“Mollen started running as a medical student in Philadelphia, having become interested in exercise as preventive medicine, as compared with the reactionary disease treatment he was studying in class. He picked up the pace after moving to Phoenix to work at Luke Air Force Base, spending his free time running laps around the parking lot in his scrubs.”
In 1976, Dr. Art Mollen hosted his first Phoenix 10K. At the time, the race was something of a novelty, as one of Phoenix’s few large, organized races (the Y Race Phoenix half-marathon, Arizona’s oldest race, started seven years earlier). Running was just starting to take off nationwide, and Dr. Mollen was promoting the activity as a great way to stay healthy.
Now in its 40th year, Dr. Mollen’s message remains the same and his race continues on with added generations of runners. Dr. Mollen, himself, has completed 34 marathons and 10 triathalons, though he has retired from running the race due to a herniated disc in his back. This season, Dr. Mollen will spend race day overseeing the event and doing interviews for 3TV.