Gebre Gebremariam takes a narrow victory at the Falmouth Road Race (Victah Sailer) © Copyright
Running stride for stride down the final hill, 25-year-old Gebremariam crossed the finish line in 32:20, one second ahead of another 25-year-old, Wilson Kwambai Chebet of Kenya. Gebremariam, who won the Beach to Beacon race in Maine a week ago, was well off the course record of 31:08 set by Gilbert Okari of Kenya in 2004, but he tallied his second win in two weeks along with his Peachtree 10k triumph in July.
On the women’s side, Yimer, 23, traded her second place at Beach to Beacon for the winner’s circle finishing in 35:46, besting the Beach to Beacon winner, Kenyan Linenth Chepkurui, who clocked 35:50. The ageless Colleen De Reuck scored a triple triumph as first American, first masters and fifth place finisher overall with a time of 38:10.
On race founder Tommy Leonard’s 77th birthday, starting temperatures in the high 60s with winds eight to 15 miles per hour and partly cloudy skies proved to be the perfect combination for a close race for both men and women. In the men's division, a group of 15 to 20 runners pulled out to the front as the lead pack turned from Water Street onto Woods Hole Road. The pack continued its steady cadence clocking 4:39 at mile one. On the way to a two mile time of 9:16, American Ed Moran opened up a quick 10 to 15 yard lead over Gebremariam, Kenyans Chebet, Edward Muge, Stephen Kosgei Kibet, and Allan Kiprono as well as American Antonio Vega. Moran led at mile three in 13:56 but by mile four, the pack caught Moran in 18:34 with Gebremariam, Chebet, Peter Kurui, Martin Lel and Muge leading the way.
The pack passed mile fives in 23:08 with continuing ease. It came down to Gebremariam and Chebet running shoulder to shoulder in identical blue and green singlets passing six miles in 27:44 and the 10k mark in 28:46. After the race Gebremariam remarked that he was confident in the final mile that his speed would carry him to the victory. Rounding out the top five were Lel in 32:37, Muge in 32:40 and Moran in 32:40.
In the women’s division, Yimer, Chepkurui and Edna Kiplagat from Kenya passed mile one in 4:55. By mile two, Yimer and Chepkurui clocked 9:54 with Kiplagat six seconds behind. Yimer and Chepkurui ran together with for the rest of the race posting times of 15:03 for three miles, 20:12 for four miles, 25:24 for five miles and 30:45 at the six-mile mark. Following Yimer and Chepkurui, Kaplagat finished third in 36:31. Four-time Falmouth champion and two-time Olympic silver medallist, Catherine Ndereba age 38 was fourth in 38:06.
Organisers for the IAAF