Sunday, January 28, 2018

Halley and Mohamed triumph at the Tulip Trot

Back in 2010, the first Tulip Trot 5K was held in Tallahassee, Florida's Tom Brown Park. But on Saturday morning, 27 January 2018, for the fourth year in a row the annual race was run in Cascades Park. And for the second year in a row, Jim Halley won the Tulip Trot, this time posting an 18:09 in the 3.1-mile race. Sherez Mohamed was the first woman in the race, placing sixth overall in 21:14.

Jim Halley, Kurt Dietrich
Kurt Dietrich and Jim Halley

"I was probably a little slower than last year," Jim Halley said of this 18:09 winning time. "But it was warmer than last year. Also I didn't have Gary Droze chasing me this year."

Halley did have pursuit from Kurt Dietrich. Sharing the lead, Halley and Dietrich ran together for much of the first mile. During the second mile, though, Halley broke away. Over the rest of the race Halley steadily widened the gap, ultimately crossing the finish line 50 meters ahead of Dietrich. Dietrich was second in 18:21. Duane Evans was the first master runner in the race, placing third overall in 19:51.

Sherez Mohamed
Sherez Mohamed

While Halley and Dietrich were dueling for the men's title, a larger competition was brewing on the women's side. Half a mile into the race, just a few seconds separated the first five women. Natalie Toellner led, closely followed by Sherez Mohamed, Alyssa Terry, Alyssa Langston, and Laura McDermott. Toellner was still setting the pace for the women's field midway through the race, but Mohamed and Terry were closing in as the runners headed to a turnaround on Franklin Boulevard near the two-mile mark.

"It was near the turnaround that they both went by me," recalled Toellner.

Terry was the first to pass Toellner, with Mohamed close behind. She didn't stay behind for long. Mohamed overtook Terry during the last mile, then powered home to cross the finish line in 21:14, taking the women's title. Terry was second in the women's standings and seventh overall in 21:29, while Wakulla High junior Alyssa Langston was the third woman and eighth overall in 21:49. Laura McDermott was the fourth woman and ninth overall in 21:57, and early leader Natalie Toellner was fifth in the women's standings and tenth overall in 22:15. Nancy Proctor was the first woman master and sixth female finisher, fifteenth overall in 23:20.

Alyssa Terry
Alyssa Terry

Sherez Mohamed, the winning woman, isn't frequently seen in Tallahassee road races, but that doesn't mean she's not an experienced athlete.

"I used to run as an undergraduate at the University of Albany in New York," said Mohamed. "Mid distance. I ran the 800. Right now, I'm working on my Ph.D. at FSU in Linguistics."

The Tulip Trot isn't the only race run in Cascades Park. Notably, the Capital City Kiwanis Club hosts the Firecracker 5K in the park each Independence Day. It's a larger race than the Tulip Trot, but as Jim Halley noted, the Tulip Trot still holds one advantage.

"It's a lot easier to run here in January than in July," said Halley.

161 athletes finished the 2018 Tulip Trot 5K. Miles and Minutes, LLC, of Tallahassee chip-timed the race.

Top Ten Men, 2018 Tulip Trot 5K
  1. 18:09.00, Jim Halley (M, 38)
  2. 18:20.30, Kurt Dietrich (M, 26)
  3. 19:50.90, Duane Evans (M, 50)
  4. 20:55.30, Isaac Bakan (M, 18)
  5. 20:58.60, Mason Stacey (M, 32)
  6. 22:50.80, Curtis Tenney (M, 27)
  7. 22:56.00, Robert Wigen (M, 51)
  8. 23:04.70, Nico Wienders (M, 47)
  9. 23:15.30, Rob McNeely (M, 58)
  10. 23:19.80, Bill McGuire (M, 70)

Top Ten Women, 2018 Tulip Trot 5K
  1. 21:13.30, Sherez Mohamed (F, 27)
  2. 21:28.40, Alyssa Terry (F, 24)
  3. 21:48.20, Alyssa Langston (F, 17)
  4. 21:56.80, Laura McDermott (F, 38)
  5. 22:14.70, Natalie Toellner (F, 24)
  6. 23:19.70, Nancy Proctor (F, 56)
  7. 24:01.00, Lindsay Taylor (F, 29)
  8. 25:10.90, Anna Dower (F, 26)
  9. 25:23.70, Nami Imaizumi (F, 39)
  10. 25:32.70, Myranda Casterline (F, 28)

Tulip Trot 5K winners; 2010, 2011, and 2015 - 2018
22 May 201016:36, Vince Molosky21:12, Shana Ryberg318
14 May 201116:53, Vince Molosky18:03, Lindsay Zeiler323
31 January 201517:53, Trevor Sununu23:26, Kristi Johnson202
30 January 201616:47, Joseph Garcia23:14, Paula O'Neill240
28 January 201717:56, Jim Halley19:08, Sheryl Rosen181
27 January 201818:09, Jim Halley21:14, Sherez Mohamed161
The 2010 and 2011 Tulip Trot 5K races were held in Tom Brown Park.
From 2015 to 2018 the Tulip Trot 5K was held in Cascades Park on USATF-certified
course FL14149EBM.


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