The 45th running of the fabled New Balance Falmouth Road Race, which annually attracts some of the biggest names in road racing, takes place this Sunday in the southwest corner of Cape Cod. Last year the 45-year-old, seven-mile race was won by Canada’s own Ben Flanagan, who leaped through the tape in 32:21, beating out Americans Scott Fauble and Olympian Leonard Korir. Flanagan isn’t racing this year, but Fauble and Korir will be back, along with several others guaranteed to draw crowds.
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Flanagan earned the honour of being the first Canadian ever to win this race, which has been going since its founding in 1973 by the beloved Tommy Leonard. The win capped a dream season for Flanagan, who had won the NCAA 10,000m title (famously asking “Where’s my mom?”) and took the bronze medal in the 5,000m at Canadian nationals. According to the race site, Flanagan went to visit Leonard, who died in Boston in January, after his win last year.
Unfortunately, Flanagan called his season in mid-July due to injury and will not race on Sunday. Look for big results from runners like Edward Cheserek (one of the most decorated athletes in NCAA history, and fresh off a personal best 13:04 in the 5,000m at Heusden in Belgium last month), four-time winner Stephen Sambu of Kenya, US 10K champion Sarah Hall and 2018 Boston Marathon champion Des Linden, as well as Fauble (who finished seventh overall and was the first American male across the line at Boston this year, in a personal best time 2:09:09) and Korir.
RELATED: Tommy Leonard, a fixture of the Boston running scene, dies at 85
Late addition to this Sunday’s Falmouth Road Race pro field: 17-time NCAA champion Edward Cheserek of Kenya.
The 7-mile race will be the longest of his career to date. He last raced on July 20, running a 13:04 5,000m pb in Heusden.
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Past winners include Frank Shorter (twice), Bill Rodgers (three times), Alberto Salazar (twice), Joan Benoit Samuelson (five times) and Grete Waitz.
Falmouth also attracts the top names in wheelchair racing, with New York Marathon, Boston Marathon and London Marathon champion Daniel Romanchuk and 2018 Boston Marathon winner Tatyana McFadden, who has won this race four times, headlining the field.