By Jim Gerweck, Running USA wire
FALMOUTH, Mass. – (August 12, 2012) – In its 40-year history, humidity has been an almost omnipresent constant of the Falmouth Road Race.
This year was no exception, although few expected the volume,
intensity and liquid nature of the moisture for this annual New England
rite of the summer racing season.
Heavy rains pounded the
western part of Cape Cod in the pre-dawn hours before the
Sunday morning race, putting a few sections of the course under
several feet of water.
“No way we could have held the race,” said Dave McGillivray,
in his first year of directing the event that was conceived as
a run between two Cape watering holes by Tommy Leonard 40 years ago.
“The runners would have been up to their knees, and the
wheelchair racers would have drowned.”
was able to muster up a few submersible pumps to push the water
off the course, and after a 15-minute delay, 11,000-plus
runners set off on the 7-mile trek from Woods Hole to Falmouth Heights.
While the moisture was no
longer coming down from the skies, it was surely rising up from
the ground, making for typical sticky conditions in spite of a
wind that alternated at times between behind, from the side,
or in the face of the runners. That resulted in a relatively dawdling
4:40-ish pace through three miles, and a huge lead pack of some
15 runners, which included defending champion Lucas Rotich.
Just past that point the
pretenders began to separate from the contenders as the pace
dropped each succeeding mile to 4:33, 4:28 and 4:26. That
whittled the pack down to eight, six and finally three,
consisting of Kenyans Rotich, Stephen Kipsogei-Kibet and Stanley Biwott,
and Biwott, 26, the 2012 Paris Marathon champion who won TD
Beach to Beacon 10K last week, made the first move, just past the 10K
mark before the final climb before the screaming downhill to the
finish. Rotich, however, was not about to give up his title
that easily, and mounted one last furious charge, coming within
an eyelash of catching Biwott at the finish as Biwott hit the
finish line in 31 minutes, 59 seconds – 22 seconds slower than
Rotich’s time from last year. Rotich followed in 32:01 with
Kipkosgei-Kibet nine seconds back.
Utah’s Luke Puskedra,
sporting a throwback version jersey of his University of
Oregon alma mater, was the top American in 11th at 33:14.
, by MickFoto/NERunner)
“I was confident in my
speed at the finish,” said Biwott. “But I knew I could not
relax, because my colleague’s speed was also very good.”
Biwott’s next big challenge
will come in November, when he matches his speed with some of
the world’s best marathoners on the streets of New York in that
The women’s side of the
race was almost a mirror image of the men, with a large pack
going through relaxed splits in the 5:20 per mile range. In
that group were 2010 champ Wude Ayalew of Ethiopia and Kenyans Emily Chebet and Margaret Wangari.
The latter, after finishing fourth in her country’s Olympic
Trials in the 1500m, ventured to America to try her hand on the
roads, and came into Falmouth on a hot streak, having won
Iowa’s Quad-City Times Bix 7 and the Maine TD Beach to Beacon
10K in the preceding two weeks.
By the time the women leaders reached five miles it was just the aforementioned trio left together.
“I was thinking I might
have a chance to win this race,” said the 26-year-old Wangari.
“Then one of the other women [Ayalew] pushed at six miles, and I
was able to stay with her, so that gave me even more confidence.
Once I got to the top of the last hill and could see the finish line
at the bottom, I knew I could win because my sprint is very
good from training for the 1500.”
Her countrywoman Chebet was
equally quick over the final stretch, just nipping Ayalew at
the line by one second, just three seconds off Wangari’s
winning time of 36:54.
who has raced sparingly but well on the roads this spring and
summer since the Olympic Marathon Trials in January, posted
another strong performance as the top American woman in 37:24,
good for sixth overall.
“I’ve been trying to get in
some good blocks of training between races,” she said. In
spite of living in one of least humid parts of the country,
Flagstaff, Arizona, Rothstein’s strong run in the soupy
Falmouth conditions gave her encouragement to point for an unusual
late season marathon: Honolulu.
“You’d think coming from
Flagstaff I wouldn’t do well in humidity, but I do,” she
continued, noting that her sixth place in the New York Road
Runners Mini Marathon 10K came in similar conditions.
Rothstein’s next race will be at the New Haven, CT Labor Day 20K USA
Championship, where she’s likely to encounter more humid
Although hopefully, not as intense nor as liquid.
The top Masters (40 and older) at Falmouth were Kevin Castille, 40, from Nicholasville, Kentucky and Irina Permitina, 42, of Russia, who clocked 33:42 and 38:04, respectively.
40th New Balance Falmouth Road Race
Falmouth, MA, Sunday, August 12, 2012
1) Stanley Biwott (KEN), 31:59, $10,000
2) Lucas Rotich (KEN), 32:01, $7500
3) Stephen Kipkosgei-Kibet (KEN), 32:10, $3500
4) Kiplimo Kumatai (KEN), 32:21, $2500
5) Silas Kipruto (KEN), 32:30, $1500
6) Allan Kiprono (KEN), 32:32, $1000
7) Gebretsadik Abraha (ETH), 32:53, $800
8) Harbert Okuti (UGA), 33:04, $600
9) Sammy Chelanga (KEN), 33:08, $500
10) Lani Rutto (KEN), 33:09, $400
11) Luke Puskedra (USA / UT), 33:14
MASTERS MEN (40+)
1) Kevin Castille, 40, USA / KY, 33:42, $2000
2) Vladmir Tontchinski, 45, Belgium, 36:37, $1000
3) Dennis Simonaitis, 50, USA / UT, 37:13, $750
SENIOR MAN (50+)
1) Simonaitis, see above, $500
1) Margaret Wangari (KEN), 36:54, $10,000
2) Emily Chebet (KEN), 36:57, $7500
3) Wude Ayalew (ETH), 36:58, $3500
4) Rita Jeptoo (KEN), 37:08, $2500
5) Lineth Chepkurui (KEN), 37:16, $1500
6) Stephanie Rothstein (USA / AZ), 37:24, $1000
7) Pauline Njeri Kahenya (KEN), 37:30, $800
8) Renee Baillie (USA / CO), 37:43, $600
9) Jelliah Tinega (KEN), 37:43, $500
10) Alice Kimutai (KEN), 37:50, $400
MASTERS WOMEN (40+)
1) Irina Permitina, 42, Russia, 38:04, $2000
2) Catherine Ndereba, 40, Kenya, 38:41, $1000
3) Sheri Piers, 41, USA / ME, 39:55, $750
SENIOR WOMAN (50+)
1) Joan Benoit Samuelson, 55, ME, 43:44, $500
Full results and more at: www.falmouthroadrace.com
By Jim Gerweck, Running USA wire
FALMOUTH, Mass. – (August 11, 2012) – Last year’s Falmouth Mile,
a track precursor to the larger, older 7-mile road race, proved
to be one of the deepest ever run on American soil, with the top 10
men dipping under the magical 4-minute mark.
It would have been hard to
equal that performance again, and indeed, swirling, humid winds
threw an additional impediment into the mix. Nonetheless, this
year’s edition on Saturday evening came close, with David Torrence leading five other men under 4, turning in a creditable 3:55.79 victory.
“I was a little nervous
warming up,” said Torrence, 26, who finished sixth at the 2012
U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials 1500 meters earlier this
summer. “I’ve just finished a hard block of training, and my
legs felt kind of dead. Until we got on the line I wasn’t sure
how they’d respond.”
After zipping through the
two opening laps in 58 seconds apiece, the pace slowed through
the three-quarter mark before defending champion and event
record holder Jordan McNamara took over at the bell.
“The wind was really tough on the backstretch,” he said. “I was
just waiting for the 200 mark to make my move, when the wind would
be behind us.”
That slackening of pace
allowed Torrence to close a gap of several meters that had
opened in the first three laps. “I was making all these mini
surges to get close,” recounted the three-time USA Mile road
As the leaders hit the
homestretch, Torrence, an Oakland, Calif. resident, unleashed a
finishing sprint McNamara and the others couldn’t match,
finishing 0.28 ahead of McNamara, with Garrett Heath another 0.14 behind in third.
“This gives me a lot of
confidence,” said the winner, who pocketed $3000. “I’ve always
heard about Falmouth, the great tradition of the road race, and
I wanted to be part of the legend. Now I’m going to regroup
and head to Europe for the second season and try to nail down
some PRs, and then finish up with the Fifth Avenue Mile.”
The women’s field was
equally loaded, to the extent that the schedule was swapped to
allow them to run last, as the grand finale of the evening of
miles that included high school and wheelchair divisions as
well. Brenda Martinez, who placed 12th at the Trials 1500, took
advantage of the spotlight to notch a huge PR, her 4:26.76
victory lopping a huge margin off her previous best of 4:32.29.
“Wow, I’m really excited,”
she said afterward. “Right after the Trials I was having some
bad leg problems, but I had some active release treatments that
really worked me over, but cleared things up. I’ve been
feeling good in workouts, and I think the rest actually helped
me. I sort of had a plan going in, but with the wind swirling I
figured I’d just kind of feel how things went.”
Martinez, last year’s runner-up, went to the front with 500 to go, and quickly opened a 10-meter lead over Gabrielle Anderson.
While the gap was cut by more than half, Martinez won
comfortably by just over a second as runner-up Anderson also
PRed and dipped under 4:30 with her 4:27.94. Their Mile times
are the #1 and #2 fastest of the year for women.
“This sets me up really
well to go to Europe and try to establish myself as an elite
runner,” said Martinez, who graduated from UC Riverside two
years ago and has been living and training in Big Bear, Ryan
Hall’s hometown, since.
“I don’t have a group to
train with,” she said. “I do most of my runs by myself,
although there are some guys I can do some of the harder
workouts with.” Martinez is coached by her boyfriend, a set-up
she said works better than it might sound. “We’re able to
separate the boyfriend-girlfriend, coach-athlete relationship
In the men’s wheelchair race, Krige Schabort
zipped to a 3:21.01 victory. The time is the fastest recorded
by a wheelchair racer on the track, but since the Falmouth High
School oval lacks a curb won’t be recognized as a world
17th Falmouth Mile
Falmouth, MA, Saturday, August 11, 2012
1) David Torrence (CA), 3:55.79, $3000
2) Jordan McNamara (OR), 3:56.07, $1500
3) Garrett Heath (CA), 3:56.21, $1000
4) Craig Miller (WI), 3:56.51, $750
5) Jeff See (OH), 3:58.57
6) Cory Leslie (OH), 3:59.17
1) Brenda Martinez (CA), 4:26.76, $3000
2) Gabriele Anderson (MN), 4:27.94, $1500
3) Chelsea Reilly (CA), 4:30.18, $1000
4) Sarah Bowman (TN), 4:31.40, $750
5) Ashley Miller (NE), 4:39.51
6) Aisha Praight (IL), 4:50.61
Results and more at: www.falmouthroadrace.com