Long-Time Falmouth Road Race Directors Out

     In what could be the end of an era, reports have leaked out that the Falmouth Road Race Board of Directors have accepted the resignations of long time race directors Rich Sherman and John Carroll along with their wives, Kathy and Lucia. The two couples led the small Cape Cod seven-mile race for the entirety of its 38 years, and built it into one of the most revered road races in the nation.
     Popular local bartender Tommy Leonard founded the race in 1973 after being inspired by Frank Shorter’s gold medal win at the Munich Olympic Marathon. Hoping to raise money for the local high school girls track team, Tommy decided to stage a race from The Cap’n Kidd bar/restaurant in Woods Hole ending seven miles later at the Brothers Four, the bar he tended in Falmouth Heights.
     Tommy enlisted the help of the high school track coach John Carroll, and the towns recreation director Rich Sherman to help stage the first Falmouth Road Race. Fewer than 100 people ran in a driving rainstorm, but the post-race gathering at the Brothers Four was such a hit that the following year nearly 500 ran.  The 1974 race made a big splash athletically when a then unknown Greater Boston Track Club runner, Bill Rodgers, beat America’s premier miler Marty Liquori.
     In year three Tommy invited Frank Shorter himself to the Cape to race against Rodgers.  Their duels – Frank won two, Bill won three – helped roll the running boom nationwide. Continue reading

2011 L.A. Gender Challenge

     2011 L.A. Marathon lineup is listed below.  Next week we finalize this year’s Gender Challenge Differential. Now in its 7th year, the Gender Challenge was instituted to create some kind of interest in the pro races given that there’s no home team to root for.  The thinking being, women would root for women, men for men, regardless of who they are or where they came from.  TV ratings over the years have bolstered that thinking

Last year Kenya’s Edna Kiplagat won the women’s race on the new Stadium to Sea course in 2:25:38.  Fellow Kenyan Wesley Korir took his second straight men’s title in 2:09:19.  The difference in those two times is 16:19.  Last year’s differential was 18:47, meaning Edna won the $100,000 Challenge bonus by a wide margin.

Yet at halfway last year the women were only up :22. By mile 17 the men had carved the advantage down to just :08, and it looked like we might get a strirring stretch run down San Vicente heading to the Santa Monica finish. Continue reading