Cape Cod Marathon 2013
So I thought I’d provide a little review of the Cape Cod Marathon itself, particularly since it was my least favorite part of my first ever marathon experience. Of course I’ve never run another marathon, so maybe it’s not fair of me to compare, but alas… I’ve never been accused of not sharing my opinions ;-) I’ve run the Cape Cod Marathon RELAY for 4-5 years now, but this year I was solo and counting on the full experience of a momentous 26.2 miles.
Registration: Registration was simple enough, and I knew the course was a gorgeous one I wanted to pursue. I’d sworn this was the marathon I was going to do for two years now, so I registered. In other words, it wasn’t the marketing or buzz around the event that I noticed.
Social Marketing: Having a 15 year marketing background, namely in social marketing, the lack of marketing definitely started to stand out for me. The last Facebook update from the Cape Cod Marathon was in August. From that point on, no Facebook updates, no Tweets, nothing. Sure, not everyone tweets, but when you own the Twitter handle for the Cape Cod Marathon and you’re saying nothing the week before the event? That’s sad, and unfortunately not so atypical for Cape Cod as a whole. People on Facebook even started to write on my page to get answers to their questions…
Swag and Goodies: Swag is a huge part of road races these days. Not even the free stuff, but the awesome gear a runner can buy to celebrate their huge accomplishment and tell all their friends. It seems many folks even pick their race based on the goods, and I’m certainly guilty of that! As for the Cape Cod Marathon, the branding took a huge downhill this year to a cheesy, generic foliage pattern. No longer the strong scallop shell that dominated my last 4 years of race shirts… this year I almost felt like getting nothing. Such a disappointment, when people like me were willing to throw down a couple hundred dollars on our first-ever marathon race swag. Oddly enough, the volunteers were pimped out with the most rockin’ fleece vests and gorgeous embroidered scallop shell logos. Epic missed opportunity.
HOWEVER, it seems all creative genius went to the race medal itself, because WOW. So pretty!
The expo was pretty small, but Marathon Sports showed up with tons of great discounted winter gear! (not just summer sale stuff)
The Course: The course is GORGEOUS, no way around it. The first three miles are along the harbor and finish route for the Falmouth Road Race. Then you’re meandering through foliage, along cranberry bogs and adorable neighborhoods. After the infamous “Sippewissett Hills” of winding roads and beautiful stone walls, you’re back out to the harborside village of Woods Hole, and along the ocean for a flat final four miles. It’s hilly, and it’s hilly for more than they tell you it’s hilly, but it’s downright gorgeous.
Water stops are located every 2.5 miles, each with water and Cytomax options. The finish line offered Poland Springs water bottles and apples, and a bigger meal took place down the road a bit.
My favorite? The finish line is in front of the best Mexican restaurant and bar on Cape Cod, Anejo! Perfect!
Spectators: Since it’s also a relay, the marathon course draws double the participants – 1200 marathoners, and about 1500 relayers. There are fans spread out everywhere, and huge chunks of relay teams cheering on the runners too. As with any race, you’ll find quiet spectators just staring into the distance for their runner, but there were just as many fans whooping it up for 5+ hours straight. The dogs were sweet too!
Very easy for spectators to hop in their cars and move around to multiple points on the course!
Would I recommend it?: Sure, of course I’d recommend my hometown race! It’s a stunning course and a super friendly experience. I felt like I could talk to everyone out there, and I could easily find my personal spectators who drove to 4-5 points throughout the course. No stress, no traffic getting in, no lines for the bathrooms… I loved having this be my very first marathon!
Will I do it again?: As a new marathoner, I’d like to explore and check out other courses, other views, and definitely better swag. The Cape Cod Marathon didn’t really hook me in as a lifer yet. I truuuuly appreciate the Falmouth Track Club and the incredible volunteers who came out to support the 2013 Cape Cod Marathon. I know it’s a small-town race with a small-town feel. I just hope to see the race progress and modernize, and therefore generate more love and attention for its future participation! Runners have a bagillion choices out there, and I’d love for them to see our beautiful Cape Cod!
Was your first marathon your home-town marathon? Do you always run your home-town race each year (any distance)? I still have a special place in my heart for the Barnstable Village Road Race 5-miler in June.