Three in a row for Smith
Chayce Smith and Christine Dailey won the men’s and women’s titles respectively at the “Sir” Stanley Burgess 5K.
Smith was victorious for a third consecutive year, running a time of 15min 58sec, while Dailey set a personal best of 18:49 to outpace the rest of the women. Runners-up Dennis Mbelenzi and Gayle Lindsay were crowned the 2018 Swan’s Running Club Legends race series winners, having amassed the most points in the four-race series, which concluded with yesterday’s event.
Mbelenzi had expected to face a three-way battle for the series honours as Tim Price and Omari Hart had also both scored highly in the first three races. But with reigning series champion Price absent, Mbelenzi had only to think about where Hart was positioned.
In the early stages he tried to stay in contact with Smith, but the 30-year-old quickly established a unassailable lead. “I went with Chayce because I wanted to gauge myself against that standard. I did the first three kilometres in 10 minutes, but Chayce was out of sight,” said Mbelenzi, 36.
He pushed hard to maintain second place, and in the final uphill along Frog Lane he noticed Christopher Harris was only metres behind. “I had to do some work to hold on. My time was a personal best; I’m happy. It was a tough course and conditions.”
He finished in 17:29, with Harris third overall and first master in 17:37, and Hart next in 18:01. In the women’s race, Dailey’s intentions were clear from the start as she made full use of the predominantly downhill first half of the course. Lindsay, the winner of the previous three races in the series, stayed in close contact.
Dailey, 31, said: “I was not sure what to expect. I wanted to do 19:30 and I kept that in my head. When we started on the uphills I made a push to see what would happen; I wanted to feel the burn.”
Lindsay kept up the challenge. Dailey said: “She has experience in these races and she’s amazing at pacing herself.”
However, it was Dailey who proved to have the edge on the uphills and she finished strong to secure a lifetime best.
Lindsay, 29, was next in 19:05, followed by first master Deon Breary in 21:02. Lindsay’s twin, Katrina, who is visiting the island, was fourth in 21:37.
There were 127 finishers in the road race, including a large group from the Beat the Couch training group. The race honours the late Stanley Burgess, who won the Bermuda Day Half-Marathon Derby six times from 1930 to 1951, and also achieved six victories in a rival May 24 long distance road race that was held between 1926 and 1943. Burgess was popularly known as “Sir Stanley” for his running achievements and longevity. He last ran the May 24 event in 1983, when he was 81.
In yesterday’s 5K walk, Gilda Cann was first in 36:48, followed by Zharia Bean in 40:32, and Jahniqua Simmons in 48:44.
A 2.5K junior race was won by K. Sharrieff in 7:18 from first girl K. Bean-Rosario in 7:43.
Age division winners in the 5K, among the men, were Neil De Ste Croix (senior master) 18:22; Frederick Steede (over-60) 21:33; Michael Whalley (over-70) 26:56. Among the women the division winners were Zina Jones (senior master) 26:01; Darnell Wynn (over-60) 29:13.
Age division winners of the 2018 Swan’s Running Club Legends race series were Teddy Shum (open men); Jenni Simpson (open women); Omari Hart (masters men); Rebecca Shepherd (masters women); Scott Neil (seniors men); Michelle Berkeley (seniors women); Frederick Steede (veterans men); Darnell Wynn (veterans woman).