Off the Coast with Mary
If you run anywhere near Falmouth, chances are good that you’ve met Mary! Her personality and enthusiasm is completely infectious, and she truly loves the roads and people she meets through running on Cape Cod!
I first met Mary through Instagram, which has quickly become one of my favorite ways to grow real-life friendships, and later on the sidelines of a couple of local races (her rooting for me, me rooting for her). When we finally got the chance to chat, Mary immediately invited me on board with a weekly Saturday training group in Falmouth – a long-standing community of men and women of all age groups coined the “Marvels”. No matter who is training for what, the group plans a Falmouth/Woods Hole route that includes several options to jump in or out for however many miles you choose to join for, AND they pretty much stick together at any pace. I loved them!
Mary is also an active member of the Falmouth Track Club, joining for fun-runs, local races and the weekly track workouts on Wednesdays. She and her Coast Guard husband – and dog! – can be found along any race course, clapping and smiling for all!
I recently caught up with Mary for another Marvel long run. We chatted about our mutual “challenges” in training for the Boston Marathon this winter, and about the success and future of her business, Off the Coast! I just love how much Mary loves her relatively recent home of Falmouth!
When and why did you start running?
I ran track in high school; the 400 meter dash and anchored the 4×400 meter relay. I loved this race so much, and my senior year we broke the school record in the relay! I was nowhere near fast enough to run for a college team, so I found myself really missing the sport after my freshman year. So, I took up “long distance” – the 5K! 3.1 miles sounded so daunting to me. But, in my first race I placed first in my age group and I was hooked. For years I stuck to the 5K and 10K along with many sprint triathlons. It wasn’t until recently that I decided to give “real” distance running a shot. I trained for my first half marathon (Dallas Rock-N-Roll) and then did four more (including the Cape Cod Half Marathon Trilogy) before I decided to take the leap and train for the full marathon. I knew the Cape Cod Marathon (2014) had to be my first. The support of the Falmouth Track Club and the ability to train on the course on every run made this race a no brainer for me. I loved the training! The community I ran with, the course, the absolute sheer joy of knowing I was getting stronger every week was a thrill. I finished Cape Cod in 4:50. Not a fast time I know, but I am so proud of it! I also did the Disney Marathon this past January, and talk about a difference in the number of participants and crowd support! But still, I preferred the Cape Cod Marathon!
How is your training going for the Boston Marathon?
So, disclaimer here…I did not qualify for Boston (pretty obvious after reading the above), but was generously given a number from the Falmouth Track Club. I consider this to be a really special gift and an opportunity of a lifetime. I am so thankful and will represent the FTC proud! As for the training, I believe most New Englanders would agree that this winter has not been optimal for training. But, nonetheless, I have been getting the miles in both on the roads and on the treadmill. Even though the road running has been tricky, it has helped prepare me mentally. I kept thinking on those cold, wet, icy, snowy, windy days that if I could run through this, I can run through anything! Also, the scenery of Cape Cod has been so breathtaking this winter that I am thankful in a way that I was forced to get out of the house and see it!
What’s your favorite Cape Cod running route?
Hands down, my house to Woods Hole and back. It’s basically the Seagull Six route. Which by the way is coming up on March 29th! It is the quaintest, coolest small town race I have ever done!
Do you have a local race that you never miss?
How did you come to start the Off the Coast apparel line?
Off the Coast!! Long story short – I love designing and I love the Coast Guard community that I am a part of (my husband is in the Coast Guard). I am so passionate about building a business that is aligned with my values and that has the power to be a force of good in the world. A purpose-driven business! Along with the Coast Guard apparel, I plan to expand to a resort-wear line soon that incorporates active wear (think morning beach yoga, followed by a quick dip in the ocean, then straight to brunch with the ladies!). My vision is a happy, healthy, joyful, peace-filled brand that brings people together. A lot like what running has done for me!
You can find Mary and Off the Coast around the web, and enjoy following her journey as much as I have!