Ethiopians Sweep the
37th Annual CIGNA Falmouth Road Race
Tilahun Regassa and Mamitu Daska are King and Queen of the Roads
Stow, Mass. Native, Rebecca Donoghue finishes Second – Falmouth Results
FALMOUTH, Mass. ÛÓ Waving and blowing kisses to the crowd, 19-year-old
Tilahun Regassa led from the Woods Hole start to the Falmouth Heights
finish. Regassa claimed the title in his inaugural Falmouth outing in
31:41 finishing virtually alone. His time was 33 seconds off the
course record set by Gilbert Okari of Kenya in 2004 and tied the 4th
fastest winning time. Trailing the Ethiopian 22 seconds later was
Ridouane Harroufi, age 28, from Morocco in 32:03 and Edward Muge, age
26, from Kenya in 32:10.
Mamitu Daska, age 25, bettered her 2008 fourth place Falmouth time by
52 seconds crossing the line in 36:23. Rebecca Donoghue, age 33, also
improved upon her 2008 8th place time by 35 seconds, finishing in 37:14
collecting winnings in the overall and American divisions.
year old Edna Kiplagat of Kenya followed in 37:34. Daska’s victory
follows her wins at this year’s Freihofer’s 5K Run and Bolder Boulder
Framed by a nearly cloudless blue sky, runners and spectators alike
were treated to a flyover of a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter and a Falcon
jet. Moments later at 10:00 a.m., the starter’s gun sounded sending
the field on their 7-mile journey over the scenic seaside course.
result of the near perfect weather, 8,950 runners crossed the finish
In the men’s division, a group of 15 to 20 runners pulled out to the
front with Regassa immediately sprinting to the lead before the first
turn from Water Street onto Woods Hole Road. The field may have
assumed the young Ethiopian would “come back to the pack,Û¢bCrLf but by mile
one Regassa clocked 4:22 and he never relinquished the lead.
Subsequent splits were: 8:44 at mile two; 13:18 at mile three; 22:30 at
mile five and 27:03 at mile six. Regassa seemingly floated over the
course, thoroughly enjoying center stage from mile three to the
At the six-mile mark Regassa looked over his shoulder and with
a 20 second lead over the eight man chase pack knew, barring any
unforeseen calamity, he had it won. After the race Regassa remarked
that his fear of his competitors’ closing speed spurred him to the
front runner role. Following Harroufi and Muge was Boaz Cheboiywo in
32:11 and Meb Keflezighi, age 33, of Mommoth, Lakes, Calif. The 2004
Olympic Silver Medalist in the marathon, finished 5th overall and led the American men in a time of 32:12.
Thirty-year old fellow American, and Brookline, Mass. native, Jonathan
Riley, finished second in the American men’s division and 12th overall
in 33:15. Stephen Pifer, age 24, of Edwardsville, Ill. finished third
and 15th overall in 33:38 which followed his second-place performance
of 3 minutes 58 seconds in the Falmouth Mile held a mere 16 hours
before the main race.
In the women’s division, Daska ran a strong race and after her win said
she made her move at mile two and was confident that she could hold off
Donoghue and the rest of the field. Her goal was to win, thus
bettering her 2008 performance. Donoghue was ecstatic with her
effort. She felt strong from the beginning after her 5th place finish
in 32:46 at last weekend’s Beach to Beacon 10K. At mile two Donoghue
put a surge and by mile three her second place was sealed.
By placing second in the American women’s division, as well as placing
first in the masters division and 5th overall, former South African
Colleen DeReuck, age 45, collected prize money in all three. She’s
also a two-time Falmouth overall winner. Immediately following
DeReuck, as third American, was Renee Metivier Baillie, age 27, from
Flagstaff, AZ, in 37:56.
This year’s men’s wheelchair top three duplicated their last year’s
placings. Winner, Krige Schabort, age 45, from Cedartown, Ga.,
finished in 24:11, 36 seconds off his 2008 course record.. Four-time
winner, Tony Noguiera, age 41, of Glen Ridge, N.J. placed second in
25:57 followed by two-time winner Patrick Doak, age 41, of Carlisle,
Mass. in 26:38. Jessica Galli, age 25, of Champaign, Ill., won her
second Falmouth in three years in a time of 31:36. Ellie O’Neil, age
23, of Syracuse, N.Y. was second in 43:25 followed by defending
champion Jacqui Kapinowski, age 46, of Point Pleasant, N.J. in 49:52.
Falmouth featured Olympian and three-time Falmouth winner Bill
Rodgers, age 61, of Sherborn, Mass. who finished in 51:25; two-time
winner, as well as Olympic Marathon Gold and Silver Medalist, Frank
Shorter, age 61, of Boulder, Colo.; and six-time Falmouth winner and
Olympic Gold Medalist, Joan Benoit Samuelson, age 52, of Freeport, Me.
who breezed to a 41:27. The well-known father-son team, Dick and Rick
Hoyt celebrated their 30th Falmouth finish in 61:45. Inspired by the
legendary Hoyts another father-son team, Ricardo Lomas, age 42, and his
son Sammy, age 15, from Venice, Fla., finished in an incredible 44:13.
Mark Marsters, age 45, of Philadelphia, Penn., and CIGNA vice
president, sponsorship executive finished in 50:19. Falmouth Results
CIGNA’s third year as the title sponsor. The Philadelphia-based
employee benefits company has extended its commitment to the race