It wasn’t the fastest, but definitely the most competitive race in the the 11-year history of the Delioite-Ogier BVI Sunrise Half Marathon.
The men’s pace was set by Grenada’s Renon Radix, Antigua and Barbuda’s Kalique St. Jean and the USVI’s Shane DeGannes, a 3-peat champion who was second last year, battling over the first 10½ miles, before DeGannes was dropped. Radix and St. Jean dueled for anther mile before Radix went clear for the victory.
“I thought the head pack set a decent pace early in the race so it was good going and to the end, I had to work a bit, but it was wonderful,” Radix said. “I didn’t know the route so I had to bait someone who did and the Antiguan and and I basically stayed with Shane for a while. I knew once you go out and turn, then I would have memorized and mapped the route, because coming back was about six miles. I knew the course then, so it was a bit of waiting, then start injecting a bit of pace and see what they had. It was a cat and mouse game for the last five miles.”
After dropping DeGannes, Radix said he knew St. Jean is a 5000m runner and the last three miles would be a battle. “I don’t know what happened but in the last mile, he just backed off and I took the opportunity to go ahead hard to the finish,” he said after running 1 hour 20 minutes and 57 seconds. “It’s the first time I’ve won a race out of my country so I could care less about time. I’m just happy that I won.”
St. Jean said on the return, the wind was beating in his face and was trying to stay with the pack, execute a good race and finish strong. “My hamstring started to hurt a bit and I slowed because the pace was hot, hot,” he said after running 1:21.24. “But, I’m happy with my time. It’s a personal best.”
DeGannes said it was a fast race and was glad Radix and St. Jean came. “We ran about a six minute pace going out, those guys made me do all the work, then dropped like a 5:45 around mile 7, 8, and it started rocking,” he said noting he didn’t have Gatorade. “It stared getting faster at mile 10, that when those guys started taking off and I just dropped off. Tried my best, but, I couldn’t hand on.”
Stoby who was with the pack for the first two miles, faded to fifth and held off David by .01 at the line. “I’m disappointed and I wasn’t able to keep up after the first two miles-maybe the many races this year took its tool because I ran three minutes off what I ran last year,” he said. “I was at least expecting a personal best if not a victory. So I’m disappointed.”
In the women’s race, St. Thomas’ David and Grenada’s Kinesha Pascal engaged in a duel before the defending champ pulled away to finish sixth overall.
Final Results and awards. Men: 1. Renon Radix, Grenada, 1 hour 20 minutes and 57
Women: 1. Ruth-Ann David, USVI, 1:30:21 (New course record. Old record, David, 2015, 1:30.46.) 2. Kinesha Pascal, Grenada, 1:32:37. 3