|The Start of the 1978 Falmouth Road Race.|
|Frank Shorter winning the 1975 Falmouth Road Race.|
red and white striped Dolfin shorts while running through town no longer brought catcalls or unpleasant comments (well, that may not be entirely true!). Runners were skinny, but tough and even admired. Besides framing and retelling the stories of Shorter, Rodgers, and Salazar and their impact on the world stage, this book delves into many of the influences and history of athletes and events from ancient times up to those preceding and coinciding with the running boom. Without being wordy, the details are enough and quite interesting for a reader already familiar with this history of running as well as for a novice without a knowledge of these facts. Many runners will already be familiar with the three chosen runners, but this is not their biographies. Their achievements are noted, but framed within the greater context of moving onto the story of how running became the popular sport of the masses at this time in history and how the careers of these three athletes intertwined over this short period of time.
|Bill Rodgers leading the 1978 Falmouth Road Race|
at about the 6 mile mark.
This is the book that should resonate with the beginning joggers trying to go from Couch to 5K, to the charity or bucket list marathoners who fill the roads in the big city marathons, all the way up to the highly competitive racers who compete throughout the country in scholastic races or in road races measured in distances from the 5k on up to the marathon. Those who have run the Falmouth Road Race know its winding roadways and this book likewise twists and turns as the story of running unfolds. You will enjoy how Stracher combines the personalities and events that somehow can be traced back in some way to a seashore race run along Vineyard Sound.
The roads are crowded these days with runners, but I am not sure the younger post-running boom crowd really knows or appreciates the vibrant history of the sport that is so readily available to them each weekend with choices of multiple races from which to choose from in order to compete. It is time to remember.
|A photo I took of the awards ceremony after the|
1976 Falmouth Road Race.
Frank Shorter, Bill Rodgers, Randy Thomas, George Reed,
Alberto Salazar, Amby Burfoot, Bob Hodge, and Mike Buckley.
|Finish line at Falmouth 1980.|
|Here is a photo I took after the 1980 Falmouth Road Race|
of Bill Rodgers and Fred Lebow of the New York City Marathon
having an intense conversation.
You can read about Bill and Fred and their disagreements
over money and competition
throughout "King of the Road." Little did I know that
I was probably interrupting a serious disagreement here.
|Salazar at 6 miles, 1977 Falmouth.|
This is already a wordy post, but I have more to say. Look for additional posts centered more on my recollections and connections to the Falmouth Road Race with a local flair as well as an additional reason, with ties to Falmouth, for the demise of the popularity of competitive running and the nationwide disintegration of interest in the sport of running.