RunBlogRun comments: This is the column for Day 2, Thursday, August 17, by Jeff Benjamin on all things New Balance Falmouth. Jeff’s title, appropriate, is the calm before the storm. The 45th anniversary race of NB Falmouth is August 20, 2017.
Today’s feel in the town of Falmouth is one of anxious anticipation. Without a doubt, Tommy Leonard’s creation has grown into a monster! Instead of a few hundred runners traversing from Wood’s Home to Falmouth, the 7-Mile distance will now involve thousands, in both competition and parade.
During this morning’s run, this writer saw some of that preparation. Along the course were newly painted markers, including a marker for 10K. I was told that race director Dave McGillvary was cycling around the course and making sure things were set up just right. Right after that 10K marker, runners will be encountering the hill of all hills, the infamous incline on Falmouth Heights.
“In my time, you had to be in the lead by this point of the race before the hill because it’s so tough,” said former winner Rod Dixon. Although there is a downhill afterwards to the finish line, climbing up this tough hill is always a challenge. Like Boston’s Heartbreak Hill, it’s not necessarily the steepness of it, but where it’s situated along the course that the challenge is presented.
Later on today the Falmouth Race expo opened. Replete with vendors, the expo area, located in the Falmouth High School Field-house, now becomes headquarters for the race itself. The largest vendor, New Balance, sells most of the official merchandise for the race.
Aside from many other vendors present, noted author Paul Clerici is present as well. The author of books in the Boston Marathon, Falmouth, and the Greater Boston Track Club, Clerici has now taken in his greatest challenge. “I’m writing a biography on Coach Bill Squires,” said Clerici. To write a biography about the eccentric, successful Coach of Bill Rodgers, Bobby Hodge, Randy Thomas, along with a young Alberto Salazar and others in the GBTC is no easy feat. Amazingly successful yet also amazingly disorganized, Squires life work has given Clerici the daunting task of trying to fit everything in an orderly way into his project. But, he’s almost done! “It’ll be a good one,” he said.
Like all things going on today, preparation for the next few days seems to be the norm!
Stay tuned for tomorrow for the official morning press conference and a very interesting afternoon run!