If you are planning on running in the 47th Falmouth Road Race on Sunday, August 18, make sure you remember to set your alarm clock and arrive early to Lawrence School in downtown Falmouth to catch your bus to the starting line. For the first time in race history, a hard time has been set for the final bus departure from Lawrence.
Any runner who does not get to Lawrence School by 7:30 AM will be in danger of not getting down to the starting line via shuttle bus. Falmouth Road Race operations manager Matt Auger said that the final bus will leave from Lawrence at 8 AM. Discussions with the Falmouth Police Department and other safety officials necessitated the hard out time for the last bus.
The bus-loading process as a whole has been revamped as well. In the past there was one line for runners to enter their individual buses, and that line tended to grow very long. Auger said that there will be three lines spread out at Lawrence this year, and that race staff will be directing runners to the shortest line in order to expedite the process efficiently.
“It was a less than ideal experience for runners and it made for longer lines,” Auger said. “This should make things run smoother.”
Auger said that one of the FRR’s corporate partners, Yasso, will be providing entertainment and music at Lawrence to further improve the experience. “We believe that this (process) will enable us to load 12 buses at a time in order to expedite the process,” he said.
Last year the long lines and traffic along the route from downtown Falmouth to the start in Woods Hole proved problematic. Several runners did not arrive in Woods Hole until after the elite runners had already left the starting line at 9 AM. The Road Race Committee believes that the changes to the process this year and the hard last bus time will help fix some of those problems.
“It’s a complex operation and there are parts that did not run as smoothly as we would have liked,” Auger said. “Coupled with the bus-loading issue, it was a problem. We encourage the runners to use the buses. The more people that try to drive to Woods Hole will gum up the system and slow things down.”
Auger also said that runners need to understand that parking in downtown Falmouth on race day is limited. He said that the race encourages runners to carpool into town, and to arrive early to find a place to park their car. Legal public spaces include business lots that are not in use Sundays. Limited spots are available around Lawrence School. The parking issue is another reason that the Road Race Committee encourages runners to arrive early to get their shuttle to Woods Hole.
Road Race founder Tommy Leonard will be remembered in a variety of ways at this year’s Falmouth Road Race. The road racing icon died on January 16.
Each race bib will feature a photograph of Leonard. He is also prominent in this year’s Road Race poster, which showcases the artwork of Karen Rinaldo.
Additionally, the race has designed a special logo in honor of the founder. An outline of his distinctive bushy hair and mustache is on the poster, other media and will be painted around the race course in several spots.
As usual, the royalty of the Falmouth Road Race will be on hand once again for this year’s running. It is confirmed that Frank Shorter, Bill Rodgers and Joan Benoit Samuelson are all expected to once again be in the field, as well as making appearances in town and at the annual Running Expo.
Former New England Patriots All-Pro linebacker Tedy Bruschi will be running this year, leading his charity race team. Astronaut Sunita Williams will also be running the race again this year.