Taking place every August, the historical Falmouth Road Race has become a significant summer athletic event on Cape Cod. The road race covers 11 km (7 mi) from Woods Hole in Falmouth to the beach of Falmouth Heights. The race, sponsored by New Balance, attracts about 12,000 runners including some elite athletes.
The course of the race is somewhat steep and tough in the beginning. The start line is located by the Captain Kidd Restaurant & Bar in Woods Hole. Then runners climb a hill leading into a narrow wooded road transforming into a curved waterfront road passing Nobska Light, Martha's Vineyard Sound, Belvidere Plains, and Falmouth downtown. The runners have to climb another small hill before the finish line.
The race was initiated by local bartender and runner Tommy Leonard in 1972. He was inspired by Frank Shorter's victory in the Olympic marathon for the United States. In a few years, the race has grown considerably, and Frank Shorter ran along with 850 other runners on Cape Cod. The race organizer is the Falmouth Road Race, and its proceeds benefit local charities.