Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Emily Molen sets the pace at the Race For Pace

There was frost on the roofs in Tallahassee on Saturday morning, 17 November 2018. It was below 40 degrees, what passes for cold in Florida’s Capital City. The weekend, the cool air, and the early hour kept the streets quiet. Even on South Monroe Street, in view of the Capitol, there wasn’t much traffic.


But just past 7:30 AM, a runner turned onto the street. Behind the young woman another runner appeared. More followed. By the time the leader raced under the Cascades Park Bridge there were more than a dozen athletes headed north on South Monroe Street, with more to follow. It was the Pace School For Girls’ inaugural Race For Pace 5K, and the leader was Emily Molen, a Chiles High junior. No one caught Molen that morning, and she finished the race in 21:22.

Emily Molen
Emily Molen

More than three weeks earlier, Molen had wrapped up her cross-country season on the Chiles team.


“I haven’t raced since District,” explained Molen. “So I just wanted an opportunity to get in a race today. I didn’t want to go all out, but something a bit faster.”


After running under the bridge, the Race For Pace took the athletes through Cascades Park. After the park, the route was familiar to people who have raced the Springtime 10K, a trip up Lafayette Street and into the Myers Park neighborhood.


“I liked the course,” said Molen. “It was hilly, so it was a bit difficult at times. I liked the different places we ran though. It was pretty.”

2018 Race For Pace 5K
The finish line

During the second half of the race Molen was far enough ahead that she was out of sight of the rest of the field. Two of the pursuers, master runners Lourena Maxwell and Hector Clemente, were misdirected by course marshals and actually finished before Molen at 19:54 and 19:59. However, Molen was the first athlete to complete the five-kilometer course. The Chiles junior has another 5K race scheduled for 24 November 2018, the high school girls’ race at the Foot Locker South Regional Championships in Charlotte, North Carolina’s McAlpine Greenway Park.


“I’ve been to the course before,” said Molen. “But I’ve never actually raced there.”


The Race For Pace was USATF-certified, guaranteeing an accurate five-kilometer run for the the athletes who were able to follow the course. Miles and Minutes, LLC, of Tallahassee timed and scored the race. There were 33 recorded finishers.


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