Sunday, January 17, 2010

Molosky and Rosen defend titles at a muddy 30K

Vince Molosky ran 1:56:14 over a soggy course through the red hills to win his third straight Gulf Winds Track Club 30K on Saturday, 16 January 2010. Molosky built a lead early and sat on it, never seriously challenged. Donalsonville, Georgia's Myles Gibson took the runner up spot, but he had to fight for it. With two miles to go Gibson was in second, but Stephen Cox and Tony Guillen were still in contact. Gibson held his position though, and finished in 1:59:40 as the top master runner in the race. Cox crossed the line third in 2:00:03, having moved away from the fading Guillen. The second master finisher in the race, Guillen placed fourth in 2:00:43.


Not to be outdone by Molosky's three-peat, Sheryl Rosen won her fourth straight women's title at the 30K, finishing tenth overall in 2:14:22. Jane Johnson, however, finished as top master woman for the eighth straight time, running 2:20:50 to finish as the second woman and 18th overall. In ten starts in the 30K as a master runner, Johnson has now finished as top woman master ten times. Apparently, the only way to keep Johnson out of the winner's circle is to keep her out of the race.


In the 15K the win went to Matt Mizereck, a three-time state cross-country champion from Leon High School. Mizereck had won the 15K in 2008 and placed second in 2009. Almost 600m back, Daniel Lee took second in 53:49. The top master in the shorter race was Reid Vannoy, eleventh overall at 63:45 and comfortable ahead of the next over-40 runner, Jerry McDaniel at 65:24 in thirteenth place.


In the women's division of the 15K, Lisa Johnson held off Seeley Gutierrez to win by over 70 meters, 63:45 to 64:04. Johnson and Gutierrez finished tenth and twelfth overall respectively. Mary Ann Grayson of Thomasville and Dana Black of Port St Joe fought for women's master honors, with Grayson coming out on top 71:08 (20th overall) to 72:55 (23rd overall).


The 30K and the 15K are each run on out-and-back courses starting near Bradley's Country Store in Moccasin Gap. The first and last two miles of each race are run on pavement, with the balance on the red clay surface of Old Centerville Road and Sunnyhill Road. Under most conditions the clay is excellent to run on, but it can became a slippery, gooey mess in wet weather. The 2010 races started after a night of light rain, which grew stronger as the morning progressed. Stirred by morning traffic and the feet of nearly 200 runners, the mud was a challenge by the end of the 30K. In spite of inclement conditions, 91 athletes finished the 30K with another 101 completing the 15K, both numbers up slightly from the previous year.


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