This article was copied from the electronic copy of the Lynn Item
Rich on Running: Up the mileage down the Cape
Posted: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 3:00 am
Posted on August 7, 2013
To my right, waves coming in from Nantucket Sound crashed onto the shore, with two Michael Phelps look-alikes braving the surf. Ahead of me stretched the sandy coast of Dennis Port, with a rocky breakwater making a 90-degree angle on the horizon. My girlfriend Laura and I sat down on a pair of comfortable beach chairs, but before long, I was talking about going for a run.
If you’d like to get in a vacation beach run or two this summer, Cape Cod might just be the place to do it. The ocean beaches, including the one we saw in Dennis Port, offer dramatic views and sounds of waves slamming onto the shore. The bay beaches, several of which we went to in Orleans, are much more serene, although this does not detract from them as a running spot. Wherever you run, you can reward yourself with a cool dip in the ocean afterward … and in fact, when the tide is coming in, you can even take a mini-dip during your run!
We walked to the Dennis Port beach on Saturday after checking out of the English Garden Bed & Breakfast on Inman Road. After weeks of running in my trusty New Balances on the packed earth of Lynn Woods and the hard concrete along Lynn Shore Drive, it felt different to run barefoot on a sandy surface that had a little “give” to it.
Running on a beach often presents a choice of what kind of surface to run on. Many beaches slope down towards the sea, and this one was no exception. I alternated between running on the high, uneven ground, and running right beside the ocean, which felt nice and cool when it covered my feet.
Other things you step on don’t feel quite so nice … namely, every rock and shell on the beach. Barefoot running enthusiasts often emphasize taking light steps, but it seems no matter how lightly you step, you’re still going to feel the impact of every piece of flotsam and jetsam you land on.
I ran almost to the breakwater and turned back … then felt like I had enough for another run to the breakwater. I reached its rocky line and retraced my footsteps, as if I was running an out-and-back course at Lynn Woods. The beach wind added a challenge. I ran against it on the way back and had to hold onto my Patriots cap.
By the way, beach running is contagious. After I finished my run and stretched out on a beach chair, Laura decided to go for a run of her own.
One word of caution, though. You might want to know when high tide arrives, and how high it reaches. You don’t want the sea to outrun you to your beach blanket!