Sunday, February 2, 2014

Morseman and Erb champions at the largest Tallahassee Marathon yet

Bryan MorsemanHeading a record field of 360 finishers, Bryan Morseman of Bath, New York, won Gulf Winds Track Club's 40th annual Tallahassee Marathon on Sunday morning, 2 February 2014, running the 26.2 mile race in 2:24:29. 2011 marathon champ Esteban Vanegas was the first master runner in the marathon, placing fourth overall in 2:42:42. Esther Erb of Lambertville, New Jersey, was the fastest woman in the race, finishing sixth overall in 2:46:29.

The marathon started as scheduled at 7:30 AM on the Florida State University campus. A heavy fog hung in the air. Leading the race, Bryan Morseman finished the first mile in 5:15, just half a step ahead of Philip Lagat. Trailing them in third place was Ecuadorian master runner Esteban Vanegas, the 2011 Tallahassee Marathon champion. Abraham Kogo was holding fourth.

Philip LagatMorseman and Lagat ran together for nearly three miles, when Morseman began to open a gap. By eight miles Morseman was nearly half a minute ahead. Morseman continued to widen the margin, while behind Lagat, Abraham Kogo passed Esteban Vanegas to take over third place. But after the turnaround at fourteen miles, Morseman's pace slackened. Lagat began to close. At nineteen miles Morseman's lead was back to less than half a minute, and Lagat was still coming.

With two and a half miles to go the leaders turned off of the St. Marks Trail and onto Gamble Street. Philip Lagat had pulled to within ten seconds of Bryan Morseman. Morseman came to life on Gamble Street, though, and began to pull away again. The race was over. Morseman reached the finish line on FSU's Mike Long Track with a winning 2:24:29. Lagat followed, runner-up in 2:25:48. Abraham Kogo was third in 2:36:40. Esteban Vanegas was the first master runner, fourth overall in 2:42:42. Moving up through the field during the race to finish fifth, Stephen Cox was the first Tallahassee runner in the marathon, posting a 2:45:39.

Esther ErbNina Kraft, the 2013 women's champion in the Tallahassee Marathon, led the women's field through the first mile in 6:12. Liudmila Stepanova was right with her, with Esther Erb 15 seconds back and Melissa Gacek trailing Erb. Stepanova grabbed the lead, but at seven miles she erroneously turned around with the half marathoners, taking herself out of the race. Defending champion Kraft was back out front, well over a minute ahead of Erb at eight miles. There were a lot of miles left to run, though.

Melissa GacekEsther Erb caught Nina Kraft on the way back from the turnaround at 14 miles. With seven miles to go, Erb was 20 seconds up on Kraft, with Melissa Gacek another 20 seconds behind Kraft. It didn't stay that close. Erb ran away from her challengers on the way back to Florida State and the finish line, building up a lead of more than a mile and a quarter while finishing sixth overall in 2:46:29. Melissa Gacek ran down Kraft but couldn't catch Erb; Gacek ended the race second in the women's standings, coming in seventh overall in 2:55:38. Kraft, third in the women's standings, was the first woman master, eighth overall in 2:58:07. Tallahassee master runner Carrie Seiberlich was the fourth woman finisher, 14th overall in 3:03:38.

Top Ten Men, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2014 Tallahassee Marathon
  1. 2:24:28.26 ~ Bryan Morseman (M, 28) Bath, NYAbraham Kogo
  2. 2:25:47.98 ~ Philip Lagat (M, 30) Hebron, KY
  3. 2:36:39.75 ~ Abraham Kogo (M, 34) Hebron, KY
  4. 2:42:41.73 ~ Esteban Vanegas (M, 43) Alma, MI
  5. 2:45:38.84 ~ Stephen Cox (M, 30) Tallahassee, FL
  6. 2:58:34.56 ~ Jack McDermott (M, 44) Tallahassee, FL
  7. 3:00:20.86 ~ Jacinto Fernandez (M, 42) Gainesville, FL
  8. 3:01:19.36 ~ Reikan Lin (M, 23) Tallahassee, FL
  9. 3:01:30.12 ~ Ryan Kelly (M, 35) Lake Park, GA
  10. 3:03:32.75 ~ Brett Lawrie (M, 33) St. Petersburg, FL

Top Ten Women, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2014 Tallahassee Marathon
    Nina Kraft
  1. 2:46:28.86 ~ Esther Erb (F, 27) Lambertville, NJ
  2. 2:55:37.68 ~ Melissa Gacek (F, 37) White Bear Lake, MN
  3. 2:58:06.11 ~ Nina Kraft (F, 45) Clermont, FL
  4. 3:03:37.83 ~ Carrie Seiberlich (F, 42) Tallahassee, FL
  5. 3:13:29.15 ~ Traci Falbo (F, 42) Charlestown, IN
  6. 3:14:26.80 ~ Allison Eagen (F, 34) Tallahassee, FL
  7. 3:15:48.98 ~ Pamela Simon (F, 29) Riverview, FL
  8. 3:18:10.90 ~ Kate Harrison (F, 22) Tallahassee, FL
  9. 3:20:40.52 ~ Jennifer Kilinski (F, 35) Tallahassee, FL
  10. 3:25:04.41 ~ Britta Fortson (F, 41) Jacksonville, FL

Christian VazquezFor most of its history the Tallahassee Marathon has been paired with a half marathon. Christian Vazquez, a varsity distance runner at Webber International University, won the 13.1-mile race this year, running 77:52. Vazquez last raced in Tallahassee at the 2012 FHSAA high school cross country championships, competing for Lehigh HS. Why was he taking time out from Webber's indoor track season to run a half marathon? Webber competes in the NAIA, which, unlike the effete NCAA, includes a marathon in its outdoor track championships. Athletes can qualify for the marathon with a fast enough half-marathon time, 72:00 for the men and 90:00 for the women. While many in the marathon were aiming for a Boston qualifier, Vazquez and his teammates were trying for NAIA qualifiers. Vazquez came up a few minutes short, as did Webber athletes Robert Post (4th, 83:19) and David Wright (5th, 83:20). As freshmen, though, they'll get more bites at the apple.

Tallahassee's Mickey Moore was the fastest master runner in the shorter race, placing eighth overall in 84:14. Beth Miller of Tallahassee was the first woman finisher, 18th overall in 89:10. Tallahassee's Kathy Andrews came in 38th overall with a 96:40, taking honors as first woman master.

Top Ten Men, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2014 Tallahassee Half-Marathon
    Jonathan Ross
  1. 1:17:51.41 ~ Christian Vazquez (M, 19) Babson Park, FL
  2. 1:20:11.92 ~ Jonathan Ross (M, 27) Atlanta, GA
  3. 1:22:11.76 ~ Peter Kaus (M, 29) Tallahassee, FL
  4. 1:23:18.59 ~ Robert Post (M, 19) Babson Park, FL
  5. 1:23:19.88 ~ David Wright (M, 19) Babson Park, FL
  6. 1:23:24.58 ~ Peter Ormsby (M, 37) Babson Park, FL
  7. 1:23:42.62 ~ Eric Godin (M, 29) Tallahassee, FL
  8. 1:24:13.68 ~ Mickey Moore (M, 43) Tallahassee, FL
  9. 1:24:23.60 ~ Don Autore (M, 38) Tallahassee, FL
  10. 1:24:32.17 ~ Sean Hudson (M, 43) Tallahassee, FL

Top Ten Women, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2014 Tallahassee Half-Marathon
    Beth Miller
  1. 1:29:09.18 ~ Beth Miller (F, 22) Tallahassee, FL
  2. 1:29:32.18 ~ Marci Gray (F, 39) Tallahassee, FL
  3. 1:30:21.93 ~ Lydia Veal (F, 32) Jacksonville, FL
  4. 1:33:25.19 ~ Katie Sherron (F, 32) Tallahassee, FL
  5. 1:35:49.43 ~ Renee Cox (F, 26) Tallahassee, FL
  6. 1:36:03.20 ~ Alexandra Pace (F, 34) Tallahassee, FL
  7. 1:36:39.59 ~ Kathy Andrews (F, 51) Tallahassee, FL
  8. 1:36:39.99 ~ Kathryn Ches (F, 34) Jacksonville, FL
  9. 1:37:31.95 ~ Lauren Diaz (F, 31) Jacksonville Beach, FL
  10. 1:38:21.70 ~ Mary Anne Grayson (F, 48) Thomasville, GA


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