Mbelenzi out in front
With one race left to go, Dennis Mbelenzi has taken the lead in this year’s Swan’s Running Club Legends series after winning the Ludwig Cann 10K. It was his second outright win in the four-race series.
Meanwhile, Gayle Lindsay made it three wins from three races among the women, although she was tested by Christine Dailey.
A crosswind off the south shore made conditions tricky, and runners felt the heat and the humidity in the second half of the race after turning around near St Anne’s Church and heading to the finish at Astwood Park.
Mbelenzi, Teddy Shum, Tim Price and Omari Hart were the leading group at the 5K mark.
Price, the reigning Legends series champion, went into the race with a slender points advantage over Mbelenzi. But as the runners tackled the undulating final three miles, Mbelenzi noticed a gap of a few metres developing between himself and Price. He dug deeper to open up some more daylight.
Mbelenzi, 36, had hoped to run close to 36 minutes for the distance, but in the tough conditions was satisfied to cross the finish line in 38min 40sec.
First master Hart was second overall in 39:27, followed by Shum in 39:44, and Price in 39:47.
With double points on offer in the final race of the series next month, yesterday’s result sets up the prospect of a tantalising winner-takes-all showdown between Mbelenzi, Price and Hart in the “Sir” Stanley Burgess 5K on May 6.
Among the women, Lindsay continued to dominate the series with her third victory. She was kept company by the fast-improving Dailey, who looked strong as she matched Lindsay’s pace for most of the race.
Lindsay, 29, edged in front during the final 1½ miles to win in 40:56, comfortably under her pre-race goal of 42 minutes. Dailey, who is training for the Bermuda Day Half-Marathon Derby, was eighth overall, one place behind Lindsay, in a personal best of 41:10.
Third woman and first in the masters’ division was Deon Breary, who put in a five-mile training run immediately before the race. She clocked 43:58.
The annual race was first held in 2006, and honours the late Ludwig Cann. He was a cheerful man, one of Bermuda’s ever-present road race participants, and was noted for wearing colourful and offbeat running attire including tasselled T-shirts, knee-length socks, and gold-painted footwear. Cann died in 2010 at the age of 82.
A 10K walk, held in conjunction with yesterday’s race, was won by L. Shinah Simons in 74:40, followed by first woman Cassy Blake in 75:04, and Gilda Cann in 76:37.
Age division winners among the men in the road race were Derek Thomas (senior master) in 44:20; Frederick Steede (over-60) in 45:48; and Michael Whalley (over-70) in 59:01.
Among the women, the age division winners were Glennis Butterfield (senior master) in 53:22; and Mayberline Black (over-60) in 61:48.
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