Cape Cod Marathon Race Review

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Many businesses, cultural sites and natural resources on Cape Cod feature “Cape Cod” in their names; however, Falmouth and Barnstable seem particularly fond of playing name tag with each other.

The 32nd Dunkin’ Donuts Cape Cod Marathon kicks off Sunday morning at Falmouth Village Green with a cannon blast. Participants will take in ocean views, cranberry bogs and charming neighborhoods along its scenic course.

The History

The Cape Cod Marathon (CCM) serves as a Boston marathon qualifier. The course boasts breathtaking ocean views, cranberry bogs, and picturesque neighborhoods – an event hosted annually in Falmouth by Falmouth Track Club as part of USATF New England Grand Prix series.

The CCM was first run for the first time in 1978 on a four-loop course at Otis Air Base. Since 1984 it has become part of Falmouth Track Club events, eventually moving to its current date and location in 1988. Over time the race has become one of the most scenic marathons in America; New England Runner named it their 1996 Road Race of the Year!

At a time when most larger marathons are professionally managed, CCM remains an all-volunteer effort. A committee of 30 volunteers organizes the race by allocating duties such as course management, start/finish area management, medical support services, water stops, publicity and publicity efforts to individual committee members who must then find volunteers for their area of the race.


While the cape cod marathon may be smaller in scale than some events, its past editions have witnessed outstanding performances in recent years. Mike Slinskey from New York won both 1995 and 1996 races; as an Olympic Trials marathon competitor he set a new course record by running 2 hours 22 minutes and passing Heather Besette at mile 22 before running another marathon to claim victory at CCM.

Bill Rodgers and Patti Catalano Dillon have also become iconic runners through participation at this event, providing powerhouse performances during its 1970s boom era and playing an instrumental role in elevating women’s distance running to its current prominence.

Sponsors for the Race include businesses from Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket; with Dunkin’ Donuts as its title sponsor in recent years and local companies Skirt Sports and Mayflower Wind also playing key roles as sponsors of this event. Falmouth Town Hall serves as an important player in developing clean energy solutions through Mayflower Wind.

The Course

The Marathon course features spectacular ocean views from Craigville Beach, Kalus Beach and Hyannis Harbor – perfect for qualifying for Boston. Paved and well-marked with police and volunteers to keep you on course, its route passes by John F. Kennedy Memorial/Family Compound; Officer Michael Aselton Memorial Park; Centerville; Hyannisport villages as well as more inland Cape Cod villages like Ptuitville/Hollosport

2022 brought with it an update that made this course flatter and faster, yet still had gorgeous scenery to enjoy on your run. Now, this route hugs Falmouth’s coast of Nantucket Sound with only one hill in its final miles.

Falmouth’s beaches and historic towns and villages await. Beginning at Falmouth proper’s Village Green and running east along Nantucket Sound over Falmouth Heights’ high bluffs before crossing rivers through Menauhant and Davisville neighborhoods is what lies in store for you on this tour.

There are 14 water stations along the marathon course, all offering both water and Gatorade to keep runners hydrated during their race. They’re spread about every two miles to keep you hydrated throughout. Plus there are first aid tents at the finish line!

Both full and half marathon courses are USATF certified; the latter serves as a Boston Qualifier. Both races take place late October during peak fall foliage season on Cape Cod; both races attract runners looking for scenic routes with beautiful ocean views and cranberry bogs.

Falmouth Running Club hosts this friendly community race each year, drawing large crowds of supporters for this non-profit event that features marathon and half marathon runs as well as 10K runs and marathon relay. You can register online or through their website; full marathon registration costs $90 while half marathon costs $60.

The Organizers

Are You Searching for an Eye-Catching Seaside Marathon to Qualify for Boston or Challenge Yourself? Look No Further than Cape Cod. This stunning coastal town provides stunning scenery and an enthusiastic running community; both full marathoners and relay runners alike will appreciate this scenic course and tasty local cuisine at the post-race party!

The Falmouth Track Club organizers are committed to making this event run safely and smoothly for all participants, creating an exceptional race experience while advocating the health benefits of running. Furthermore, they support local schools and other community-focused organizations; additionally they provide financial aid for Falmouth high school running teams which help young athletes develop necessary skills that will allow them to go onto university and beyond.

Organisers of this race have pledged their efforts towards maintaining its historical significance by designing a new route that is flatter, faster and more scenic while still offering beautiful ocean and beach views. Furthermore, there will also be 5K and Kids Fun Run events making this race the ultimate running destination for families of all kinds.

Clam Chowdah Challenge offers runners looking for something extra challenging a two-day running challenge with exclusive swag awarded to those who complete both races within six hours or 13:43 per mile pace of each other on two separate days – half marathon on Saturday and marathon on Sunday. Participants must register for both races and commit to training required to finish both events successfully; top three men, women, and mixed team finishers will each receive special award swag as rewards!

Closing Thoughts

Falmouth was such an enjoyable town! And this race offered all the perks associated with small races: no long waits in coral, your name announced at the finish line and they give great race bling – not to mention lots of hills to challenge runners on! Plus it was great seeing so many people cheering runners – particularly when I got an applause round when people heard I am from Honolulu!

Jack Afarian, organizer of the Cape Cod Marathon and Half, brings with him a long career of project management experience. To prepare for any likely race dates on October 24-25th he has put together an operations plan addressing any unexpected scenarios; once more information becomes available he’ll inform all runners what their options may be.

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