“My first Falmouth experience is one I’ll always remember. This being my first ‘big’ race, I was nervous to say the least but being with my friend and fellow Strider Mikaela [Reynolds] calmed my nerves and got me excited. We got to Falmouth on Saturday morning and headed straight to the expo. First time I’ve ever been to something like this, and I was just in awe the whole time. The goodie bags we got were great, especially the mug. I don’t really use mugs, but I make sure to use that one, haha! The atmosphere was great. Everyone looked so happy to be there and just good vibes all around. I’m so grateful for Mikaela being there with me to help me navigate through it all. Are you even a runner if you don’t enjoy getting free stuff at any event?
Finding a place to stay for race weekend can be very overwhelming so I got extremely lucky to be able to bunk with Mikaela at her family’s house in Yarmouth. After the expo we relaxed and enjoyed the rest of the day. Later on, we ran a few shakeout miles before the big race and the views made the run 100 times better.
Race day arrived, and we got up bright and early to start getting ready. It didn’t really hit me how big of a deal this race was until we got to the actual start line. Seeing so many runners there really made me feel good to be part of something so great. We saw fellow Striders, but we also saw Molly Seidel, whom I immediately started to fangirl over and luckily got a picture with. After that we just stood at the start and watched the elites and para-elite runners start; that being the first time for me, I had butterflies in my stomach being that close to such amazing athletes. We then walked to the back and waited for our turn to cross the start line. At this point I was super pumped and ready.
Once we crossed, I was just focused on finishing and running it with my friend. I wanted to enjoy every second and not worry about setting a PR. The crowds there were something I had never experienced. Such support and excitement from every single person push you forward for sure. Thank goodness for all the water stops (official and unofficial ones) and hoses that neighbors had for us. Being someone who hates feeling wet while running, I definitely ran through almost all of those hoses and they saved me from the blazing sun.
Talking and running the whole way with Mikaela was the other highlight for me. Having someone to share all of that with was probably why it was such an amazing experience. Seeing the finish line from that last hill was surreal. Crossing that finish line and feeling so accomplished will always be something I remember, but having experienced all of that with a friend is something I’ll always cherish. I hope to run Falmouth every year and keep enjoying every second of it.” –Yaira Nunez
“It was an accidental race. Someone, somewhere, had posted that the lottery for the Falmouth Road Race would be closing soon. Since I never win anything anyway, what did I have to lose? I clicked, filled out the information and forgot about it. Then I got the e-mail that I was in, and the adventure began. I claimed my bib number and started looking for a place to stay in Falmouth. Affordable lodging was hard to come by. Luckily, I was able to find a room at an AirBnB for one night.
The day started at 5:30 AM and we left a little after 6:00 AM to be meet other Striders. I did not expect the level of traffic we encountered and had to change plans unexpectedly. I left Jim, my very patient husband, to deal with the traffic and parking while I hopped out and joined the swarm of runners heading for the buses. I forgot to leave my hoodie in the car; I forgot my GUs, my headphones and my hat. I remembered my phone. The buses efficiently transported the thousands of runners to the Woods Hole. I made it to the start line.
It was a beautiful day to be at the Cape and the excitement was incredible. After the elites took off, we took our places in the long line of runners waiting to cross the start. The course started off with rolling hills and some shady areas. My intention was to enjoy the race. Since I’d never run a 7-mile race, it would be an automatic personal record. The temperature rose as we reached the beach after mile 3. Fortunately, there was plenty of water and Gatorade. The spectators partying at the beaches were enthusiastically providing much needed encouragement and lively tunes. The energy of the crowds carried me through the next several miles. Each time I looked around there was some new beauty to see: sunshine on the water, the beach houses, the trees and flowers, the iconic lighthouse. Before I knew it, there was the 6.5 mile mark, the final incline which made me both elated (almost there!) and miserable (so steep!). As I ran over the hill and across the finish line, I met up with fellow Striders, and we made our way back to Marcie’s parents’ house. They were so gracious and generous to open their home for camaraderie and relaxation after the race.
Overall, it was a gorgeous, hot August day. The course was scenic and filled with the energy of thousands of runners and spectators. It was a fabulous experience, and I really enjoyed the race. I would encourage anyone to run this quintessential New England race at least once.” –Maureen Kilmartin Demers