A star-studded international field expected for 40th edition.
From: Running USA
FALMOUTH, Mass. — Falmouth, Massachusetts will be host to a who’s who of distance running, past and present, for the celebration of the 40th running of the New Balance Falmouth Road Race. 2011 race champion Lucas Rotich is back to defend his title with the hottest man on the circuit, Alan Kiprono, nipping at his heels. While 2010 women’s champion Wude Ayalew Yimer is back to challenge the field, the best women’s battle may be in the Masters division between past champions Catherine Ndereba and Colleen De Reuck. Wheelchair course record holder and defending champion Krige Schabort also returns to Falmouth to race for his fourth title.
The New Balance Falmouth Road Race will take place on Sunday, August 12 when 12,800 participants will line up on the newly dedicated ”Tommy Leonard Start Line” in front of The Captain Kidd in Woods Hole, MA. Wheelchair participants will start at 9:40am and the elite field will go off at 10:00am.
Rotich, 22, from Kenya has a 26:43.98 time from the Brussels Diamond League Meet last year as well as a runner-up finish at the TD Bank Beach to Beacon race last year. On his heels will be the 2012 Dick’s Sporting Goods BolderBOULDER champion, Alan Kiprono, 22, of Kenya with a personal best of 27:42 for the 10K. Kiprono is on a hot streak with wins at Lilac Bloomsday Run and The Bellin Run as well. This is his Falmouth debut.
In addition, Ed Muge, 29, of Kenya was third at Falmouth in 2011, and is a two-time TD Bank Beach to Beacon champion. Muge will be a factor along with American Chris Solinsky, 27, the former U.S. 10,000 meters record holder with a time of 26:59.60. Tim Nelson, 28, a fellow American, is also expected to be in the lead pack. He has a 27:28.19 10,000 meter time and was a member of the 2009 World Championship team in Berlin.
The women’s field is stacked behind 2010 champion, Yimer, 25, who was also the 2011 Crescent City Classic champion. She’ll be chased by Lineth Chepkirui, 25, of Kenya, who was second at the 2012 Peachtree 10K in 32:23. Margaret Wangari, 26, of Kenya, is making her Falmouth debut and last Sunday, she won the TD Beach to Beacon 10K in 31:52.
This group will be closely followed by Americans Lindsey Scherf, 25, who was fourth at the Peachtree 10K in 33:22 and Neely Spence, 22, of the United States who is making her Falmouth debut where her father, Steve, finished second in 1988.
One of the most fierce battles on the course this year could come between two former champions in the Masters Division. Colleen De Reuck, 48, was overall champion in both 1993 and 1997. She hasn’t shown much slowing down, handily winning the Masters Division for several years at Falmouth, including last year with a time of 39:12 for sixteenth overall. Catherine Ndereba is a four-time overall champion who has just turned 40 this summer. She claimed the top spot in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2007. Catherine was third at Falmouth in 2011 with a time of 37:27. De Reuck and Ndereba are no strangers to competing together having finished 1-2 twice at Falmouth; both times the edge going to Ndereba. However, if they spend too much time on each other, Sheri Piers, 40, from Falmouth, Maine, could play the spoiler. She was tenth over all at this year’s Boston Marathon as a master.
Defending champion, course record holder and 2012 Paralympian Krige Schabort, 48, leads the men’s wheelchair field. Challengers include eight-time champion Craig Blanchette, 44, who was second in 2011 and four-time champion Tony Nogueira, 44, who finished third last year. Two-time champion Patrick Doak, 44, is also back and ready to race.
With six-time winner Jessica Galli concentrating on the Paralympic Games, the women’s race is wide open. Jill Moore, 19, from the University of Illinois who has a 32:45 10K time will be mixing it up with the 2011 TD Bank Beach to Beacon winner Christina Kouros, 17, from Maine.
Past champions who will return to Falmouth include: Bill Rodgers (1974, 1977, 1978), Frank Shorter (1975, 1976), Craig Virgin (1979), Rod Dixon (1980), Lucas Rotich (2011); Joan Benoit Samuelson (1976, 1978, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985), Colleen De Reuck (1993, 1997), Catherine Ndereba (1996, 1998, 1999, 2007), Wude Ayalew Yimer (2010); Craig Blanchette (1991, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2010), Patrick Doak (2006, 2007), Tony Nogueira (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005), Krige Schabort (2008, 2009, 2011) and Candace Cable (1990, 1991, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999). Virgin and Cable will not be competing but will be part of many activities during race weekend.
The 2012 race prize purse exceeds $75,000 with $10,000 for each Open race champion.
Men’s Open: Gilbert Okari, Kenya, 2004 – 31:08
Women’s Open: Lornah Kiplagat, Kenya, 2000 – 35:02
Men’s Wheelchair: Krige Schabort, USA, 2008 – 23:35
Women’s Wheelchair: Candace Cable, USA, 1991 – 28:20