Saturday, February 18, 2017

Not for the first time, Molosky and Sherron are first at the Flash

On Saturday morning, 18 February 2017, Vince Molosky won Gulf Winds Track Club's 29th annual Flash 12K, running 43:25. For the third time ever and the second year in a row Katie Sherron was the women's champ of the race, placing eighth overall in 47:31. The race took place south of Tallahassee, Florida in the town of Saint Marks--a town that is a story by itself.

Vince Molosky
Vince Molosky

Saint Marks, Florida isn't large, less than two square miles. Most of what Saint Marks has in that small area it has had for quite some time. Saint Marks has been home to the Spanish Fort of San Marcos de Apalachee and its ruins since the 1600s. The railroad came to Saint Marks in 1836, and after it left the Tallahassee-Saint Marks Rail Trail kept the route open bicycles and pedestrians. The Purdom Generating Plant is a relative newcomer, but it has been churning out electricity in Saint Marks since 1952.

Saint Marks has much that is old, but it doesn't have an old road race. The town hosted the Rails-to-Trails 5K in the 1980s, but that didn't survive. The Humanatee 5K came to Saint Marks in 1991, the first of fourteen annual races. The last runner finished the last Humanatee event in 2004.

Katie Sherron
Katie Sherron

Then in 2011 Mark Priddy, the race director of the Flash 12K, moved that race to Saint Marks. The annual event already had logged sixteen runnings in Chaires and another six in Woodville, but it quickly became established as a Saint Marks race. In a few more decades the Flash might not even look disproportionately young compared to old Fort San Marcos, where the race starts and finishes.

Vince Molosky had his own history with the Flash 12K when he joined the runners on the starting line of the 2017 race. Molosky had run the Flash eight times previously, winning the 12K in 2006. 2015 Flash champion Zach DeVeau was also there, as was Tim Unger, winner of the 12K in 2001 and 2004.

Gulf Winds Track Club's 2017 Flash 12K
2017 Flash 12K and 6K

Molosky went right to the front soon after the race started, though. Geb Kiros, the leader of the concurrent 6K race, was his only company. Chris O'Kelley was Molosky's closest pursuer, followed by Mickey Moore and Eric Godin. At three kilometers Kiros turned back to head to the finish line of his own race, leaving Molosky running alone and far ahead of the rest of the field. After falling nearly a minute behind Molosky, O'Kelley started to narrow the gap during the second half of the race. O'Kelley was never able to close, though, and Molosky finished first in 43:25, getting his second Flash 12K title. O'Kelley was second in 43:55. Mickey Moore was the top master runner in the race, taking third in 44:56 after pulling away from Eric Godin midway through the run. Godin placed fourth in 45:13.

Ann Centner
Ann Centner

Former University of Georgia distance runner Ann Centner led the women's field early, but Katie Sherron was never far behind. By the four-kilometer mark Sherron was six seconds ahead of Centner and that margin was growing. By the end of the race Sherron was more than three minutes up on Centner, winning the women's title in 47:31. Centner took the women's runner-up spot, placing fifteenth overall in 50:44. Emma Spencer was third in the women's standings and eighteenth overall in 52:08. Wakulla High cross-country runner Haleigh Martin was the fourth woman and nineteenth overall in 52:21. Tsige Tadesse was the first woman master and seventh female finisher, 29th overall in 55:23.

For the first time in the nine-year history of the Flash 6K, the course was USATF-certified, making the event one of only four six-kilometer road races in the state of Florida staged on a certified course.

Top Ten Men, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2017 Flash 12K
  1. 43:25, Vince Molosky (M, 37)
  2. 43:55, Chris O'Kelley (M, 23)
  3. 44:56, Mickey Moore (M, 46)
  4. 45:13, Eric Godin (M, 32)
  5. 45:35, Michael Rhodes (M, 48)
  6. 46:02, Myles Gibson (M, 50)
  7. 46:11, Paul Guyas (M, 39)
  8. 47:39, Joel Piotrowski (M, 47)
  9. 47:53, Tim Unger (M, 57)
  10. 47:56, Matthew Rowan (M, 48)

Top Ten Women, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2017 Flash 12K
  1. 47:31, Katie Sherron (F, 35)
  2. 50:44, Ann Centner (F, 25)
  3. 52:08, Emma Spencer (F, 36)
  4. 52:21, Haleigh Martin (F, 17)
  5. 53:18, Meg Ogle (F, 26)
  6. 54:34, Alyssa Terry (F, 23)
  7. 55:23, Tsige Tadesse (F, 49)
  8. 57:20, Nancy Stedman (F, 55)
  9. 58:34, Jennifer Jan Farinella (F, 27)
  10. 59:22, Kory Skrob (F, 45)

While the Flash 12K was being contested the Flash 6K was also under way. Master runner Geb Kiros won the shorter race in 22:02, leading the entire six kilometers. Lane Williams took second in 22:58. Master runner Michael Martinez, the winner of the 2013 Flash 6K, was third in 23:27. Another past champion, Duane Evans, was fourth in 23:40. Evans had won the Flash 6K in 2012.

Katie Sack, Ann Centner
Katie Sack and Ann Centner

Katie Sack overshot the turnaround of the out-and-back 6K course, but recovered in time to take the women's title in 26:02, placing sixth overall. Paula O'Neill was the first woman master and second female finisher, running the 6K in 26:32 and placing eighth overall. Master runner Angela Wable was the third woman and eleventh overall in 27:01.

Top Ten Men, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2017 Flash 6K
  1. 22:02, Geb Kiros (M, 50)
  2. 22:58, Lane Williams (M, 20)
  3. 23:27, Michael Martinez (M, 51)
  4. 23:40, Duane Evans (M, 49)
  5. 26:00, Hector Clemente (M, 59)
  6. 26:26, Bryce Bass (M, 14)
  7. 26:43, Scott Stewart (M, 47)
  8. 26:56, Rob McNneely (M, 57)
  9. 27:20, Matt Stephens (M, 14)
  10. 27:29, Nathan Streety (M, 9)

Top Ten Women, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2017 Flash 6K
  1. 26:02, Katie Sack (F, 25)
  2. 26:32, Paula O'Neill (F, 55)
  3. 27:01, Angela Wable (F, 43)
  4. 27:52, Karla Bass (F, 45)
  5. 30:23, Casey Tozzi (F, 36)
  6. 31:07, Sonya Dudley (F, 48)
  7. 31:43, Leah Kiros (F, 11)
  8. 31:48, Madison Sims (F, 9)
  9. 32:12, Sarah Logan Beasley (F, 25)
  10. 32:59, Annie Bowman (F, 48)

The sky threatened rain on the morning of the 2017 Flash 12K, then made good on that threat during the race, soaking the runners. In spite of the weather, 162 athletes showed up to finish the 12K, while another 128 completed the 6K. Gulf Winds Track Club chip timed both races.

Gulf Winds Track Club Flash 12K Champions, 1989 - 2017
28 January 198912K39:44, John Devine48:50, Barbara Balzer 155
17 February 199012K44:10, David Rigby54:40, Kathy Weiss 102
26 January 199112K39:36, Jessie Close50:24, Tina Davies163
18 January 199212K39:33, Jessie Close45:24, Paula Johnson132
23 January 199312K42:40, Jonathan Bigg45:43, Linda Nilges134
15 January 199412K38:02, Robin Rogers45:34, Jane Johnson91
21 January 199512K40:49, Gary Droze45:34, Jane Johnson145
27 January 199612K41:10, Gary Droze44:27, Jane Johnson132
11 January 199712K39:25, Brian Erb47:57, Sarah Williams75
7 February 199812K42:57, Clarence Calloway45:12, Sarah Williams164
20 February 199912K44:40, Tim Simpkins46:27, Sarah Williams82
19 February 200012K39:44, Michael Strickland46:06, Sara Docter-Williams107
17 February 200112K43:56, Tim Unger45:38, Sarah Docter-Williams 98
16 February 200212K40:35, Gary Droze47:17, Jane Johnson 148
1 February 200312K42:52, Shawn Patterson52:18, Lisa Whitworth 80
7 February 200412K42:46, Tim Unger52:49, Lisa Whitworth 89
5 February 200512K42:05, Lee Willis45:30, Sarah Docter-Williams 118
4 February 200612K42:49, Vince Molosky50:21, Lisa Johnson89
17 February 200712K44:58, Todd Smoot52:22, Kim Likens74
16 February 200812K43:10, Tripp Southerland50:57, Stephanie Liles131
21 February 200912K42:34, Jay Wallace50:48, Jane Johnson105
6K23:21, Brian Corbin21:36, Jana Stolting30
20 February 201012K41:57, Daniel Lee47:12, Sheryl Rosen176
6K24:43, Ben Kail31:35, Rachel Phipps53
19 February 201112K40:57, Thomas Kunish49:23, Kelly Stevens214
6K23:59, Caleb Harris31:26, Ashton McMurray73
18 February 201212K41:23, Stephen Cox49:52, Katie Showman214
6K24:57, Duane Evans27:39, Nancy Gribble89
16 February 201312K38:41, Kevin Sullivan46:17, Sheryl Rosen268
6K21:54, Michael Martinez25:09, Jessica Gillard70
15 February 201412K39:39, Stanley Linton45:20, Seeley Gutierrez262
6K21:56, Jon Mason28:15, Sarah Taff85
21 February 201512K42:03, Zach Deveau47:33, Sheryl Rosen207
6K23:30, Duane Evans24:20, Katie Gorman98
20 February 201612K40:52, Roger Schmidt50:43, Katie Sherron213
6K23:17, Travis Parks32:26, Leah Kiros87
18 February 201712K43:25, Vince Molosky47:31, Katie Sherron162
6K22:02, Geb Kiros26:02, Katie Sack128
In 1989-2004 the race started and finished in Chaires. (FL88036BH and FL94001DL)
In 2005-2010 the race started and finished at J. Lewis Hall Park in Woodville. (FL05007DL)
In 2011-2017 the race started and finished at Fort San Marcos de Apalachee in St. Marks.