. The central village is one of the prettiest and well preserved of the colonial towns of New England.

It is a place you will want to return to, whether for the beaches, the active community and arts centers, or the three historical museums, which, not surprisingly, concentrate on nautical history. It is home to the renowned South Shore Music Circus, which attracts big name entertainers throughout the summers. Wheelright Park, Whitney Woods Reservation, and Wompatuck State Park lie partly or wholly within its borders.

Weather in April is usually comfortable. April 4th, the day of the race, will have a sunrise at 6:20 a.m. and sunset at 7:13. The average high is 53, and low 34 degrees with a mean temperature of 43. The record high is 70 (1991), and the record low is 22 degrees (1962). The average high and low for the month are 57 and 38 respectively, that’s 14 and 3 degrees Celsius. It is an ideal time for running. Many participants in this race will be running in the Boston Marathon on April 19th.


This is the spring kickoff race for you, whether you are a seasoned veteran or a beginning runner or walker. It is ideal in its setting and in its position on the calendar, and you won’t find a more scenic 10K in the East. The volunteers and the town as a whole are very friendly and supportive, and it is run with great care for an outstanding cause.

If you are beginning, increase time or distance slowly, week by week, with April 4th as a target date. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support from a loved one. Suggestions and support from another can be powerful tools, in training and on race day. Everyone will enjoy Cohasset. Be careful, relax, and just enjoy the workouts. Running will last a lifetime, so don't rush it. Except for the digital clocks and Winning Time computer timing, this will be as close as you get to having time stand still while racing. Spring forward and run the Cohasset Rotary Race-by-the-Sea!



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