(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.)
Paul C. Clerici: Wheelchair competition at the Falmouth Road Race began for the men in 1975 and for the women in 1979. Bob Hall, Natalie Bacon, and Craig Blanchette have each won the most races overall with eight apiece. Hall dominated Falmouth with the first eight titles from 1975 to 1982. Bacon also was untouchable as she won the first eight titles from 1979 to 1986. And Blanchette won his eight crowns in 1991, 1992, 1995 to 1998, 2000, and 2010. Amazingly, 19 years separate his first and eighth victory!
Jim Hansen: My first Falmouth Road Race was in 1975 and I remember Bob Hall racing in his wheelchair quite vividly. He started with all the runners and as I headed down the hill from the wooden bridge on Church Street towards the ocean, I suddenly heard a loud cry, "On your left!" and I moved out of the way as Bob Hall came hurtling down the road in his metal wheelchair.
|Here is a photo I took of Bob Hall after the 1980 Falmouth Road Race.|
|Here is a photo I took of James Senbeta winning the 2014 Falmouth Road Race.|
|Here is my photo of Tatyanna McFadden winning the 2014 Falmouth Road Race.|
Other 2014 photos can be found here.
Paul C. Clerici: In the Falmouth Road Race, there have been 12 course records set in the men’s open division (Gilbert Okari’s 31:08 in 2004 is the current CR); 13 course records in the women’s open division (Lornah Kiplagat’s 35:02 in 2000 is the current CR); 18 course records in the men’s wheelchair division (James Senbeta’s 23:32 in 2014 is the current CR); and eight in the women’s wheelchair division (Tatyana McFadden’s 27:06 in 2014 is the current CR). And interestingly in regard to international wins, while there have been 32 in the men’s open division and 25 in the women’s open division, there has only been one international winner in the men’s wheelchair division (from France in 1994) and only one international winner in the women’s wheelchair division (from Finland in 2006) - all other wheelchair wins have come from Americans.
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.