Monday, February 8, 2010

Big wins for Cheruiyot and Moras at the 36th annual Tallahassee Marathon

"How many are ahead of us?" shouted a runner near the 12 km of the Tallahassee Marathon. The answer was just one--James Kiptoo Cheruiyot, who had passed by five minutes earlier. Cheruiyot, a Kenyan graduate of Harding University, took control of the 36th annual race soon after the gun went off on Sunday morning, 7 February 2010, on the Florida State University campus. By the time Cheruiyot returned to Florida State to cross the finish line on the University track, he was nearly two kilometers ahead of the next runner. Cheruiyot's time for the 42.195 km race was 2:26:50. Behind him, Orinthal Striggles edged out Justin Gillette for second place, 2:34:04 to 2:34:14.

Beth Moras of Ridgewood, New Jersey won the women's division, placing 29th overall in 3:16:05. Moras finished over 500 meters ahead of the women's runner-up, Melissa Gillette of Berne, Indiana, who was 31st overall in 3:18:37. Tallahassee's Olivia Sweberg was the third-place woman, running the marathon in 3:29:25. Moras was also the top master (over 40) woman in the marathon. The top master (over 40) male was Sergey Kaledin of Eugene, Oregon, who was fourth overall in 2:35:29.

Jonathon Mott of St Petersburg, Florida won the half-marathon race held in conjunction with the marathon. Mott's time was 1:12:31, comfortably ahead of runner-up Daniel Lee of Tallahassee, who ran 1:14:55. John Robida of Tallahassee was third in 1:17:48. Kim Pawelek was the women's half marathon champion; the Jacksonville, Florida runner finished seventh overall in 1:23:31. Less than 400m behind Pawelek was the women's runner-up, Tallahassee's Sheryl Rosen, who placed ninth overal in 1:24:51.

The Tallahassee Marathon is run on a USATF certified out-and-back course that starts on the campus of Florida State University. Leaving campus, the course heads south to the Tallahassee-St Marks Historic Rail Trail, an absolutely flat paved, multi-use trail. The half marathoners turn around before leaving the Tallahassee city limits, but the marathoners continue south to a turn-around in the village of Woodville. Returning to the university campus, the course concludes with a partial circuit of Florida State University's Mike Long Track. Weather for the 2010 marathon was cool and cloudy, not entirely comfortable for spectators and race workers, but optimal for the runners.

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