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New Balance Falmouth Road Race
Stanley Biwott and Margaret Wangari Win 40th Running of New Balance Falmouth Road Race with Kick Finishes
Krige Schabort Collects Fourth Wheelchair Division Victory; Joan Samuelson Wins Age Division
August 12, 2012, Falmouth, MA – The 40th running of the New Balance Falmouth Road Race was won by Stanley Biwott and Margaret Wangari, both of Kenya. The wheelchair division was won by newcomer Jill Moore and Krige Schabort, who collected his fourth victory on the seaside course. The race started under cloudy skies with the runners all wishing race founder Tommy Leonard, “Happy Birthday” and then Olympic Gold Medalist Frank Shorter firing the starting gun 40 years to the day after winning his medal in the marathon. There were 10,600 finishers to reach Falmouth Heights.
The men’s race took off out of Woods Hole after a slight delay due to course flooding from a morning rain storm. Organizers and Falmouth DPW quickly pumped the water off the course in two spots and the wheelchair race was off. The runners went off ten minutes later for a delay of only fifteen minutes.
A group of men, lead by Sammy Chelanga of Kenya, went through the first mile in a 4:43. They continued along at an even pace into the second mile where a few of the men dropped back, including Chris Solinsky, who returned to racing for the first time in a year after being injured. He finished in 35:44 for 29th place, vowing to return when he’s 100% healthy.
A pack of more than 15 women went through the first mile in 5:22 which included Renee Baillie of Boulder, Colorado and eventual winner, Margaret Wangari. A few women dropped back by the second mile, but the group of 13 still included Baillie, Wangari, 2010 winner Wude Ayalew of Ethiopia and Emily Chebet of Kenya. The women went through mile four in 21:22 and mile five in 26:46 with the pack of ten looking very comfortable. As they wound around the harbor and headed into Falmouth Heights the women picked it up and the race was on. Three women crested the hill with the fourth place finisher in the Kenyan Olympic Trials 1500, Margaret Wangari, out kicking Emily Chebet of Kenya and Ayalew of Ethiopia for a three-second victory. She finished in 36:54, Chebet in 36:57, Ayalew in 36:58, Rita Jeptoo of Kenya in 37:08 and Lineth Chepkurui of Kenya in 37:16. Baillie finished in 37:43 for eighth place.
As the humidity picked up, the men’s race continued along a bit quicker with a 4:40 third mile where defending champion, Lucas Rotich of Kenya was slightly pushing the pace. The crosswind off the beach didn’t slow anyone down as they stayed controlled and steady. By the time they headed to mile five the group was down to 8 runners with another 2 dropping off before the next half mile. As the pace quickened, Herbert Okuti of Uganda, Gebrestsadik Abraha of Ethiopia and Allan Kiprono of Kenya each started to drop back.
Flying into Falmouth Heights was a pack of five that included Silas Kipruto of Kenya, Kiplimo Kumatai of Kenya, Stephen Kipkosgei-Kibet of Kenya, Rotich and Biwott. As they crested the hill, Biwott and Rotich just edged out the others for an all out dual to the finish with Biwott winning by two strides, 31:59 to Rotich’s 32:01. Kipkosgei-Kibet finished third in 32:10 with Kumatai in fourth, 32:21, and Kipruto in 32:32.
In the wheelchair division, like the night before in the Falmouth Mile, it was defending champion, Krige Schabort who took off from the starting gun and never looked back. He collected his fourth victory, a tune-up before his Paralympic Marathon bid, in 23:53. Eight time champion, Craig Blanchette was a distant second in 27:25, while two-time winner Patrick Doak and Matthew Porterfield had a great battle to finish in third (27:39) and fourth (27:59), respecitvely. Jill Moore’s first trip to Falmouth was a successful one as she won the women’s mile on the track Saturday night and collected her first New Balance Falmouth Road Race victory Sunday. She pulled away from Chelsea Crytzer around two miles and never looked back. Moore finished in 39:09 with Crytzer in 42:10.
Past champion and course record holder, Candace Cable held the break tape for the wheelchair winners and champion and Olympian, Craig Virgin held the break tape for the men’s and women’s champion.
The men’s Masters Division was won by Kevin Castille, 40, from Nicholasville, Kentucky in 33:42. He was followed by Vladmir Tontchinski, 45, from Belgium, in 36:37, and Dennis Simonaitis, 50, from Draper, UT, who won the 50+ group in 37:13.
The large crowds continued to cheer loudly for all entrants including the past champions in the race. Bill Rodgers finished in 54:06, Frank Shorter in 68:36, Rod Dixon in 53:45 and the ageless Joan Samuelson finished in 43:44 for 31st overall. Samuelson won the 50-59 age division.
Full results can be found at www.falmouthroadrace.com
About Falmouth Road Race
The New Balance Falmouth Road Race was established in 1973 and has become one of the premier running events of the summer season. Each year the race draws an international field of Olympians, elite and recreational runners out to enjoy the iconic 7-mile seaside course. The non-profit Falmouth Road Race organization is committed to promoting health and fitness through community programs and philanthropic giving.