We flew into Boston to stay a few days and see the sights (including the Boston Marathon Finish Line!) before we headed to Falmouth in Cape Cod. We had a few beautiful fall days to tour the city, walk the Freedom trail and get a few runs along the river. We did visit the Finish Line but I made sure we didn't cross it! I even made Thayne drive a few blocks out of the way to ensure this... I couldn't jinx myself!
We rented a car and drove to Falmouth which was only a little over an hour away. The race expo, start and finish were all at a hotel and we had decided to stay at the host hotel to make things easier for us.
Once we arrived and got checked in at the hotel we went to the expo. It was pretty small so I assumed it would be a pretty small race as well. I knew this was a woman's only race so everything was about women being strong and resilient.
The hotel was right on the beach in the cape and it was beautiful! The water was clear and the beach was nice to walk up and down or sit in one of the chairs to read a good book... we did both!
The night before the race, Zooma had a nice pasta dinner for anyone competing and one guest. Thayne and I headed from our room to have dinner and watch the sun set over the ocean.
Race morning brought us perfect running weather! The temperatures were in the mid 40's and no wind at the start. It looked like it was going to be a beautiful day to run.
We left the hotel parking lot and started to climb up a long, steady hill. After the hill the race headed towards a marina. The wind picked up a little bit as we were running right along the coast, but that was to be expected.
There was a short out and back and I was surprised to find myself within the top 5 women. We were a little spread out, but I figured I was only behind the first place runner by about 30 seconds so far, but we'd only run about 4 miles of the race. I tried not get into my head and just run!
Once we left the coast, we hit a really nice paved and shady trail. We stayed on the trail for about 3 miles while we headed back past the hotel and into a more residential area. While on the trail I worked my way into third place. Woohoo!
What I didn't realize was that while the first 7 miles of the race were flat and fast, the last 6 miles of the race were not. Hello hills! Not nice to see you!
At this point I was pretty much running alone. I could see the woman in 2nd place, but couldn't see anyone behind me. I was actually a little hesitant to go much faster. I wanted to keep 2nd place in sight so that I didn't get lost, but didn't want to take over 2nd and have no idea where I was going! The volunteers were very helpful with directions but I didn't know the course or area well and didn't want to lead us the wrong direction. I ended up catching up to 2nd place and we ran together for about a mile, kind of leap frogging each other back and forth.
We found the coast again and I knew we only had about two miles to go when my body was telling me... nope! The woman in 2nd took off and I actually had to stop and walk for about 30 seconds. I knew if I wanted to finish strong I needed a short rest. At this point, my goal was staying in 3rd!
We turned away from the coast and found ourselves on the same winding, slight uphill road that we began. I knew we were coming close to the finish now!
I gave that climb everything I had! Again, the 5k and 10k runners/ walkers who began about an hour after the half were finishing but since it was a smaller race and a wider road than in Little Rock I had no problems navigating around them. The women I was passing gave me big cheers. I love it when strong women support other strong women!
I ended up keeping third place overall and first in my age group. Even with the short walk, my time was 1:37:08 (7:25 average). After the race we went back to the beach for a little before heading up to the point of the cape to go on a whale watching tour. What a great race celebration!
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