This weekened was the running of the 49th Annual ASICS Falmouth Road Race, one of America’s premier east-coast running events of the summer. Canada’s Ben Flanagan added another Falmouth trophy to his cabinet, winning the men’s elite race for the second time, covering the 11.2-kilometre distance in 32:16. Flanagan noted his course experience gave him an advantage over his competition, as he broke away from the field just after 10K. This marked Flanagan’s fastest time on this course, bettering his winning time from 2018 by five seconds.
Flanagan said in a post-race interview that he travelled to the course a week before the race and got a few workouts under his belt before Sunday. He planned for the exact moment he would take off if he was in contention. His plan worked out as he rounded the bend leading into the downhill finish and never looked back.
Veteran distance runner and 2017 Boston Marathon champion Edna Kiplagat won the women’s elite race. Kiplagat used this race as a tune-up in her training for her Boston 2021 build. The short 11.2K distance for the marathoner was a test of her speed and strength as she gapped the pack seven kilometres in and broke the tape in 36:52.
Flanagan’s win marks a Canadian sweep at the men’s Falmouth road races, as Charles Philibert-Thiboutot won Saturday’s Falmouth Elite Mile. Philibert-Thiboutot set a new course record and personal best, crossing the line in 3:52.97, ahead of Craig Engels, who finished second in 3:53.97.
Molly Seidel, Tokyo Olympic Marathon bronze medallist, joined in the ASICS Falmouth Race field of nearly 8,000 registered participants as the very last runner, and for each runner that she passed during race, she pledged to donate $1 to Tommy’s Place, a vacation home in Falmouth for kids fighting cancer, named for the late Tommy Leonard. Tommy’s Place and Falmouth Road Race announced they would match Seidel’s achievement dollar-for-dollar in appreciation of Seidel’s participation in the event and to celebrate her bronze medal in Tokyo. Seidel managed to run past 4,761 runners, raising a grand total of $19,044 for the charity.