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Cape Cod Marathon facts for kids

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The Cape Cod Marathon is run in Falmouth, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod during late October of each year.


From 1978 to 1983, the marathon was run at Otis Air Force Base and Camp Edwards in neighboring Bourne, Massachusetts. From 1984 the marathon has been held in Falmouth under the auspices of the Falmouth Track Club.

The course of the Cape Cod Marathon is a certified Boston Marathon qualifying event and is sanctioned by USA Track and Field (USATF) New England division.

Runner's World Magazine has named the Cape Cod Marathon one of the ten most scenic marathons in North America.


The course includes both flat portions, including all of the first ten miles and final three miles, and rolling mounds at points between the 11th and 23rd miles. The maximum course elevation is about 100 feet (30 m).

The marathon passes through several of Falmouth's historic villages and residential hamlets. The course begins at the village green in Falmouth proper. It proceeds east along Nantucket Sound, an extension of the Atlantic Ocean, along the high bluffs of the Victorian resort of Falmouth Heights, across the rivers cutting through the beaches of Menauhant to the wooded lanes of the community of Davisville. There it turns north and moves by estuarine overlooks on Waquoit Bay towards the village green of Waquoit. Rolling inland, runners pass cranberry bogs on the path to the village of East Falmouth and through pine forest before reaching Hatchville. Straight west to the shore of Buzzards Bay, the course turns south of the modern resort of North Falmouth in favor of the serrated rises rounding the inlets of West Falmouth village. Proceeding south, runners pass through secluded Beebe Woods and by kettle holes that separate the exclusive settlements of Chappaquoit, Wood Neck, Sippewissett, and Quissett on rocky waterfront outcroppings abutted by salt marshes. The course rounds the southern tip of the town as it winds through the bustling streets in the port village of Woods Hole, otherwise renowned for its world-class scientific community. In Woods Hole, the route joins that of the Falmouth Road Race for a time, including the hallmark passing of Nobska Light, a celebrated lighthouse dating to 1829, in the 22nd mile. Silvery oyster ponds line the course along Vineyard Sound before runners reach the flat boulevards leading back through to Falmouth's village green and the finish line.

Bands and an Elvis Presley-themed water stop in the 23rd mile line the course.

The men's course record is held by Randy Thomas of Medway, Massachusetts: two hours, 17 minutes, 35 seconds (2:17:35) in 1986. Thomas was a multiple world and American record holder in distance running events.

The women's course record is held by Cathy Schiro, now Cathy Schiro-O'Brien, of Dover, New Hampshire: two hours, 37 minutes, six seconds (2:37:06) in 1987. Schiro-O'Brien was a marathon runner in the 1992 Summer Olympics.


The Cape Cod Marathon benefits from many sponsors, most of which are local businesses from Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and the greater area. Dunkin' Donuts, based in Canton, Massachusetts, has been the titular sponsor in recent runnings.

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