Saturday, September 18, 2010

Lisa Johnson wins big at the Tallahassee Women's Distance Festival

Lisa Johnson might have been running a time trial, running alone far in front of the field at the Tallahassee Women's Distance Festival 5K on Saturday, 18 September 2010. Had the race been on a track, Johnson would have come close to lapping the field; her 18:39 winning time put her nearly 400 meters ahead of the runner up, Kelly Stevens, who covered the course in 20:07. Micah Adriani ran 20:41 for third place, while the top master runner for the women, Jane Johnson, placed fourth overall in 21:03.

The men's race was somewhat closer, with Jay Wallace keeping the leader, Vince Molosky, in sight for the entire 5K. But while Molosky could never entirely escape Wallace, Wallace was never able to actually catch Molosky. They crossed the line with Molosky in front, 16:34 to 16:42. Wallace finished as top master for the second straight year. Behind him, Gary Droze moved up during the second half of the race to beat out Daniel Lee for third place, 17:09 to 17:12.

Trying to find an appropriate way of recognizing women's running, the Tallahassee Women's Distance Festival has experimented with a variety of formats over the years, including women-only events and separate races for women and men. The current format is to give the women runners a five-minute handicap, starting them around the course before the men. This meant that the leaders in the men's race were continually overtaking the slowest runners in the women's race. So while Lisa Johnson was running fast enough to lap nearly every woman in the race, Vince Molosky was experiencing the traffic of lapping every woman in the race. Fortunately for the fastest men, the course is open enough that passing isn't a problem. Athletes who record good times in this race can be justly proud--the course is USATF certified (FL00022DL) and loops through hilly Indianhead Acres neighborhoods.


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