Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Falmouth: Second 3rd of the Race

When I run Falmouth or any other race, I usually break the run into thirds. Having completed the first 1/3 of the race, it was now important for me to find a comfortable rhythm and go with it through at least mile 5. I was in that spot and felt good. The humidity seemed to have increased, but there was still decent cloud cover and the temperature seemed to be holding in the mid to upper 70’s.

Shortly after passing the mile 3 mark, the Falmouth Road Race comes out of the shade and out to the open air with the surf of the Atlantic ocean to the right of the runners. The majority of miles 4 and 5 are run on a flat stretch of Surf Drive – unfortunately in fifteen years running Falmouth I have never felt any beneficial breeze during this part of the race. What runners do benefit from is the energized crowd, however. Whether it is year-round residents or renters viewing the race for the first time, the crowd along Surf Drive is electric! And, sure enough, about ½ to ¾ along Surf Drive was a gentlemen with his amplified guitar belting out some tunes for us – thank you!

Knowing I would see my wife Sarah, my daughter Anna and the rest of my family shortly definitely was a huge help mentally at this point in the race. Long gone was the adrenaline of the start. Falmouth does not get easier with each mile – it gets tougher.

As we ran along the beach, I heard a loud whistle from behind me. And then another. A male runner (probably in his twenties) wearing a Falmouth Lifeguard t-shirt, had a whistle around his neck! He started blowing his whistle at the crowd and waving his hands to get the viewers to cheer. And cheered, they did! I generally do not feed off this type of stuff during a race, but I thought this guy was an original. His whistling and the crowd reaction helped push me along for the next mile or so. Thanks lifeguard “Joe”.

I continued along Surf Drive and just as Surf turns to the left and becomes Shore Street I heard a woman scream out “way to go Kathy from Accounting” “Kathy from Accounting – whoa!” Okay maybe her name was not Kathy, but given I have been a boring accountant for my entire career, I got a real kick (and boost) from this crowd-to-runner exchange. We now would approach the extremely loud DJ screaming names on the left hand side of the road. Another guy who has been there pretty much every year I have run Falmouth.

I was now at about the 4.5 mile mark and approaching the spot where I should start looking for my family and the reason why I was running Falmouth.

Next post: seeing my daughter Anna…

No comments: