Saturday, November 22, 2008

Falmouth Road Race Weekend 1980

Falmouth weekend, 1980. We started on Friday night, Gerry Beagan, Kenny Field and myself headed out to Provincetown, Ma for a little run back to Providence, RI. Gerry was doing this run as a fundraiser for Muscular Dystrophy that was billed as Gerry's Run For Jerry's Kids. It was to be a 120 mile run over 2 days, starting at 6 am at the base of the Pilgrim Tower in the center of Provincetown. Gerry would be joined by 2 other runners, John Armour and Tim Lepore. We left Coventry, RI on Friday night and headed east, when we got to Swansea, Ma, we decided to get Gerry pumped up for this run by going to the drive-in theater that advertised Rocky 1 + 2, awesome, lets go. We get in and set up, and looking up at the screen, realize that they are playing a porno film with some guy in a wheelchair. Well, this is not the kind of pump-up film we were thinking of, so out we went and in the next parking lot to us was a bar with live music, so we figure we might as well stop in. The band Northeast Expressway was playing, a good cover band, so we hung out until closing time and then headed to Provincetown, it was now 1am or so and Gerry was to start at 6am. Gerry got to sleep for most of the drive as Kenny and myself drove that long, boring ride on Rte 6 to the tip of Cape Cod. I think we pulled into P-Town about 4am and tried to get some sleep in the van, i was stretched across the front seats with the cooler between to make a very uncomfortable bed. We awoke and headed to the Pilgrim Tower for about 5:30am, so Gerry heads out for a warm up run, why?, i couldn't tell you. He runs into a cop who asks where he is running to, Gerry says Providence, so the cop shakes his head and walks away. Kenny and myself are sitting in the van reading Playboy magazines, trying to hold off the locals. So, off goes the run, Gerry, John and Tim are off on their adventure. All my film from this run is in the possesion of Gerry, so i can't show any of the photos from the run. Maybe at a later date. I also learned about DMSO this weekend, also known as DimethylSulfoxide, it is like a bengay on steroids and it was legal for use on horses. Tim Lepore was using this stuff on his legs, Tim is a surgeon. It would go strait to your bloodstream, so if you mixed aspirin in with it, you would get very direct results. One thing you would notice is the taste of garlic in your mouth about ten minutes after applying this stuff. Did it help? Not that i ever noticed and i did personally try it. Gerry did make the Cape Cod Canal on day one.

The next day, Gerry was to finish his long run, but i was not to be there, i was heading to Falmouth to shoot the race. I met up with Betsey Roundsville to photograph the race as we were both shooting for Frontrunner Magazine. The race went off as many others, we were at 5 miles or so on the course, shooting like crazy. Rod Dixon won the mens race and Grete Waitz took the womens win. The fun started after the end of the race. With Gerry doing his ultra-fundraiser, we thought it would be cool to get the current cover of Frontrunner signed by all the top runners for Gerry. Most everyone cooperated with us, Grete, Joanie, Bill Rodgers, Dixon, Hodge, Patti Catalano, Jackie Gareau. The only real prick we ran across was Herb Lindsey, but Benji Durden took care of that with us, walking over with a pen and saying "sign the magazine, Herb".I think we ended up with 40 plus great runners signing the cover. The photo of Grete Waitz that is above, ended up being printed in an Australian newspaper, but i do not remember which one. The photo pass above was signed by Ric Rojas, who finished 3rd this day, but was overlooked for the other "bigger" runners. He was hanging out in the tent with Jan Merrill, seems like no one cared that they ran so good so it was kind of cool to hang out talking with them without any distractions. I always liked this picture of Jackie Gareau, it was just 4 months earlier that she had to deal with the Rosie Ruiz bullshit.


s p running said...

This story inspired my recent post... thanks! I just wish you had taken the photo with Steve Jones... your photos are the BEST

Scott Mason said...

I wish i was there to take it :)