Winners overcome loneliness to race to victory in full marathon
Winners of the Tallahassee Marathon, Bryan Morseman (left) and Tamara Kuzulina cool down after covering the 26.1-mile course in record time Sunday.
Photos by St. Clair Murraine
By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook staff writer
Both winners of the men’s and women’s division of the Tallahassee Marathon got a little side tracked knowing that their closest challenger was nowhere in sight during the few final miles of the race.
The struggle to the finish was a little uncharacteristic for New Yorker Bryan Morseman and Tamara Kuzulina, a transplant from Ukraine now living in Clermont. They have a combined three decades of racing between them and neither of them could recall a time when they won a race without having someone to push them to the finish line.
But even without any serious challengers, both winners took the title in record time. The winner was worth $1,000 each.
Morseman ended up winning Sunday morning in a time of 2:27:11, finishing ahead of Simon Karlsson (2:38:29) of Sweden and Orinthal Striggles (2:45:43) of Columbia.
Kuzulina won the women’s title in a time of 3:09:25, beating Camila Bloss (3:20:06) of Sweden and Tallahassee’s Julia Corley (3:31:29). It was her second straight Tallahassee Marathon title.
Morseman also is a repeat winner, but he skipped the last two races. Even without any challenger in the last half of the 26.1-mile race, Morseman said he stuck to his race day routine.
“I love to test the body and I definitely tested it today,” he said. “I got out to like a 1:11 for the first half and the second half was like 1:15. But the last 10K got tough because I was starting to feel like I was asleep; losing momentum.”
The victory was the 45th in 65 starts for Morseman, a former high school standout when he ran on the high school level in Bath, N.Y. At age 31, he said he intends to run as long as his body can endure.
“I keep running every day and look forward to races like this,” said Morseman, who ran a career-best with his time of 2:19:57 for 24th place also in the 2009 N.Y. Marathon.
Sunday’s race took the field of just over 1,200 runners over a course that started downtown. They trekked through areas that included Lake Ella, Mid-Town, and parts of Florida State University campus before finishing near City Hall.
Both winners qualified for the Boston Marathon this spring.
Kuzulina, 41-year-old mother who recent retired from the elite triathlon circuit after more than 20 years, said wasn’t sure she’d tackle Boston. She spends most of her time as a personal triathlon trainer, running marathons to break monotony.
“I picked up something that I like,” she said. “It is just fun for me.”