Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Another Boston Mini Win For Rosen

There have been thirty Boston Mini-Marathons since the south Georgia town first hosted the 13.1-mile event in 1980, but it may take a historian of the race to remember when someone other than Sheryl Rosen won the women's division. Tallahassee's Rosen won her fourth straight women's title in the Boston Mini on Saturday morning, 31 October 2009, finishing seventh overall in 1:27:10. Rosen's closest challenger in the women's competition was Olivia Swedberg who ran 1:34:23 to place nineteenth overall. Master (over 40) honors for the women went to Atlanta's Lisa Dillmar, fourth woman and 41st overall in 1:44:40.

The fastest runner of the day was Vince Molosky, overall winner in 1:19:49. Molosky took the lead early, pursued by master runners Tony Guillen and Carl Nordhielm. During the second half of the race Guillen was able to break Nordhielm. But unlike the 20K at Tall Timbers, Molosky stayed on course and Guillen was unable to catch him. Guillen ended up second in 1:20:25 while Nordhielm was third in 1:21:35.

The Boston Mini-Marathon is unique among small-town Georgia races. There are quite a few such races associated with a festival--for example, the Rose City Run is associated with Thomasville's Rose Festival. However, in Boston the Mini Marathon came first, and the Marathon Festival followed. For thirty years the race has traded shamelessly on having a similar name to a race in the northeast. Quite often, "mini" appears in much smaller lettering than "Boston" and "Marathon" on race materials. The course hasn't changed much if at all in the last three decades. Starting in downtown Boston, the runners head east (into the rising sun) on old US 84, the Dixie Road. The Dixie Road goes through farm country, passing fields, pastures, and farm houses, but hardly a tree for the first six miles. Starting around the six-mile mark, the road takes the runners through a wooded area to a turn-around point at six-and-a-half miles, a few miles outside of Dixie. Here, the runners do an about-face and retrace their steps back to Boston. The finish line is about a tenth of a mile beyond the starting line in order to make the course a full half marathon. The road doesn't wind much, and the slopes are gentle, although many runners will swear that on the way back the hills grow much taller than they were on the way out.

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