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29th Annual Falmouth in the Fall 7.1 Mile Road Race

Woods Hole, MA, November 4, 2007

Navas and Ruane Dominate the Field in 29th Annual Falmouth in the Fall Road Race

by Courtney Bird

Sunday, November 4 was a beautiful day for a race in Falmouth on Cape Cod. It was clear and sunny with seasonal temperatures and panoramic views of the sound and Martha's Vinyard. But 24 hours earlier, it was an entirely different scene. A howling noreaster -- the remanants of hurricane Noel -- battered Falmouth with winds approaching 70 mph, torrential rains, and high seas. Trees and power lines went down, and parts of the race course were flooded. Electric power was out in large areas of Falmouth on Sunday, including Falmouth Heights.

But Mother Nature did not deter one of the largest fields ever in the 29-year history of this low-key, no-frills version of the August classic. Runners came from as far away as England to make the scenic 7-mile sojourn from Woods Hole to Falmouth Heights.

The 29th edition of Falmouth in the Fall got underway promptly at 1:00 pm, despite two misfires from Race Director Don Facey's starting pistol. As the runners wound along the seaside course, the men's and womens's races quickly became one-person shows.

Joe Navas of Eastham and the Cape Cod Athletic Club jumped out quickly and took a commanding lead over the rest of the field. When he crossed the finish line in 37:37, spectators at the finish waited for more than 3 minutes before Ken Gartner of West Falmouth crossed the line to take 2nd place with a time of 40:48. Third-place finisher, Bryan Quitadamo, 14, of Auburn ran the 7-mile course in 42:38. He was followed by Somerville's Steve Ruane (42:53) and Craig Anzlovar of South Walpole (44:37).

In the women's race, Megan Ruane, 23, of Newton Center took charge of the women's race and was unchallenged by two-time winner, Sandee Parkinson, 40, of Falmouth. When Ruane crossed the finish line in 46:30, she had stretched her lead to more than 2 1/2 minutes over Parkinson who finished in 48:03. The remaining top 5 places were captured by Ute Smith, 43, of Wellesley (49:20), Paula Healey, 26, of Pocasset (50:57) and Stace Beaulieu, 36, of West Falmouth (51:48), who took 3rd 4th and 5th places respectively.

Miraculously, the power came back on shortly after the race started, and DJ's providing music at the finish had the tunes cranked up when the runners arrived. After the race, runners enjoyed a feast of clam chowder supplied by Kettle Cuisine and served up by the Britich Beer Company.

399 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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