Katie Matthews led the B.A.A. with a top ten finish and 5th American woman.
[Pictured above are B.A.A. runners Chris George (21 consecutive Falmouth Road Races) and Brian Benestad in the final stretch at Falmouth Heights. Photo credit Susie George]
Under a cloudless summer morning, hot and humid weather greeted the runners at the 43rd Falmouth Road Race. The point-to-point course starting from Woods Hole and winding along the coastline to the finish line in Falmouth Heights offered little protection from the sun. By mile 1, B.A.A. runners we’re already feeling the searing heat but stayed the course and finished strong with several top places in both the men’s and women’s races.
The Elite women were first to start with defending champion Diane Nukuri of Burundi leading the pack to finish in Falmouth Heights. Nukuri defended her 2014 Falmouth title with a strong move late in the race outrunning American Sara Hall for the win in 36:47. B.A.A. High Performance athlete Katie Matthews led the B.A.A. with a Top Ten finish in 8th place (5th American) with a time of 38:38 improving on her 9th place finish in 2014. Close behind and just one place out of the Top Ten was B.A.A.’s Sarah Pagano finishing 11th (7th American) in 39:32. In the open race, B.A.A.’s Emmy Waldman started on the conservative side of pacing and worked her way through the competitive field scoring a top finish in 20th overall in the women’s race with a time of 42:43. Also racing Falmouth for the B.A.A. were Melissa Cooney (30th), Amanda Watters (54th) and Mary Beth Ryan (112th).
With the wheelchair athletes and the Elite women’s field off to the races, the Elite men and top local runners were ready to go. The men’s race became more of a tactical race for the win and less of a race against the clock with the mercury rising into the 80’s. Stephen Sambu, B.A.A. 10K winner in 2013 and 2014, used his experience from winning the 2014 Falmouth Road Race to outsprint Kenyan countrymen Micah Kogo and Leonard Korir in the final downhill stretch to defend his Falmouth title crossing the finish line in 32:17, just two seconds ahead of Kogo. B.A.A.’s Bo Waggoner and Eric Ashe were the top B.A.A. men placing high with Bo placing 15th in 35:41 and Eric just one place back in 16th running 35:55. Bo and Eric were the 10th and 11th American men to finish. Jason Reilly was the next B.A.A. runner across the line in 39th place in 39:12 with Chris Benestad not far behind in 52nd finishing with a new Falmouth PR in 39:30. Chris Magill repeated his 2014 performance placing 2nd in the Masters division to Meb Keflezghi who placed 10th overall and recently turned 40. Chris ran 39:57 to place 65th overall. Chris Lawrence also performed well in his age division placing 2nd in the 50-59 age category placing 89th overall in 41:11.
Congrats to all of the B.A.A. runners for competing at this year’s Falmouth Road Race. It was certainly a test of will power just getting to the starting line for many!
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