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26th Annual Falmouth in the Fall 7 Mile Road Race

Woods Hole, MA, November 7, 2004

Solimine and Holmgren Top a Record Field in 26th Annual Falmouth in the Fall Road Race

by Courtney Bird

Sunday, November 7 was a beautiful day for a race in Falmouth on Cape Cod. It was clear, sunny, and mild with panoramic views of the sound and Martha's Vinyard.

The scenic seven-mile course along Vineyard Sound from Woods Hole to Falmouth Heights draws runners from near and far every day of the year to take in its breathtaking beauty. But on two occasions each year, the course is the venue of a road race.

In early August the world's elite, the back-of-the-pack jogger and every grade of athlete in between -- some 10,000 strong -- test themselves on the course. But on the fist Sunday in November, it is a different and smaller crowd who answer the boom of the brass replica of a Civil War cannon.

The 26th edition of Falmouth in the Fall got underway promptly at 1:00 pm. As the runners wound along the seaside course, the men's race quickly evolved into a contest between two master runners from West Falmouth, Bill Solimine and Ken Gartner. For for the first half of the race they ran together, but then Solimine pulled ahead and held off Gartner to win in a time of 39:16. Gartner was 16 seconds back, crossing the finish line in 39:32. Steve Ruane of Woods Hole came in third in 40:28. Fourth and fifth place honors went to Corey Keesling of Monument Beach (42:28) and 16-year-old Christopher Darrah of Mashpee (42:32).

In the women's race, Lynn Holmgren, 21, of Norton held off Nanci Cahalane of Norfolk and 50-year-old Mary Peabody of Dennis in a tighly contested race. Holmgren's winning time was 48:21. Cahalane finished 23 seconds later in 48:44 just ahead of the fast-charging Peabody (48:48). Susan Lowrey of Sandwich (49:54) and Johanna Kaufman of Cotuit (50:30) rounded out the top five.

The runners registered for this year's edition experienced a low-key no-frills race with a couple of DJ's providing music at the start and finish and plenty of random prizes handed out at the finish. After the race, runners enjoyed a feast of clam chowder supplied by Kettle Cuisine and served up by Rob Pacheco of the Beachmoor in Buzzards Bay.

A record 435 runners finished this year's Falmouth in the Fall, which was first run in 1979. Some of the proceeds from this year's race will go to the Lupus Foundation of America and the Tom Leonard Award Fund, which annually makes a cash award to a graduating and college-bound student at Westfield (MA) High and Falmouth High.

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