Ben Flanagan and Edna Kiplagat Win 49th Annual Asics Falmouth Road Race
August 15, 2021
Hermin Garic and Emeilia Perry Win the Wheelchair Divisions; U.S. Olympic Marathon Bronze Medalist Molly Seidel Passes More Than 4,700 People, Raising More Than $19,000 for Tommy’s Place
FALMOUTH, MA (August 15, 2021) – Falmouth Road Race, Inc., organizers of the 49th Annual ASICS Falmouth Road Race, one of America’s premier running events of the summer, officially brought road racing back to the streets of Falmouth today with Canadian, Ben Flanagan, winning the Men’s Division for a second time in 32:16 and Kenyan, Edna Kiplagat winning the Women’s Division in 36:52.
Flanagan set up his strategy in advance. “I was out with my family at the Black Dog Café and I took a run on the course,” said Flanagan. “I noticed a crosswalk just before the final turn and decided I would make my move there. I knew, if I could hold off the pack until we got to the final downhill there was no way they could catch me.”
The men’s race began with Frank Lara going to the front coming out of Woods Hole to post a 4:28 first mile. An accomplished pack of 18 men lined up behind Lara, as he held the lead through most of the race. By mile six, the men started to sort themselves out. Biya Simbassa, a University of Oklahoma graduate — who recovered from a fall at the halfway mark — stayed in the hunt, as did Emmanuel Bor, fresh off his fifth at the U.S. Olympic Trials 5000m.
Flanagan made a determined push at the base of the final hill before driving over the top to seal his victory over Simbassa, Bor and Lara – all finishing within 6 seconds of each other.
The women’s race broke early with a pack of 30 dropping to seven by the second mile. Iveen Chepkemoi, a young 24-year-old talent from Kenya, who trains in Colorado Springs, put a gap on Edna Kiplagat, Emily Durgin, Fiona O’Keeffe and past Falmouth champion Diane Nukuri. By the halfway point, the race was between Kiplagat, a Boston, London and New York City Marathon champion, and Chepkemoi, with the second pack fading by 20 seconds. At mile four, Kiplagat pulled away as Chepkemoi got caught by the chase pack.
“This was a fast race, and I needed it at this point in my training because I’m running the Boston Marathon in October,” said Kiplagat. “Once I saw the finish, I focused on keeping away from second place.”
Durgin edged O’Keefe by one second to secure her third runner-up finish of the summer. “This is a beautiful course. We were all working together feeding off each other,” O’Keefe said. She was second at the U.S. 10K and 6K Championships. O’Keefe, a six-time All American at Stanford now coached by Olympian Amy Cragg, finished third.
In the Wheelchair Division, Hermin Garic, a veteran of eight Falmouth Road Races, took his first win with a 25:40. “I worked my butt off for this win,” said Hermin, who will be wheeling Utica Boilermaker the day before he heads to the 125th Boston Marathon. Emeilia Perry took the women’s wheelchair race in 37:39. “I’m really excited. This is my first Falmouth Road Race and I wasn’t expecting that last hill, ” Perry said after the race.
Additionally, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Marathon bronze medalist, Molly Seidel, served as the official race starter and joined the ASICS Falmouth Race field of nearly 8,000 registered participants as its very last runner. For every runner that she passed along the 7-mile course, the Falmouth Road Race pledged to donate $1 to Tommy’s Place, a vacation home in Falmouth for kids fighting cancer. Tim O’Connell, founder of Tommy’s Place, announced an additional dollar-for-dollar match. While Seidel officially ran past 4,761 runners along the way, the Falmouth Road Race is pleased to announce that it will double its pledge, bringing its donation to $9,522.00 in appreciation of Seidel’s participation in this year’s event and to celebrate her victory in Tokyo. Combined with O’Connell’s match, that brings the grand total to $19,044.
Official results of the Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair fields can be found here (LINK).
About Falmouth Road Race, Inc. The Falmouth Road Race was established in 1973 and has become one of the premier running events of the summer season. Each year the race draws an international field of Olympians, elite and recreational runners out to enjoy the iconic 7-mile seaside course. The non-profit Falmouth Road Race organization is committed to promoting health and fitness through community programs and philanthropic giving.
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ASICS Falmouth Road Race