Zambian triumphs on half-marathon debut
Jordan Chipangama cruised to victory in yesterdays HSBC Bermuda Half-Marathon, barely breaking sweat.
The Zambian hit the tape in 1:05.53 to claim victory competing in a half-marathon for the first time.
He finished nearly a minute ahead of nearest rival and first local runner Chris Estwanik (1:06.35) who slashed nearly two minutes off his previous fastest time over the 13.1 mile distance.
Olga Romanova was the first female runner across the line and eighth overall. The Russian covered the course in 1:20.12 to finish more than two minutes ahead of local runner Ashley Estwanik who took second in 1:22.39.
American Darren Brown, husband of this years HSBC Bermuda 10K womens winner Sarah, finished third overall in 1:10.25 while Jamaican Mardrea Hyman (1:25.27) rounded off the podium finishers among the women.
Chipangama, who placed third in Friday nights KPMG Bermuda Invitational Elite Mens Mile, executed his race strategy to perfection and only broke stride near the 13 mile mark after straying off course.
The marshall whose duty was to usher the Zambian off Front Street onto Bermudiana Road and back failed to do so. And it was only after being alerted by observers that the confused runner turned around to get back on the race course which cost him a few precious seconds and narrowed the margin of victory.
That kind of upset me a little bit but I still went back and won the race, Chipangama said. But if I had lost the race I probably wouldve been angry. It was just a communication error which happens and is part of the game.
The Zambian averaged just over five minutes per mile and effectively won the race near the four-mile mark after breaking away from Estwanik.
I really didnt plan to run as hard as I did, he said, but I knew there were some good guys in the race so I tried to punish them as much as I could to get away from them. I just wanted to put the hammer down as much as I could from the beginning.
I know Im pretty good on the hills so I tried to strategise on the hills so I can pull away. Every time I found a hill I was attacking it as much as I could.
The atmosphere was good and I enjoyed it. The music was great and at some point I felt like stopping and dancing a bit it was just so fun.
Defending champion Estwanik put up a good fight until Chipangama took the lead for good on McGalls Hill in Smith's parish.
At the time I thought he (Chipangama) was breathing harder than me but obviously he wasnt, he said. He looked at me and said I want to run a couple of fast miles around 4:30 and I just said thats a little bit out of my league at this stage of my training and he did that. He took a big run and kept the pedal to the metal.
Id rather have won, but Ill take a personal best any day.
Also claiming victory on her Bermuda Half-Marathon debut was womens champ Romanova who won by a comfortable margin.
It wasnt a really good time but Im satisfied and glad to run here, she said. Its not about results, its running here and people cheering you on which was wonderful.
Top local womens finisher Ashley was pleased with her display.
I had a really good race and never felt awful, she said. I felt really, really comfortable for the first five miles and it only hurt the last one of two miles. It was my best race Ive felt in awhile.
Another impressive performance came from policeman Stephen Allen who was the second local male runner in 1:13.22 and placed fifth overall, having also taken Bermuda honours in Saturdays 10K.
Spencer Butterfield, brother of professional triathlete Tyler, finished seventh overall in 1:19.51.
Local female runner Rose-Anna Hoey continued her recent good form as she placed 21st overall in a time of 1:25.49, and Karen Smith was the third Bermuda female in 1:32.43.
See editorial, Page 4
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