WOODS HOLE – There are many traditions that go along with the Falmouth Road Race. For Roger Day’s family, it’s all about the hose.
Day along with now three generations of his family, have been dousing runners with water via a garden hose for more than 10 years. “I get more thank yous that day than I get the entire rest of the year,” said Day.
His property on Nobska Road, which has been in his family since 1922, is situated at about 1.5 miles into the seven-mile course, just as runners enter the woods of Woods Hole, a very humid section of the course.
In fact, the property seems to be perfectly situated just when many of the runners are in need of a cooling off as they race, jog or sometimes walk from Woods Hole to Falmouth Heights.
The Day family has been so consistent in manning the hose, the masses—12,000 running this year–seem to look forward to it.
“Judging from the comments, it is something some of them expect,” Day said. As the cool water arches over the pavement, runners yell out: “You’re the best;” “God bless you;” “You the man.”
“That sort of comment is ubiquitous,” Day said.
If the hose happens to be off for a moment, some runners call out, “Hey where’s the water?”
The spraying isn’t for everyone. Day is quick to point out he never sprays the elite athletes, and about 25 percent of the runners cross to the other side of the street to avoid the water, preferring not to get wet.
“75 percent of them are delighted,” he said.
Day started the hose spraying tradition when he stopped running the race himself.
Participation in the run is also a family tradition. In fact, on Falmouth Road Race Sunday every year, the Day family suits up as Larches Track Club, named after the large trees on the family property.
The track club is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, just six years younger than the Falmouth Road Race.
Members of the Larches Track Club, who are all Day family members except for the occasional house guest, wear the annual Larches Track Club T-shirt. The T-shirt is a different color every year, though every five years it is green. This year, Day said, it is “an insanely bright pink.”
So, this year, once again, runners should expect to see the Larches Track Club, with bright pink T-shirts, on Nobska Road with their hose.
Day said he believes the water is particularly appreciated by those who may be running the race for charity rather than athletic interest and who are perhaps not as accustomed to the extreme heat and humidity of race day.
“Many of them are not in what I would call tip top shape,” he said.
Laura M. Reckford