Monday, August 10, 2015

History of the Falmouth Road Race by Paul Clerici: 2003 A Surprised Winner

(On July 6, 2015, the first-ever book entirely about the Falmouth Road Race was published. Entitled “History of the Falmouth Road Race,” it is written by Massachusetts runner and writer Paul C. Clerici, author of “Boston Marathon History by the Mile” and “History of the Greater Boston Track Club.” In a series for Recover Your Stride, he has provided some anecdotes, tales, and tidbits that will run here on a regular basis leading up to the 43rd edition of the Falmouth Road Race on August 16.)

I bet you didn't know on which day of the week the first Falmouth Road Race was held.

Paul C. Clerici: August in the Cape can be notorious for its hot weather, of course, and the Falmouth Road Race is no exception. One of the hottest race’s was in 2003. Heading into the final miles of the race were leaders Olga Romanova of Russia, Catherine Ndereba of Kenya, and Jen Rhines of the U.S. The heat can play tricks on a runner’s mind, but Rhines recalls running solo in third place when she saw Ndereba drop out around four miles. Unable to see Romanova ahead of her, and satisfied with a second-place finish at Falmouth, Rhines was pleasantly surprised to hear all the cheers as she closed in on the finish line. But the applause was for her victory, as unbeknownst to the American, Romanova had dropped out in the Heights, and Rhines won.

Here are two photos I took of Jen Rhines at the 2014 Falmouth Road Race.

 I met Paul last year and was thrilled to find out that he was writing a book on the history of The Falmouth Road Race. This is the one of many tidbits from the race that he will be providing my blog in anticipation of this year's Falmouth Road Race. If you are like me and enjoy reading background information and hearing the history of the great runners and races from the "running boom" years, you might want to do a few things in anticipation of reading Paul's upcoming book.

My blog has a lot of photos and information on the early days of the Falmouth Road Race. The first year that I ran was the historic 1975 race. You can read about it here. Kings of the Road: How Frank Shorter, Bill Rodgers, and Alberto Salazar Made Running Go Boom by Cameron Stracher tells about the runners and the races that made the "running boom" and the 1975 Falmouth Road Race plays a pivotal role. You can read my review here. Paul has written other books on running including Boston Marathon History by the Mile and History of the Greater Boston Track Club I am very much looking forward to reading Paul's new book on The Falmouth Road Race.

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