Anne Preisig Is Now A Premier Masters Runner In Her Hometown Road Race

Falmouth resident Anne Preisig was second in her age group last year, and the fastest female runner from Falmouth, earning her the Margaret Bradley Award.COURTESY FALMOUTH ROAD RACE - Falmouth resident Anne Preisig was second in her age group last year, and the fastest female runner from Falmouth, earning her the Margaret Bradley Award.

Anne Preisig squirmed just a little bit when revealing her deep, dark secret regarding “America’s Favorite Road Race.”

The veteran athlete, who competed internationally as a duathlete for several years, used to avoid running the Falmouth Road Race on purpose. Each year she’d come up with a viable excuse to not participate in the famous race held in her back yard, even though her sport of choice had her running as far, if not farther, in each event.

Her excuses were usually pretty viable. She could point to championship races that she was training for, or other events that got in the way.

“Some years it was the world championships, or the national championship. Other years, seven miles in the heat just seemed like too much. There were no reasons I couldn’t do it; it was just excuses,” she said.

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Ironically, though, her husband was involved in the race every year. Jim Preisig monitors the women’s race each year from a bike, and relays updates to the radio announcers. He has not missed a race in years, and there were times that rather than run, Anne was riding alongside her husband.

Four years ago she finally broke down and decided to just run the race, and it’s a decision she’s happy she made. The West Falmouth resident, who moved to town in 1999, has been one of the top female masters runners in the Road Race every year since joining in on the fun. Last year, she had her best showing yet, finishing as the second female master overall, and the fastest female from Falmouth. She finished with a time of 45 minutes and 16 seconds.

She was the 216th overall finisher in a road race that featured about 11,000 finishers.

Being the top finisher from Falmouth is something that Preisig would like to do again. She understands that there are several young up-and-coming racers that certainly could challenge her now, and will eventually overtake her, but claiming another “Fastest From Falmouth” title would be a nice present the day after her 47th birthday.

“If a youngster from Falmouth beats me, that’s great for them. They should be out there trying to beat the old ladies.”

It’s hard to think of Preisig as an old lady. She may be a veteran, but she looks easily a decade younger than her actual age. The years of pounding the miles on the roads are not apparent, and a positive attitude fuels her.

Preisig, who will be serving as the new cross-country coach at Cape Cod Academy this coming fall season, said that she’s able to continue to perform at a high level because she enjoys setting goals and going after them. “There’s always something to improve,” she said. “(Running) gives you a purpose, and competing gives you a goal. I like training for something and thinking of how I’m going to get ready for the race I have on my calendar.”

Her next race is Sunday morning, starting in Woods Hole. Last year she was the runner-up in the women’s masters field, placing behind only Chelmsford’s Kara Haas, who was about two minutes faster overall.

This year, Preisig said, she doesn’t think she will finish quite as high in the overall women’s masters rankings, and she’s okay with that.

“This year, there are two runners who just turned 40 that are phenomenal; there’s no way I’m beating them,” she said, “unless they take a wrong turn on the course.”

Winning may not be in the cards for her, but Preisig still plans on running the best race that she can. She said that having the women’s field start earlier, which was new to the FRR last year, has changed the race’s dynamic. It also helped her to pull off second in the master’s field. “Having the women start separately allowed me to know where the other masters women were,” she said. “It made it a true race.”

When Preisig isn’t gearing up for her next competitive event, she’s helping the youth of Falmouth to learn the sport that she loves, and to improve at it. She currently has a summer running camp that she is offering for runners in 4th through 12th grades on Tuesdays and Thursdays. She also teaches a year-round running course on Saturday afternoons for children in kindergarten and above. “That’s a lot of fun. We run in the snow, in the spring, all year,” she said. Information on both activities can be found on her Facebook page.

Some of those youngsters will undoubtedly be running in the Falmouth Road Race, if not this year, then certainly in years to come. After years of coming up with reasons not to compete, she now looks forward to the challenge. “There’s a part of me, now, that says, ‘Why did I avoid it?’ ”

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