Saturday, September 19, 2009

Scheitlin, Robida Take Tallahassee Women's Distance Fest Titles

Kelsey Scheitlin overtook Micah Adriani in the last mile of a hilly 5K course to win the 2009 Tallahassee Women's Distance Festival on Saturday morning, 19 September 2009. Scheitlin finished in 19:00, 19 seconds ahead of the second woman in, Sarah Docter-Williams, who finished as top woman master in the event. Adriani was the third woman across the line in 19:36, just ahead of last year's runner-up, Sheryl Rosen, at 19:37. Meanwhile, in the men's race, John Robida took the lead soon after the start and never relinquished it to finish as top male in 16:34. He was stalked by the top male master, Jay Wallace, who crossed the line second overall in 16:45. Defending champion David Altmaier finished fourth in 17:39 behind Vince Molosky's 17:13.

The Tallahassee Women's Distance Festival is part of the Road Runners Club of America's series of Women's Distance Festival races around the country. The Tallahassee edition of the Festival started out as a women's-only race, evolved into an event with separate men's and women's races, and finally arrived at its current format, a 5K race in which the women start five minutes ahead of the men. It's interesting to note that the AAU mandated that the 1972 New York Marathon be run with the women competitors being given a ten-minute head start, but that this rule was protested as being demeaning to the women.

The course is USATF certified (FL00022DL) and starts and finishes near Optimist Park in the Indianhead Acres section of Tallahassee. There are some hilly sections--mountain runners may scoff, but no one will mistake this for a flat course.


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