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October 08, 2023
Southcoast Wind Cape Cod Marathon closes 2023 Grand Prix
Leach, Vassallo lead finishers
Enjoying a cool and dry day but challenged by coastal winds,
led the field at the
Southcoast Wind Cape Cod Marathon
in Falmouth, the seventh and final event in the 2023 USATF Road Race Grand Prix. 897 overall finishers enjoyed a breeze at their back in the early miles but battled headwinds along the shore in the second half of the race. Competition was keen among New England individuals and clubs.
Clocking a creditable 2:24:35, Leach (Cambridge Sports Union) put an exclamation point on his series performances by winning the masters M40-44 divison with his overall victory. A lead pack gradually whittled down to two, with Leach and Shane Whalen (Whirlaway RT) together through 20 miles. Whalen's 2:25:59 was nearly 5 minutes up on third place.
Vassallo (Notch Brewing RC) recorded the first individual USATF-NE Championship win by a Notch Brewing runner with her 2:55:39 effort. Early leader Purity Munene of South Carolina built a significant lead on the women's field through 20 miles, but Vassallo took control with three miles to go and went on to gap Munene by a minute over the final 5km.
Led by the winner, Notch also secured their first ever New England Championship team title. Karolyn Bowley (B.A.A.), sixth overall, was the first female age 40+ - and 50+.
Men's club honors went to the B.A.A., with three of the top 10 finishers. Whirlaway, in second, was just 4:49 back, a small time differential for marathon team scoring.
Final team and individual Grand Prix scores will be posted later in the week after review of full race results.
Thanks to the Cape Cod Marathon Race Committee and Falmouth Running Club for providing an excellent weekend of running activities.
Photo: Katrina Vassallo receiving her victory award from race director Jack Afarian and 1972 Olympic Marathon Gold Medalist Frank Shorter.