NB Falmouth Diary, Day 3: The Storm's Coming....


IMG_9801.JPGAnd they're off! photo by Mary Hawkins

This is part 3 of Jeff Benjamin's NB Falmouth Diary. We hope that you enjoy it!

The day began with a dramatic rise in the energies approaching this weekend's events. Earlier this morning the presser for the Falmouth race's took place. Host and Road Racing's best announcer and chronicler Tony Reavis said that the theme was "Timing and Tommy." "Because of Tommy Leonard's dream, road racers, track runners and marathoners all have converged around him every August." Reavis also recounted how he came down to Falmouth in 1975 because he had heard that it was a "Great race and party here!" Now that event has blossomed into a race with 12,800 runners!

image1.JPGFalmouth Board Prez gives Dave Duba and Jennifer Tulhill awards as first winners 45 years ago, photo by Jeff Benjamin

Falmouth Board President then commemorated the 45th annual event with a special presentation to the inaugural winners Dave Duba and Jennifer Tulhill. It was also mentioned that Tulhill, an early women's running pioneer, had finished 3rd in that year's 1973 Boston Marathon.

As race director Dave McGillivray stated, "Falmouth is something we pass along and keep going throughout the years." Then discussing logistics, McGillivray spoke about the volunteers and the streets. "We have great support from Public Safety personnel and 2,000 volunteers," said McGillivray. "If we didn't have the streets, the race would be 35 laps around the big ballfield right across from the finish line."

Reavis then talked about Saturday's Falmouth Miles. "Since 1995, the Falmouth Mile has had 14 sub-4 men's milers and 7 sub-4:30 women's Milers in the races," said Reavis. Reavis also informed the conference that the Mile races will be live streamed on Facebook tomorrow. Echoing Reavis' 1975 perceptions, NIKE Oregon Projects Miler Craig Engels said that he was "looking forward towards the after-party! Three-time Mile winner Katie Mackey calls Falmouth "Exciting...The track has been nice to me here the past couple of years!"

Moving on to the traditional Sunday race, 3-time winner Stephen Sambu is looking to make race history, trying to become the first 4-time winner in the race's history. "I'm going to try and go for it," said Sambu, who's also debuting at the marathon this October in Chicago.

A new face to road racing is Jess Tonn. "This is my 2nd year as a professional runner," said Tonn, a Footlocker Finalist in every year of her high school career and then went on to compete at Stanford. After finishing 4th this past June on the track in the USATF 10K, Tonn felt the lure of the roads. "There's something about the spirit of the roads!"

That spirit of the roads was the feel at the ever growing expo later this afternoon. Former world-class runner and 2-time Boston Champ Geoff Smith was out and about, spreading his enthusiasm to anyone who'd listen about his running and one of his favorite events, the Bermuda 10K and Marathon.

Geoff still holds the 10K course record for more than 30 years," said Race Director Anthony Traynor. "And I actually slept on a floor the night before!," added Smith.

It was then onto the Quarterdeck, where Joan Benoit arrived earlier in the day to see Tommy Leonard, but Bill Rodgers just missed him. "Hopefully he'll be at the Tommy Leonard Walk tomorrow," said Rodgers about the event taking place tomorrow morning.

IMG_9796.JPGBill Rodgers holding onto a Quarterdeck Tommy Leonard Root Beer Bottle! photo by Jeff Benjamin

Bobby Hodge, Malcolm East, Brent Hawkins, Marty Helmsley, Photo by Mary Hawkins

Around the same time over at Wood's Hole, Litchfield Hills Road Race Mainstay Announcer Brent Hawkins gathered a hardy group. Their goal, as is tradition, is to run the whole Falmouth race course 2 days before. Joining the "Hawk" were former top Marathoners Bobby Hodge and Malcolm East, along with NYC Standout Mart Helmsley. In their primes, it would not be unusual to see these guys bang out sub-6 minute miles in this session. "These days we're doing around 8-9 minutes a mile," said Hodgie. "But at least we're still out here!"

And that's what it's about!

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