Article by Caleb Gartner
The journey from Falmouth to Tokyo is a long one, well over 6,000 miles, but for some athletes it surely felt even longer. Olympian Aliphine Tuliamuk last competed at Falmouth in 2016 where she placed 4th over the hilly seven miles. Four years later she cruised to victory in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, barely edging out another past Falmouth competitor Molly Seidel, a former Cape Cod Half Marathon champion, who finished 11th in the 2019 Falmouth Road Race. Other past Falmouth athletes in the Olympic Marathon include Great Britain’s Callum Hawkins (13th, 2018) and Chris Thompson (4th 2016, 12th 2018), as well as Cam Levins (5th 2017), representing Canada.
Two years ago in the 2019 Falmouth Elite Mile, Cory McGee stormed to a convincing win, besting an accomplished field of women, but her success didn’t stop there. In a thrilling 1500m final at the U.S. Olympic trials, McGee finished second to secure a spot on her first ever Olympic team. A former member of Team New Balance Boston, McGee has competed in the Falmouth Elite mile a total of three times, finishing third in 2018 and fourth in 2016.
Spectators at the 2018 Falmouth Elite Mile might remember University of New Mexico runner, and former NCAA 1500m record holder, Josh Kerr taking the early lead before eventually fading to a fourth place finish. After college, Kerr joined the Brooks Beasts Track Club and has since run the fastest 1500m time ever on U.S. soil (3:31.55.) The Scottish superstar won the U.K. Olympic Trials and, as of July 2021, boasts the eighth fastest 1500m time in the world.
In 2010 Nick Willis competed in his first Falmouth Elite Mile, finishing second in 3:59.73. Willis was already a two time Olympian for New Zealand, even earning a silver medal in the 2008 1500m final. An impressive career for most, Willis wasn’t done yet. He made the Olympics in 2012 and 2016, securing another medal, this time bronze in Rio, and then returned to Falmouth in 2017 matching his second place performance from seven years prior, running 4:00.47. Willis now competes and works for Tracksmith, a Boston-based running company, and has managed to make his 5th consecutive Olympic team. Perhaps the most decorated miler ever to compete at Falmouth, Willis has run a sub-four-minute mile an astounding 19 years in a row.
Other 2021 Olympians who have raced in Falmouth include former Michigan runner Mason Ferlic, who placed third at the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 3000m steeplechase. Ferlic finished fourth in the 2019 Falmouth Road Race, and in 2017 he ran 4:05.82 to earn seventh in the Elite Mile race, and the next morning took to the roads to finish sixth over the seven-mile course in 34:14, cementing his name in Falmouth history as the first and only athlete to place better in the Falmouth Road Race than in the Elite Mile on the same weekend.
Canada’s Kate Van Buskirk made her first Olympic team, after being selected to run the 5000m. Van Buskirk competed at Falmouth in 2017 where she finished fourth in the Elite Mile and 21st the next day in the Falmouth Road Race.
Dominique Scott-Efurd was selected to run both the 5000m and the 10,000m for South Africa. The former Arkansas Razorback finished fifth in the 2017 Falmouth Elite Mile. Tokyo will be her second olympics.