Smith and Palmer power home after strong starts
Fearless front running was the order of the day as Chayce Smith and Kristen Palmer claimed the men’s and women’s titles, respectively, in Friends of Hospice/Hannover Re half-marathon.
Smith immediately went to the front of the field, with Tim Price keeping him company during the opening two miles. After that, it was Smith all the way, although his smooth running style began to suffer in the final five miles after a blister developed on one foot.
As the temperature hit 75 degrees, he felt the heat in the closing stages of the race.
“I have a problem hydrating [during a race],” he said, adding that he gratefully accepted the offer of water from a spectator in the final mile. He crossed the line in 1hr 18min 41sec, with Price second in 1:22:56, and last year’s champion Seamus Fearon third in 1:26:53.
It was a solid performance for Smith, 30, who has also posted strong results in a number of 5K races lately. He had intended to run the Front Street Mile time trials at the National Sports Centre on Friday, but a long day at work, followed by other commitments that included coaching youngsters, meant he missed the trial.
“Work took a lot out of me,” he said, explaining that he didn’t want to show up and run below his best.
He remains hopeful the KPMG Front Street Mile organisers will consider him for the elite race in January. “The last time I did it, I ran sub-four minutes pace for three-quarters of the race. I’d like to know that I could be in it again,” he said, adding that it would be good for the spectators to see a Bermudian compete.
Among the women, Palmer, 31, powered away in the opening mile and by the halfway point had build up a lead of more than 100 metres on a chasing pack of three.
“I wanted break 1:40 and I kept the pace going all the way,” she said. Palmer won the women’s title in 1:39:26. She is now training for the Bermuda Triangle Half Challenge in January, where she will run a one mile road race, a 10K and a half-marathon on consecutive days.
Laura Dusek was second woman in 1:40:11, followed by Suzanne Socki in 1:41:39.
Meanwhile, in the 10K road race held in conjunction with the half-marathon, Darryl Herrick was first in 40:12, followed by Andrew Simons in 41:53, and Chefton Hall in 42:20. The first woman was Melissa Logie in 44:29, with last year’s winner Stepanka Sprincova second in 45:58, and Laura Knox-Clingerman third in 48:14.
For the first time, a 5K race was added to the event schedule. It was a close finish with Will Green first in 20:02, followed by Kyle Ferreira in 20:04 and Michael Wynne in 20:05. Top woman was Anna Laura Hocking in 21:28, with Elizabeth Stewart second in 23:31, followed by Izzy Dutranoit in 23:57.
There was also 10K walk, which saw Gilda Cann first home in 1:17:02, ahead of Gina Bradshaw in 1:17:05 and Beverley Barton in 1:20:38. While the 5K walk was won by Carol Redahan in 34:58, followed by Zharia Bean in 37:52, and Gregg Todd in 37:55.
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