Falmouth Notebook

Ten break 4-minute mile, make history

By John Powers
Globe Staff / August 15, 2011

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FALMOUTH - As far as race officials can determine, the traditional Falmouth Mile at the high school track Saturday night made history when the first 10 male runners all broke 4 minutes. That’s believed to be the most Americans who’ve ever managed the feat in the same race. For the record, they were Jordan McNamara (3:54.89), Jeff See (3:55.24), AJ Acosta (3:55.30), Adrian Blincoe (3:55.47), Craig Miller (3:56.90), Matt Elliot (3:58.06), Liam Boylan-Pett (3:58.19), Will Leer (3:58.41), Jack Bolas (3:58.56), and Christian Hesch (3:58.68).

Slow start Yesterday’s main event went off 10 minutes after the scheduled 10 a.m. gun because the shuttle buses ferrying the 10,696 competitors from the Lawrence School on Lakeview Avenue to the start at Woods Hole were slowed by traffic. The delayed start was “a preemptive, preventative measure,’’ said announcer John Carroll III, who said the elite runners appeared unfazed. “I don’t think anyone batted an eye,’’ he said . . . The place where it all began in 1973 and still begins on Water Street has been named the Tommy Leonard Start Line in honor of the race’s founder and master spirit. A bronze plaque certifying the place and date will be attached to the Captain Kidd Restaurant. “I’m no Lou Gehrig,’’ Leonard declared, “but I consider myself the luckiest over-the-hill, broken-down bartender in the world.’’ . . . John Carroll may have retired as race codirector but he has retained some of his customary duties. He fired the starting gun.

Watch words Would it make a difference to the elite women if there’s a separate start here next year, as there is in the Boston Marathon and as has been discussed by race organizers? “It doesn’t matter,’’ said Catherine Ndereba, who has won the race four times and was third yesterday. Some competitors don’t mind running amid the men because it can provide tactical camouflage. Others would rather be able to keep track of their rivals without having to search for them amid a bobbing bearded forest. For Ndereba’s part, that’s never been a problem. “I can tell,’’ she said . . . The double-dip payout for American victors now is $20,000. What did Bill Rodgers get when he won in 1974? A Waring blender. Frank Shorter collected a color TV in 1975 and Joan Benoit Samuelson received Waterford crystal glasses in 1976. All three of the race’s Olympian trinity laced up yesterday as they usually do. “I got through it,’’ said Samuelson, who never has dropped out of a race . . . Krige Schabort won his third men’s wheelchair title in four years, dethroning eight-time champion Craig Blanchette, while Jessica Galli claimed her sixth women’s crown. Colleen De Reuck, who was 16th in the women’s race, defended her masters title. James Koskei, the 2002 overall champion, won the men’s crown.

John Powers can be reached at