Join the excitement this fall for a signature Cape Cod running tradition that is sure to please. Begun in 1978, hosted and meticulously organized by the Falmouth Track Club, the Cape Cod Marathon caters to runners who expect quality—and stunning scenery. For over thirty years, runners of all ages and abilities from all over the world have been competing in this race, including many first time marathoners. Just what makes it so special? How about a gem of a course for starters. This certified and challenging marathon course is brimming with an abundance of quintessential New England autumn beauty.
Cape Cod has always conjured up images of sandy beaches, lighthouses, sea captains’ homes, scenic fishing villages, tidal flats and tales of mooncussers from days gone by. Falmouth is just the place to soak up the charm of a New England paradise, given that it offers more miles of coastline than any other Cape Cod town. Fine harbors and wonderful beaches dot the landscape. The southern shoreline borders Vineyard Sound and the western side overlooks Buzzards Bay.
And if have you ever wished that you could enjoy Cape Cod without the crowds, the Dunkin’ Donuts Cape Cod Marathon is the perfect time to do just that. As autumn falls over New England, you’ll find that the summer crowds have left and traffic is flowing easily. An autumn visit also means enjoyment of a whole new set of seasonal pleasures. New England’s famed autumn color reaches the Cape in mid October just in time for the race. In addition to the leaves and sea grasses with changing hues, you will delight in the spectacle of acres of cranberry bogs ripening from deep green to crimson red.
Autumn on the Cape also means terrific marathon weather! On the whole the temperature on Cape Cod is moderate. Isolation from the land mass of New England and enclosure by ocean waters create both warming effects during winter and cooling effects in summer. The average temperature for October is 44 to 59 degrees. This great running weather is also ideal for a host of recreational activities the whole family will enjoy. Plan to stay the weekend or longer to take advantage of this gorgeous time of the year on Cape Cod.
The first ten miles are relatively flat with an exception of one short hill at 3 miles; it climbs for 1.5 miles about 70 feet to the highest elevation (about 100 feet above sea level). As it winds through Woods Hole, it picks up the first part of the Falmouth Road Race course. Save some energy for the hills! This eight mile stretch consists of a combination of non-stop rolling hills. The course flattens out again for the last 3 miles along Vineyard Sound toward the finish line at Falmouth Center.
Runners will appreciate a unique view of every section of Falmouth. It starts at the historic Falmouth Village Green, passes the Falmouth Inner Harbor, and runs along magnificent Nantucket Sound with vistas of Falmouth Heights and Menauhant. It passes Green Pond and goes through the rustic wooded areas of Davisville and past Falmouth’s famed cranberry bogs in Hatchville. The race then turns west towards the Buzzards Bay villages of West Falmouth and Sippewissett, and south through the famous scientific community of Woods Hole.
Winding through Woods Hole, the race returns to the beaches of the Sound with a spectacular turnaround, past the beautiful Nobska Lighthouse and along the beaches of Surf Drive, and back through the streets of downtown Falmouth to finish at the Village Green. Now in its third decade, the Cape Cod Marathon was rated by Runner’s World Magazine as one of the ten “Most Scenic” marathons in America.
It comes as no surprise that a race with this kind of longevity has excellent organization behind it. This is certainly evident by the scores of volunteers who are on the scene and behind the scenes to ensure a memorable and enjoyable experience for all. You can count on them to have all the important race details covered including water and Cytomax stops about every 2.5 miles, all miles and 5K intervals are marked, and there is excellent course signage. Medical aid is available along the course and the finish.