When you have the opportunity to run one of the world's most historic races AND represent one of your favorite charities, you jump at the chance!
Am I right?
Of course I am! ;)
Since Falmouth is a point-to-point race, everyone gathers at The Lawrence School to board the buses to the Start Line. Tedy's Team met there to snap a quick team photo before boarding the buses. It reminds me of Boston Marathon morning when we are on the school buses to Hopkinton. Such a great time to shake off the nerves and share why we run to raise awareness and fight Stroke.
You must be on the buses by 7:45am to get to Woods Hole (the start area) in time. We were in line for the buses by 7:30am - good work team - and made it to the start area in plenty of time. Luckily our crew had a lot of veterans so we knew where to find the empty port-o-potties. I mean that is a science my friends. :)
Falmouth would be using the pulse start this year instead of corrals so we opted to line up between the 8 and 9 min/mile pace signs. I would be running with my friends Page and Dan and we didn't have a time goal for the race, but rather a fun goal! Fun goal = lots of selfies and smiles!
We actually picked up Dan's sister Stefanie into our running crew. Welcome to the crazy Steph. ;) We also clearly didn't coordinate which Tedy's Team shirt we would wear. Haha! Instead we had four different styles to show off.
The start was actually delayed by 11 minutes. We weren't sure why at the time, but it was later reported that a cyclist had flipped over his handlebars, where the elites were warming up. Meb and others came to his rescue. Thankfully the cyclist would be okay.
And we were off.. and immediately stop. Ha! There is a little bit of a bottleneck as you depart Woods Hole, which is expected with 11,000 runners trying to all leave a small town on one small road. It gives you the chance to start out nice and easy and stretch out the legs. We took a little time to bob and weave through the crowd to find a space where we could comfortably run together.
We headed out of Woods Hole and took Church Street towards the Nobska Lighthouse. Every year as you near the Lighthouse you can hear "Eye Of The Tiger" playing over the speakers. Man that pumps me up as you tackle that first incline of the race.
And that gorgeous Lighthouse marks Mile 1 ... and a beautiful place for our first mid-run selfie.
Mile 1: 9:31
The first three miles of the course are rolling hills with tree-covered streets. It is pretty much the only shade on the 7-mile course. Normally you would think the shade would cool things off for us, but you would be wrong on this day. Ha. The trees acted as a padding for the heat and trapped it in.
We made sure to stop, take water and walk through the water stops. I also make a point to thank all volunteers and servicemen I see along the course.
Mile 2: 9:12
Mile 3: 9:07
After those first three miles, you emerge and run the next 1.5 miles along the beach.
As we stopped at another water stop, we all agreed we were happy we weren't running a marathon on that day. Boy it was hot and just getting warmer. Picture time was a great way to take a few seconds to cool down before getting back to running.
It's awesome when you can find running buddies that put up with your need to selfie and document the race. :) There was little cell service so I wasn't able to update as the race went on, but I lived through it. :P Plus, I was too busy smiling and laughing the miles away.
Mile 4: 9:35
Mile 5: 9:26
The crowd support at Falmouth is wicked motivating. There are tons of families out cheering on friends and strangers. It is like a smaller Boston Marathon experience. I thrive on that energy and the free high-fives!
We kept our eye on the prize: seeing Page's nana before Mile 6. She was out there rocking a sweet sparkly hat. How adorable is she?
I have to get her a matching Sparkle Athletic skirt for next year!
The folks spraying their hoses on to the course were the champions of the day! I ran towards each one with a wide grin on my face. I was thrown off guard when a little girl got me in the eye with her water gun. Haha! That was a little too intense, but I appreciated her spirit. :P
Just after seeing Nana we took a left on to Shore Street and started weaving our way through the neighborhood surrounding Falmouth Harbor. The crowds were thick and fired up. We were relying on their energy since I was feeling zapped from the heat. We kept checking in with each other to make sure we were all properly fueled and hydrated.
It was around this time where I decided I would be Periscoping our Finish. My dad and wife were dealing with my dead car and would miss me crossing so I wanted to make sure they would see me.
With my thoughts on that, I almost didn't catch the extremely motivating Hoyts. It is an absolute honor being able to run in the same race as Team Hoyt.
I always see them exactly when I need that inspiration.
Mile 6: 8:54
It was nice not worrying at all about pace. I actually stopped checking my watch expect when it buzzed to let me know we hit another Mile mark.
As we made our way up Falmouth Heights Road, you can feel the energy of the Finish (even though it is 1 mile away). This is my favorite part of the run! The crowds are intense and the energy is electrifying.
And the hill is deceiving. As you get to the top you think you should immediately descend, but you don't. :P They add a flat part before the decline.
Here is the Periscope video I shot of the final mile of Falmouth!
Sorry that it is sideways. I have now learned that when you turn the phone in Periscope it doesn't turn in the app. Oops!! I am just proud I should this while running an 8:xx pace! :)
Mile 7: 8:29
That Finish under the flag catches my breath each and every time. I think about how many other famous athletes have crossed under it!!
Final Time: 1:04:14
I had an absolute blast with these amazing friends!! I felt awesome as we crossed the Finish and was proud of how smart we tackled that race - walked when we needed it, hydrated, fueled properly and had fun. I really could've kept running, which meant I had a lot left in the tank, which I like on sweltering days like that one.
How awesome are the Falmouth results? So detailed.
Once over the Finish you are herded back to the family meeting area where you can get your water, snacks and Yasso bar (Mmmmm...). With snacks in hand, we headed to the Tedy's Team after party, where I would meet up with my family as well. It is always great to have a spot to see the other teammates at and see how their races went.
Plus it is always fun seeing Tedy and Heidi.
Since joining the Tedy's Team family, I've raised $23,825 in honor of my Stroke Heroes! My goal is to hit $25,000 before my birthday (9/16). If you are interested in donating, click here!
THANK YOU to all those that have supported this journey since November 2012!!
May have asked what my next race with Tedy's Team will be... time will tell! :)
But for now I bask in the amazing experience at Falmouth and hope to be back next year!