My review of the Falmouth Road Race was delayed due to the BEST CONCERT EVER. I bought tickets in March for the Justin Timberlake and Jay Z concert. City Sports and ESPN Boston had a few extra numbers to give out and asked if I wanted to run the iconic Falmouth Race Road about a month ago. It was the perfect alignment of “things Sarah likes” for the best Sunday Funday.
Falmouth is probably the second largest race in Massachusetts with over 12,500 runners for the scenic 7 mile race that runs along the Martha’s Vineyard sound. Bibs are a challenge for non Falmouth residents to get their hands on. You have to enter a lottery and hope to get in. The problem is that if you sign up with a buddy and only one of you gets in, it makes the logistics a pain in the butt. More on that later.
I had to pick up my bib ahead of time at the Falmouth High School as there was no race day pick up. The expo was cute and medium sized. The TomTom peeps had a tent showing off their new watch that I got to try in Nantucket earlier this summer. ESPNBoston provided supplies for sign making. I later saw that the entire route was lined with families and signs. I also learned of a new 1/2 marathon that Runner’s World is putting on in Boston in June 2014 called the Heartbreak Hill Half. I can’t wait to run it next year!
The race start time was scheduled for 10 am but runners were asked to be dropped off at a middle school by 8:45 am to be bused to the starting line. Part of the new security procedures implemented after the Marathon bombings. Before the hour long car ride to Falmouth, I made myself an Ezekial English Muffin with the Laughing Cow cream cheese spread in cinnamon cream. I also grabbed a banana which I ate an hour before the race.
Roomie was kind enough to drop me off at the middle school. It took us 45 minutes to drive 2 miles once we got close to it and there wasn’t much parking available. The school was about 2-3 miles away from the finish line and there were no buses schedule to come back after the race so it made it a challenging race to do on your own unless you didn’t mind running another 2 miles after the 7+ mile race. Other parking suggestions were nonexistent. I could not have done the race without roomie and he had to sacrifice his Sunday afternoon so I could race. After getting dropped off, it took me about 45 minutes to get on a bus and get to the starting line due a large line of people.
I was shocked that I was able to see two of my high school best friends Stacy and Jess at the start. There were so many people at Woods Hole, it made any sort of communication very challenging. For the race I wore an adidas Baby Bro tank top that I got at City Sports in Boston and adidas shorts that I got out in Portland, OR while visiting HQ. I chose to wear my Oakley Warm Up sunglasses, too.
The first two and a half miles of the race were very slow. I have never run in a race with so many people before. It was an amazing experience but not the place to aim for a PR. The first 3 miles were rolling hills. The next 3 miles were flat with no shade. It was hot but not too bad. The never ending support for the crowd was energizing. There were bands playing in pick up trucks, neighbors cooling off runners with their hoses and plenty of water stations. At the last mile, I saw legends Dick and Rick Hoyt right as I was about to face the mega hill at the end of the route. It was a very steep hill that I was able to run up without a problem thanks to the added crowd support that came from local celebs now right behind me. After the 200-400 yard hill, it was a downhill sprint to the end.
I finished the race in one hour and one minute, about an 8:36/mile pace which I was happy to have given how slow the first three miles seemed. I tried to get in touch with other friends running the race but cell service was spotty at the finish area making it difficult. I did get to meet Genevieve of BeFreshFit who recognized me from the blog.
After some refreshments, I headed back to Boston for the concert. I had about 2 hours total to eat, shower and rest before meeting my friends at the Yard House.
I celebrated my successful race with a yard of beer and a few skinny margaritas before capping off the pre game with a shot of patron, not necessary but oh so worth it. We also ordered the tuna roll, chicken nachos and mediterranean flatbread. I would recommend all of them.
We got to the concert at 8:30 pm and made our way to our seats. The duo came on shortly after playing Holy Grail. I didn’t sit down for the next 2 hours it seemed and was a non stop dance machine. The stage was in front of the Green Monster and my grandstand seats were perfect. We later met a friend in a box up above.
It was my first Fenway concert, my first Jay Z concert and my 4th Justin concert. I quickly was reminded why I had a picture of JT in my bedroom during High School (and an N’SYNC poster). Jay Z and Justin played most of their hit songs throughout the night, mashing up some of them. At times it was just JT or Jay Z but they kept switching it up. The last song was a favorite featuring Forever Young which they dedicated to the Marathon Bombing victims. We stayed until the very end and then just like that, Fenway was near empty!
It was probably my favorite Sunday in a long time and gave a new meaning to Sunday Funday for me. Please excuse this post on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. I had a rough Monday and slow Tuesday. Big shout out to Erica Bornstein at Back Bay Yoga though for playing Justin & Jay Z during Hip Hop Yoga on Monday that helped me sweat out the tequila. One of my favorite yoga classes. Erica is the bomb and caters to tight hips, hands on help with stretching the extra inch and giving you a kick butt workout.