Falmouth, MA. – Pictures from the lead man’s vehicle at the 47th New Balance Falmouth Road Race on old Cape Cod. U.S. Army’s Leonard Korir (32:11) wins his first Falmouth after finishing second twice and third two other times. Four time champion Stephen Sambu of Kenya takes 2nd (32:29) with fellow Kenyan Edward Cheserek in his his first Falmouth taking third (32:30) and former NCAA steeplechase champ Mason Ferlic out of Michigan in 4th (32:54) on a warm, muggy morning.
Leonard Korir opens his lead in the final mile over Sambu.
Korir turns Falmouth Harbor heading toward mile six.
1983 Boston Marathon champ Greg Meyer watches the action near six miles with 1978 Falmouth runner up Mike Roche.
Passing six miles in 27:30 off a 4:40 split.
The final stretch with 1K to go at the turn.
Korir salutes the crowd.
How the followers saw Leonard at the line.
4X champ Sambu holds off Cheserek for second 32:29 to 32:30.
Former Michigan Wolverine Mason Ferlic In fourth in a breakthrough performance.
Falmouth board member Scott Ghelfi interviews the champion.
To the victor go the spoils.
The ball field was jammed!
Former Philadelphia Half Marathon race director Tony DeSabato with 1980 Falmouth Road Race champion Rod Dixon in the Crow’s Nest.
The calm before The storm in Woods Hole.
Lined up and ready to go.
Nerves apparent before the start.
And they are off.
2014-2017 champ Stephen Sambu attack’s early out of Woods Hole.
Sambu in close concentration with Silas Kipruto already chalkenged.
Mike 1 in 4:27, 7 seconds faster than last year.
No prisoners today.
In mile 2, Cooper River Bridge 10K champ Silas Kipruto made his bid.
Kipruto put some distance on the pack in the second mile.
The gap widens.
Three-time Bix 7 champion Kipruto finished fifth at the Wharf to Wharf six miler in Capitola, California two weeks ago.
Famous Nobska Light
Rolling hills and tree cover define the first 3 miles of the Falmouth course.
2 miles in 9:03, a 4:36 second mile. Silas still leads but the pack is closing.
Together again. Kipruto, Korir, Sambu, David Bett and King Chez.
No messing around. Sambu again goes to the front and puts in the boot.
Edward Cheserek In his first Falmouth race came in with a slight hamstring pull from 10 days ago after running a 13:04 personal best over 5000 m in Belgium. But in mile three he fades from the front as the pack strings out under the pressure applied by four-time champion Sambu.
Sensing the moment at hand, Sambu continues to drive with only Leonard Korir and Silas Kipruto able to maintain contact.
Mike 3 in 13:39, a 4:36 split and it’s Just the two Falmouth veterans still in the hunt.
Gaps have formed.
Sambu finished fourth and Korir third last year as they let University of Michigan 10,000 m NCAA champion Ben Flanagan from Canada hang around until his speed took the victory. This year it was a drive from the start.
Big boisterous crowds lined the route along the beach
Sambu never came off the gas. But he couldn’t break free. He’s training for the New York City Marathon in November and coming off fourth place finishes at the Utica Boilermaker 15K and the Bix 7, and a seventh place at the Peachtree Road race July 4th in Atlanta.
Beginning to show signs of wear.
Four miles passed in 18:12 off a 4:32 split. Sambu wonders where Cheserek is.
King Chez we gathered him is only 14 seconds behind at 4 1/2 miles.
Finally, Leonard Korir takes control.
Korir check his watch and sees that he passed 5 miles in 22:50 off a 4:37 split. In 1978 Bill Rodgers, Mike Roche, Craig Virgin, and Alberto Salazar passed 5 miles at 22:40 as Rogers headed toward his third Falmouth win with Roche in second, Virgin in third and Alberto fading back to tenth heading toward an ice bath to reduce his spiking body temperature. This year, Korir cruised to his first Falmouth victory in the final two miles. Thanks for taking the ride with me on the men’s lead vehicle along with 2018 champion Ben Flanagan provided color commentary like a real natural. See you down the roads.