2019 Falmouth Road Race in Photos
The 2019 New Balance Falmouth Road Race was a special tribute to the heart and soul of Falmouth’s signature event – the late, great Tommy Leonard, who died earlier this year. Tommy will be remembered forever not only for his passion for running, but for being ahead of his time in his support of female runners in the 1970s. His dream for the original Falmouth Road Race – originally called the Falmouth Marathon- was twofold. He wanted to create an event that would attract Olympian Frank Shorter to compete in Falmouth, and to raise travel funds for the girl’s high school track team in order for them to compete in qualifying events worthy of their caliber. To say that his vision has changed countless lives over the last 47 years is an understatement. Although his death leaves a void that can never be filled, his legacy lives on in the memories he helped to create, for both friends and strangers alike.
History in the Making
Leonard Korir breaks away from the pack beyond the six-mile mark, just before making history in the 47th Annual New Balance Falmouth Road Race as the first American male to win since 1988.
In her first-ever Falmouth, 25-year-old Sharon Lokedo of Kenya ran away with the win in the women’s open division, besting American Sara Hall by five seconds.
Despite several health challenges over the years, including a recurring brain tumor, Brian Salzberg has competed in every Falmouth Road Race since the first bar-to-bar fun run in 1973.
Courage and tenacity on display. Team SMILE Mass (Small Miracles in Life Exist) competed in the Numbers for Nonprofits program. Based in Sudbury, the organization is dedicated to helping families raising children or adults with disabilities enjoy happy, healthy memories through vacation and recreation experiences.
West Falmouth resident Elizabeth Sherman Kleimola raised funds for local nonprofit Wings for Falmouth Families, which provides a safety net of financial assistance during a medical emergency or illness. Elizabeth, who ran with her husband, Nick, a member of the Wings board, grew up behind the scenes of the Falmouth Road Race. Her parents, Richard and Kathy Sherman, co-directed the race with John and Lucia Carroll for 38 years.
For many runners, it’s the enthusiasm of the spectators, from friends and family to virtual strangers, that keeps them going, especially during the grueling final stretch up Falmouth’s version of Heartbreak Hill.
World-class runners and rock star fundraisers aren’t the only superheroes who compete in Falmouth…
A young spectator offers a much-appreciated high five of encouragement for the final stretch as runners make their way past MacDougall’s.
A “vintage” shirt harkens back to the early days of the race. It was founder Tommy Leonard who secured the event’s first major sponsor, Perrier. The logo was designed by former race co-director, John Carroll.
New to the neighborhood this year, the Black Dog Heights Cafe hosted a Barkin BBQ party, featuring live music by Corey Conant.
Meanwhile, a few people were converging on the Heights ballfield after the race trying to locate family and friends.
Among them was Falmouth High School track star Chris Simpson. Chris has competed in Falmouth countless times, and served as a running coach for Clean Harbors in 2012. This year was his most memorable to date, for he ran with his daughter, Nora.
Husband and wife, Brian and Melissa Keefe, who also ran on behalf of Wings for Falmouth Families, were joined after the race by their cheering squad, children, Molly and Joey.
Representatives of the Martin Richard Foundation participated in the race and also greeted passers-by on their way to and from the ballpark. Based in Dorchester, the organization celebrates the wisdom and altruism of the young Boston Marathon bombing victim by providing opportunities for children and adults to “choose kindness.”
Scott Conroy was feeding the masses with the rest of the crew from Falmouth-based caterer, Eat Your Heart Out. Owner Sean Dailey and his team turned out 6,000 hot dogs and provided delicious fare for 500 in the VIP Tent. Falmouth is counting down the days until Sean opens the doors of EYHO’s new Main Street market and cafe. Falmouth Visitor will be stopping by as soon as they do, so we’ll keep you posted…
Olympian and Road Race legend Frank Shorter is all smiles after Falmouth celebrates a town-wide tradition that has grown into a world-class event he inadvertently inspired.
To the man who started it all. Rest in peace, dear Tommy, and thank you for chasing your dream.