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Stephen Sambu of Kenya and Leonard Korir of the U.S., Sara Hall and Des Linden will return for the 47th running of the New Balance Falmouth Road Race

Stephen Sambu of Kenya and Leonard Korir of the U.S., who together staged an epic battle to the finish line in 2017, and Americans Sara Hall and Des Linden will return for the 47th running of the New Balance Falmouth Road Race, organizers announced today.

The fields for the Wheelchair Division presented by Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Cape Cod and the Aetna Falmouth Elite Mile will be announced next week.

Sambu won the New Balance Falmouth Road Race every year from 2014-2017, becoming the first four-time winner of the men’s open division in race history. The runner-up in two of those victories was Korir, a 2016 Olympian at 10,000 meters who will represent the U.S. this fall at the IAAF World Championships. In 2017, Korir nearly denied Sambu his place in the history books in a fight to the finish that saw both athletes awarded the same time.

Sambu and Korir will be challenged by a tough international field that includes Thomas Ayeko of Uganda, who finished seventh in the 2019 IAAF World Cross Country Championships; David Bett of Kenya, who won the B.A.A. 10K in June; and Silas Kipruto of Kenya, winner of the 2019 Cooper River Bridge Run. Massachusetts native Colin Bennie, who was the top American at the AJC Peachtree Road Race on July 4, and Scott Fauble, a top contender to make Team USA at the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials in February and runner-up here last year to Canadian Ben Flanagan, should be in the hunt.

Flanagan’s season has been cut short by injury, but he will return to Falmouth to speak on a Past Champions panel at the Health & Fitness Expo, hand out gift bags at bib pickup and run with a group of local youth.

In the women’s open division, Hall – who finished second here in 2015 – comes in as the reigning USA 10K champion, and in her long career has won U.S. titles at distances ranging from the mile to the marathon. Fellow American Des Linden, a two-time OIympian and the 2018 Boston Marathon champion, will make her Falmouth competitive debut after running with the pack here last year in celebration of her Boston victory.

“It’s beautiful,” said Linden of the course after her 2018 run. “It helps you forget it’s really hard. Some really impressive things have been done on this course. It’s cool to cover it, and it would be really fun to race it.”

They will face a deep women’s field, highlighted by a trio of Kenyans: 2012 New Balance Falmouth Road Race Champion Margaret Wangari, 2018 NCAA 10,000-meter champion Sharon Lokedi and Iveen Chepkemoi, who recently finished second in the Boilermaker 15K in Utica, N.Y.  Also challenging will be two athletes from Great Britain: Lily Partridge, the 2018 national marathon champion, andTish Jones, who will compete in the marathon at the 2019 World Championships. 

Allie Kieffer, who finished fifth in the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon; Melissa Dock, the top American woman here last year who competed for Team USA at the 2019 Bolder Boulder;Molly Seidel, the 2015 NCAA 10,000-meter champion; and Nell Rojas, winner of the 2019 Grandma’s Marathon and daughter of Ric Rojas, who competed for Harvard and at one time held the 15K world record, round out a solid American lineup.

Three-time winner Caroline Chepkoech of Kenya will not return to defend her title.

First prize in the men’s and women’s open division is $10,000, part of a total $126,000 prize purse for Race Week events, which include the Aetna Falmouth Elite Mile the evening before the 7-miler. In addition, the men’s and women’s winners will seek to prevail in “The Countdown.”

A beat-the-clock handicap race, “The Countdown” features a finish-line clock that starts when the first woman breaks the tape, counting down the number of minutes and seconds the winning man has to beat, according to a pre-determined formula. If the clock runs out before he crosses the line, the victorious woman wins a $5,000 bonus; if it doesn’t, the winning man takes home the money. The time to beat this year is 3 minutes and 35 seconds.

(08/08/2019) ⚡AMP
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Falmouth Road Race

Falmouth Road Race

The New Balance Falmouth Road Race was established in 1973 and has become one of the premier running events of the summer season. Each year the race draws an international field of Olympians, elite runners and recreational runners out to enjoy the scenic 7-mile seaside course. The non-profit Falmouth Road Race organization is dedicated to promoting health and fitness for...

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Everything you need to know about the 2019 Bix 7 men's field

Last year, for the first time ever, a male runner from Ethiopia won the Quad-City Times Bix 7, overcoming the legion of Kenyan runners who always populate the field.

This year it might be time for a break-through from another African nation: Tanzania.

Gabriel Geay, a 22-year-old runner from the country directly to the south of Kenya, must be regarded as one of the favorites to prevail in the annual 7-mile jaunt through the streets of Davenport.

He already has had a phenomenal year on the U.S. road racing scene, winning the Lilac Bloomsday 12k and Bay to Breakers 12k in May and crossing the finish line first in the Utica Boilermaker 15k little more than a week ago. He also had top-five finishes in perhaps the two biggest 10ks around: The Peachtree Road Race and Bolder Boulder.

Geay first came to U.S. as a 19-year-old in 2016 attempting to run Olympic qualifying times for 10,000 meters and 5,000 meters. He narrowly missed in both but decided to stick around and run a few road races, and claimed his first big victory at Peachtree. He came back the following year to win Bolder Boulder and Lilac Bloomsday.

With the withdrawal of three-time Bix 7 champion Silas Kipruto from the field, there now is only one runner entered in the men’s field who has competed in the Davenport race as an elite invitee.

Kenya’s Kenneth Kosgei placed 12th in his only visit here a year ago.

Kipruto was seeking to break the Bix 7 record for most top-five finishes by a men’s runner — he has done it six times — but he informed race officials last week that he would not run because of a lack of fitness.

The Bix 7 men’s championship has been won seven times by a runner named Korir.

John Korir won a record five times (in 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2004) and Leonard Korir did it twice (2013 and 2015).

This year’s race will include Kenya’s Dominic Korir. Korir (no relation to the previous Bix champs), who may be better suited to the hilly course than almost anyone.

Dominic Korir trains at high altitude in Colorado Springs and in April he won the Horsetooth Half-marathon, a race that begins with a grueling 1.8-mile climb up something called Monster Mountain.

It sounds even more imposing than the Brady Street Hill.

Jarius Birech will be among the most experienced Kenyans in this year’s Bix 7 field.

He’s just not that experienced in races in which he isn’t required to leap over hurdles and bound across small pools of water. Birech, 26, was the top 3,000-meter steeplechase runner in the world in 2014, winning the African championships and taking the silver medal in the Commonwealth Games that year. He twice has run the steeplechase under eight minutes, a feat that’s only been accomplished 38 times in history.

But he just now is starting to become more involved in events other than the steeplechase.

He has shown promise, however. Birech won a major cross country race in Italy earlier this year and also won the Crescent City Classic 10k on a very flat course in New Orleans.

(07/26/2019) ⚡AMP
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Bix 7 miler

Bix 7 miler

This race attracts the greatest long distance runners in the world competing to win thousands of dollars in prize money. It is said to be the highest purse of any non-marathon race. Tremendous spectator support, entertainment and post party. Come and try to conquer this challenging course along with over 15,000 other participants, as you "Run With The Best." In...

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Tanzania’s Gabriel Geay and Kenya’s Caroline Rotich, were the 15K Boilermaker winners

Gabriel Geay was surprised. Not so much so that it cost him the 2019 Boilermaker Road Race, however.

The 22-year-old Tanzanian held off an unexpected challenge from Mohamed Red El Aaraby, outkicking the Moroccan veteran over the last mile, and winning the 42nd annual 15-kilometer classic in 43 minutes, 36 seconds Sunday.

Geay cut four seconds off his winning time of last year in becoming the first back-to-back male open champion since John Korir put wins together in 2003 and 2004. El Aaraby was three seconds back in 43:39.

“He surprised me,” Geay said. “He’s a strong guy.”

Geay had more than enough, however, to get the best of El Aaraby, a Boilermaker newcomer who set the Beirut Marathon record of 2:10:41 in November.

Caroline Rotich, 35, the 2015 Boston Marathon champion, took the female open title with a time of 49:08, just edging out Iveen Chepkemoi by several strides and one second. Rotich, like Geay, earned $7,000 for her win.

Abdi Abdirahman, 40, and Kate Landau, 42, both of the United States, ran 46:31 and 52:39, respectively, in winning masters titles. They both earned $2,000. Haron Lagat, 35, was the top American male, finishing in 44:21, fifth overall. Belainesh Gebre, 31, lead the American women with a time of 51:03, sixth overall. They earned $3,000 apiece.

None of the times approached Boilermaker course records.

The race started after a delay of about 22 minutes because of homicide investigation off of Culver Avenue. It began under mostly cloudy skies, with a temperature of 69 degrees and some humidity.

A group of about 20 runners separated themselves from the pack almost immediately after the gun went off, with Terefa Debela Delesa of Ethiopia and Stephen Kiptoo Sambu of Kenya setting the pace, as they would for much of the race. The pace was somewhat leisurely, with the first mile taking 4:46.

The lead group was down to eight runners once they reached the turn into Steele Hill Road and Valley View Golf Course, with Geay pressing ahead for the first time. The climb and descent — the fifth mile, downhill, was covered in a little more than four minutes — left it a four-man race, with Geay, El Aaraby, Delesa and Sambu fighting it out. They were still together turning onto Champlin Avenue, but Geay pulled out at Mile 7, and only El Aaraby went with him. They were shoulder to shoulder as they motored to eight miles, past and then made the turn onto Whitesboro Street.

Shortly afterward, Geay began to open things up — two strides, three strides, then a few more.

“I thought maybe I should push,” he said. “I was worried he might come back, but he didn’t.”

Geay opened it up to 30 yards coming down through the wildly cheering crowd on Court Street, and had no trouble cruising in for the win.

“I needed some speed at the end,” said El Aaraby, who was running his first Boilermaker at age 29. “He has more speed than I do.”

(07/15/2019) ⚡AMP
by John Pitarresi
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Boilermaker 15k

Boilermaker 15k

The Boilermaker 15K is the premier event of Boilermaker Weekend. This world renowned race is often referred to as the country's best 15K. The Boilermaker 15K is recognized for its entertaining yet challenging course and racing's best post-race party, hosted by the F.X. Matt Brewing Company, featuring Saranac beer and a live concert! With 3 ice and water stops every...

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The Boilermaker 15K Road Race has reached its cap for participants again this year

The 15-kilometer race — Utica’s premier summer sports event is set for Sunday, July 14 — reached its cap of 14,500 spots on Tuesday afternoon, Boilermaker officials announced. Each of the Boilermaker’s 4,500 spots in the 5-kilometer race have been claimed since mid-April.

“We’re certainly happy (to reach the cap),” said Boilermaker President Mark Donovan, who was officially introduced as Boilermaker president on June 6 in 2018. “Those that want to be here (in Utica for the race) lock in March.

Everyone else is seeing what their schedule looks like and what life throws at them before they commit.”

While the total number of spots in the 15K has changed in recent years – the cap was set at 14,500 beginning in 2017 -- the Boilermaker has sold out of spots for each race dating back to at least 2011. Last year, the 15K reached the cap in early July.

“It is such a unique event,” said Donovan when asked what it means for the event to reach the cap again. “It is a community thing and people talk about it and the experience. Everybody’s experience is different and it is fun. I bet if you asked 10 people about their experience on (race day), you’ll get 10 different answers.”

(06/24/2019) ⚡AMP
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Boilermaker 15k

Boilermaker 15k

The Boilermaker 15K is the premier event of Boilermaker Weekend. This world renowned race is often referred to as the country's best 15K. The Boilermaker 15K is recognized for its entertaining yet challenging course and racing's best post-race party, hosted by the F.X. Matt Brewing Company, featuring Saranac beer and a live concert! With 3 ice and water stops every...

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Gabriel Geay is the hottest road racer in the US right now will be racing Crazy 8s Saturday

Crazy 8s race organizers announced Tuesday that Tanzania’s Gabriel Geay and Kenyans Isaac Mukundi, Cleophas Ngetich and Linus Kiplagat have committed to race Saturday in downtown Kingsport. Geay is on a hot streak, recently winning the BAA 10K over a stacked field that included defending Crazy 8s champ Teshome Mekonen and previous 8K world record-holder Stephen Sambu. Geay followed that with an impressive win at the Boilermaker 15K this past Sunday, once again outracing Mekonen to the tape. “Geay is arguably the hottest road racer in the U.S. right now, and we are very excited he has decided to come to Kingsport,” said Crazy 8s co-director Hank Brown. “He might just be the first runner from Tanzania to win Crazy 8s. That would be pretty cool.” He’ll have plenty of competition in Mukundi, Ngetich and Kiplagat. Mukundi, who finished second in the 2016 Crazy 8s, has won such major races as the Bay to Breakers 12K (twice), Bolder Boulder 10K and Wharf to Wharf 6 Mile. His 10K personal record is a sizzling 27:45. Ngetich is a past winner of Crazy 8s, clocking 22:28 to win in 2015, and has 13 victories over his road-race career. Kiplagat owns victories this year at the Cleveland Marathon 10K, Cotton Row 10K, in which he broke the course record, Orange Classic 10K and the Monumental Mile. The starting line will once again be stocked with superstars from around the globe, all going for The Regional Eye Center $10,008 World Record Bonus — which goes to the first runner to break the existing 8K world-best time, currently 21:45. The winner will claim the Teleperfomance $5,000 Dash For The Gold. “It should be another fast race,” Brown said. “Even though the record is tougher this year, we’re still going after guys who think they can break it. All we can do is shoot the gun and see what happens.” (07/11/2018) ⚡AMP
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Global Run Challenge Profile: Jennifer Bayliss is working on one major goal - to qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials

RUN THE WORLD: Jennifer Bayliss (47) discovered running in the third grade.  She says, "Laura beat me in the 50 yard dash on the sidewalk in P.E. class at school. I did not like that. I really wanted to beat her and all the boys."  In high school and college she still wanted to beat all the Laura's and the boys. She did until injury took over her collegiate career. "I did manage to capture All American status, a conference championship title and run at the NCAA's before having to call it quits."  15 years later she returned to running as a master once her kids started driving and she found a little time to lace up her shoes.  How important is running?  "Running is where I push myself to reach goals, believe in myself, have confidence, trust the plan, feel fit and healthy, connect with people, see beautiful places, have stories to tell, learn how to deal with good and bad stress, and mostly have a blast."  Just recently she ran the Boilermaker 15K in Utica, New York. She clocked 56:59 (which is 6:05 per mile).  She was the 5th American Master woman. She was pleased with her performance as she pursues her ultimate goal.  "My goal is to run an Olympic Trial qualifier for the Marathon. For women, that means at least a time of 2:45. My plan is to race myself into shape with a hybrid of a plan- a little short, long, trail and training and racing distances from the mile to the marathon."  Jennifer is a Road Runners Club of America Certified Coach.   How did you find out about this challenge?   "I heard about the Run The World Challenge from Rosaura Briceno-Tennant and Bertrand Newson and thought- these are my friends, my people-I want to do what they are doing because they are awesome people and runners." (07/10/2018) ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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Mary Wacera wins the Boilermaker 15k for the fourth time

Mary Wacera of Kenya won her fourth Boilermaker 15K with a time of 50:01. This tied her with four-time Boston Marathon winner Catherine Ndereba as the winningest female open runner in Boilermaker history. Monicah Ngige and Vicoty Chepngeno, both of Kenya, rounded out the women’s podium with times of 50:03 and 50:04 respectively. Gabriel Geay of Tanzania took the top spot in the 15K Men’s Open race with a time of 43:40 while 2016 Men’s Open champion, Teshome Mekonen Asfaha of Ethiopia, finished second and Edwin Kibichiy of Kenya took third. (07/08/2018) ⚡AMP
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Ethiopian Buze Diriba Kejela has just confirmed she will be running the Boilermaker 15K

The Elite Field for Sunday’s 41st running of Utica’s Boilermaker 15K has gotten stronger.  Buze Diriba Kejela, 24-year-old from Ethiopia has already won three major road races this season — including the New York City Half-Marathon, the Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run in Washington, D.C., and the Lilac Bloomsday 12K Run in Spokane, Washington. Diriba Kejela ran her first Boilermaker 15K last year and finished fifth in the Women’s Open field with a time of 49:40. Wacera, the Boilermaker champion in 2014 and 2015, won her third title in four years with a time of 49:18, and she will join Catherine Ndereba as the only four-time winner with another victory Sunday. Diriba Kejela was one of 11,077 women running the New York City Half-Marathon on March 18, and she won that race with a late sprint past American Emily Sisson in a course record time of 1:12.:23. Sisson was only one-tenth of a second back at the finish. Two wins on the Professional Road Running Organzation (PRRO) Circuit — which the Boilermaker is a part of — has put Diriba Kejela in contention for the 2018-19 PRRO Championship bonus. On April 8, she won the Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run in 53:45; she had finished second in the race the previous two years. On May 6, she finished the Bloomsday 12K with a time of 39:25 and won that race by a single second. (07/06/2018) ⚡AMP
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Boilermaker winners plan to return, Mary Wacera going after a fifth win

“This is my race.” That’s what Mary Wacera was saying here last July, after winning the women’s open title at the Boilermaker Road Race for the third time in four years. Now, according to the 2018 Elite Runner Field released by the Boilermaker, the 29-year-old Kenyan is planning to return to Utica for this year’s July 8 race. And if Wacera wins yet again, she will join Catherine Ndereba as the only four-time Women’s Open champion. The Elite Runner Field is subject to change, but both of last year’s Boilermaker winners — Wacera and Silas Kipruto of Kenya — are expected to return with hopes of defending their 15K titles. Wacera, the Boilermaker women’s champion in 2014 and 2015 and the third-place finisher in 2016, won last year’s race in 49 minutes, 18 seconds. Ruti Aga Sora was the runner-up, just two seconds back, and the 24-year-old from Ethiopia is also coming back this year. (07/02/2018) ⚡AMP
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Volunteer of the Year Joe Wilczynski has also run all 40 Boilermaker 15k's

This year’s Boilermaker Volunteer of the Year is Joe Wilczynski, who has been the coach of WKTV’s Go The Distance for all 22 years of the training program. “He’s very deserving of this and we were honored to give it to him,” said Boilermaker Race Director Jim Stasaitis. Joe has run every single Boilermaker 15K since the race’s inception, making him one of the ten Perennials who have run all 40 Boilermakers, for a total of 372 official Boilermaker miles logged. “If you added up all the mileage with the running he does, with the Go the Distance group starting out with the 10-week, 12-week course, he's probably run it more than a hundred times,” Stasaitis said. Joe is the heart of the Go The Distance program, inspiring a new generation of runners each year. Many of them go on to join the Mohawk Valley Hill Striders running club, which was created by Joe and other former Go The Distance runners. Joe serves as president of the club. “He gives the proper instructions to all these beginners, and actually, there are some veteran runners who could probably learn from him," Stasaitis said. “Joe was there every step of the way with me,” said Rose Butler, a Go The Distance volunteer who was a member of the 2006 GTD class. “He helped me complete the Boilermaker. I couldn't have done it without him.” More than 200 people have crossed the Boilermaker finish line thanks to Joe’s guidance. But he would never take the credit, because that’s the kind of guy he is. “He is a huge supporter of the running community, huge supporter of all the runners. All the people with Go The Distance and the Mohawk Valley Hill Striders,” Stasaitis said. (06/27/2018) ⚡AMP
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Boilermaker Road Race has announced a new president, Mark Donovan

The announcement comes nearly a year after longtime race president Tim Reed’s retirement last summer, and only a month before this year’s Boilermaker Sunday. Race founder Earle Reed announced Donovan’s appointment Wednesday morning, assuring the community he and his organization had “got the guy.” “We got a man who’s got corporate ability,” Reed explained, “he’s eager to learn and wants to work in the race.” Reed added that Donovan shares his passion for continuing the legacy of the Boilermaker as a staple of local tradition. Donovan began his remarks by thanking Reed for “setting a high bar” for the race going forward, as well as Boilermaker staff for their help and support in the transition. Originally from Albany, Donovan has worked in the commercial insurance and medical device industries, in addition to providing marketing strategies. This experience complements the role, says Donovan. “We don’t need another race director. We need someone else to help with expanding and engagement,” he explained. “The last thing that team needs,” Donovan said, referring to the race organizers, “is for me to start questioning things. “Going into this year’s race, my goal is to experience it from the inside,” he added. Echoing Reed’s words, Donovan asserted that the Boilermaker is “more than just a race.” He cited the impact on local morale the event had when he first arrived to Utica in the mid 1990s, which saw the closure of several major area employers.   (06/08/2018) ⚡AMP
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Gasparilla Distance Classic Half is part of the Professional Road Series

When 30,000+ runners head down Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa for the Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic on Feb. 24 and 25, they’ll be joined by some of America’s best runners like Stephanie Bruce from Flagstaff, Arizona. Bruce won the Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic Half Marathon last year and she’s coming back this year to defend that title. This half marathon is now part of the Professional Road Running Organization (PRRO) series. It joins four other American road races: Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile, Lila Bloomsday Run 12K, Boilermaker 15K, and the EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler. This series of races is meant to showcase competition, but it also focuses on a clean sport. (02/14/2018) ⚡AMP
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