No surprises on the men’s podium at today’s 39th New Balance Falmouth Road Race, as the three Kenyan favorites prevailed for the second week in a row on the New England road circuit. The only change from last weekend’s TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K in Cape Elizabeth, Maine was that 21 year-old Lucas Rotich turned the tables on 25 year-old countryman Micah Kogo to take the win. His 31:37 winning time tied third best ever on the classic seaside course, and was four seconds up on the B2B champ. 2009 Falmouth champion and B2B third-placer, Ed Muge, followed in 32:02 to cop his second straight show trophy.
Not to say there wasn’t any surprise. There was a big one flying down into Falmouth Heights in fourth place as top American finisher in the person of Columbus, Ohio’s Brian Olinger.
Running head up against the Kenyan stars throughout the seven-mile race, 25 year-old Olinger came across in 32:16 to become the third fastest American ever on the Falmouth course. Only Alberto Salazar’s two wins (1981- 31:55, 1982 – 31:51), and Craig Virgin’s runner up to Alberto in `82 (32:12) have been faster by U.S. runners. (CORRECTION: Meb Keflizighi ran 32:09 in 2008 (2nd), 32:12 in 2009 (5th), and 32:13 in 2007 (2nd).
Brian’s effort was well remunerated. He pocketed $11,500, including the separate $10,000 payday that went to the top American finisher. Arizona’s Abdi Abdirahman finished in fifth in 32:43. (more…)