Falmouth Road Race Running Strong for 50 Years

FALMOUTH – Despite a decreased cap on the numbers of runners this year, organizers are celebrating a strong turnout for the Asics Falmouth Road Race’s 50th running, which will be held on Sunday, August 21.

Jennifer Edwards, the Executive Director of Falmouth Road Race Inc., highlighted a series of athletic and family-friendly events being held before Sunday’s event.

As part of the Falmouth Track Festival, all three American women who have medaled in the Olympic Marathon event will be part of a Q & A.

Olympians Joan Benoit Samuelson, Deena Kastor, and Molly Seidel will be at the event on Saturday, August 20 at 3:30 pm at Falmouth High School.

Edwards also spoke about the Elite Mile, where professional mile-racers travel to Falmouth to compete in a mile-long race the night before Sunday’s seven-miler.  

“We’re so grateful to have such participation from the elite runners of the world. World class runners come to this town and they stay with our friends and neighbors,” Edwards said.

For the 50th anniversary, the race will be bringing back its original winners from 1973. Both David Duba and Jennifer Tuthill will serve as official starters and run the race.  

Edwards said the race was started in 1973 by founder Tommy Leonard as a fundraiser for a girls track team in Falmouth.

The 50th iteration of the event will have less participants than in previous years. Local officials decided to lower the number of runners this year from 12,800 to 10,000 because of public safety concerns and police staffing issues.

Edwards said the organization’s giving “took a hit” with the limitation.

She said the nonprofit has given over $5 million back to the community since 2012 through grants, a track field at Falmouth High School, gym and playground equipment, and scholarships for Falmouth students.

Although Edwards said she was disappointed by the decision to have fewer runners this year, her organization understands that the police department is facing staffing challenges.

“We’re fully appreciative and understanding of we’re they’re at. So we’ll have 10,000 runners this year and I’m optimistic that it’s going to be a great event,” she said.

The race official added the organization has supported the police with some additional private security to help with staffing the event.

Edwards said she is hopeful that the race could return to its previous cap next year.

“Hopefully the police department is fully staffed by then and we can have a new conversation,” she said.

There will also be a Family Fun Run at Falmouth High School on Saturday morning with registration at 8am.

Edwards said that with the virtual option of competing, all 50 states in the country will have runners in the 50th year of the race, a first for the event.

The 50th running of the Falmouth Road Race will take start on Sunday, August 21 in downtown Woods Hole just after 8:30 a.m. The course finishes in Falmouth Heights.

The event has caused some changes in Steamship Authority service on race day.

Head to the Falmouth Road Race’s website to learn more.

By Brian Engles, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

About Brian Engles

Brian Engles is a longtime local of the Cape. He studied Film & TV at Boston University and in addition to his role at Cape Cod Broadcasting Media, he also works as a music instructor and records original songs.

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