As the first non-marathon race to officially include a wheelchair division—in 1975—the New Balance Falmouth Road Race is carrying on its historic support by staging an At-Home Edition Wheelchair Event presented by Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Cape Cod as part of its 2020 virtual edition.
The noncompetitive event, featuring approximately 50 wheelchair athletes, will be streamed on Facebook Live at 10 AM on Sunday, August 23, on the Falmouth Road Race page.
Headlined by course record holders Tatyana McFadden and Daniel Romanchuk, the athletes will race against a video of the course recorded by Hermin Garic during the 2018 race. Garic was runner-up that year, in 28:41.
“This is a race I love so much and is near and dear to my heart,” said McFadden, a 17-time Paralympic medalist and five-time Falmouth winner. “My grandparents actually met on the Cape, so it’s a special place to me. This will be the next best thing to being there this summer.”
Serving as commentators will be Craig Blanchette, who has eight Falmouth wheelchair victories between 1991 and 2010, and Dr. Cheri Blauwet, two-time Boston Marathon winner (2004 and 2005) and now a physician with Spaulding Rehabilitation Network who made her Falmouth debut last year.
In addition to McFadden and Romanchuk, five-time Falmouth winner Krige Schabort; 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medalist Johnboy Smith of Great Britain; Katrina Gerhard, a 2019 Team USA member and Massachusetts native studying at the University of Massachusetts Medical School; and 11-year-old Falmouth veteran Maddie Wilson are among those expected to participate.
“Falmouth is one of the most scenic races around, and I love ending every summer there,” said Romanchuk, who has won Falmouth the past three years. “It’s nice to know that, even though I’ll be racing it at home, I’ll have the chance to ‘see’ the course that day.”
The 48th running of the New Balance Falmouth Road Race is being celebrated as a virtual event. It began August 15—on what would have been the birthday of late founder Tommy Leonard—and will conclude on Saturday, August 29, with runners covering seven miles in their own neighborhoods any time in that period. Registration for the footrace and the at-home wheelchair race is still available at www.falmouthroadrace.com.