Morseman cruises home in marathon
Brian Morseman comfortably won the PwC Bermuda marathon yesterday, clocking 2hr 28min 52sec over the new, scenic course that started in Dockyard before sunrise and finished outside Barr’s Bay Park in Hamilton.
The Bath, New York, resident was relaxing with a ginger beer by the time second-place finisher, Bermudian Sean Trott, crossed the line almost 14 minutes later in 2:43:04 in his first full marathon.
“I feel really good, just the hamstrings are tight, but aerobically I feel good and could go another ten miles,” said Morseman, who competed in The Royal Gazette Bermuda Triangle Challenge.
He finished fourth in the mile and eighth in the BF&M 10K on Saturday.
“I was in the Elite Mile and the 10K, but I’m not a miler and I’m a 10K runner, I’m a marathon runner, so if I can somehow be competitive in those events I would be happy.
“I said anything under 4:50 in the mile — I ran 4:46 — anything under 34 minutes in the 10K — I ran 32:56 yesterday. And anything under 2:30 today, I ran 2:28 so I checked off every single thing, I won the challenge and I won the marathon, I’m speechless.”
Being out alone from the start, Morseman, 34, was able to take in the scenery along South Shore as he led the field down to John Smith’s Bay and back to Hamilton along the North Shore.
“The course was brutal but beautiful, so much more relaxing than doing two loops,” he said. “I was able to do a bit of sightseeing, being out in front and knowing that you have a big lead.
“I won in 2017 and was second in 2018, but didn’t come last year. I ran in the Bahamas Marathon last year, this same weekend, and ran the fastest time on Bahamas soil, a 2:27, but decided to come back here because I love this place.”
Trott survived his first marathon, finishing comfortably in second place, 20 minutes ahead of Canadian Vincent Dussault, the third-place finisher in 3:03:27, as the top finishers were well spaced out.
“It felt good, but also felt really hard at the same time,” Trott admitted.
“I definitely felt the benefit of all the hard work I put in. I hit a wall, that everybody talks about, probably around mile 24, but my pace only dropped off ten, 15 seconds a mile and from there it was a mental game, grinding it to the finish.
“He [Morseman] took off really hard from the beginning and from what I’m aware he’s a sub-2:20 marathoner, so I didn’t want to play into that!
“This is a good start, 2:43, and I can only keep going lower from here. South Shore all the way down was wind in your back so that was great, but once we made the turn from Harrington South to North Shore there was a bit of headwind, but not too noticeable. Give me a few more months, I’ll probably do it again. I have definitely caught the marathon bug as they say.”
Megan Gubbins, from New York, was the first female finisher, fifth overall in 3:10:52. She, too, was a Triangle Challenge competitor.
“I feel pretty good because I’ve never done this hilly of a course and after doing a mile and a 10K I’m not used to that,” she said.
“I usually feel a bit stronger on the second half, but my legs were a bit dead today. The marathon is my distance, my best time is 2:59, but on a flatter course.
“The weather was perfect, I didn’t feel the wind that much, the hardest part was the hills. But there was a group of guys that I ran with who were supportive and fun. I was on my own the last six miles.
“You got to see the sun coming up. My mom, Barbara, whose 60, and did the Half Challenge, has had me running since I could walk, so I’ve been doing it my whole life.”
Steve Conley, from Maine, expressed his pleasure of being in Bermuda as he crossed the finish line in eighteenth place, clocking a time of 3:30:39.
“This is my 32nd marathon and my very first one in Bermuda,” said the 55-year-old, who did the Full Challenge.
“This is my favourite of the 32. The people along the route are so genuine.
“We knew how special it was on Friday night with the support and the same thing on Saturday through the neighbourhoods.
“People had the newspaper and were saying, ‘go Steve’. That doesn’t happen at marathons, but it was happening mile after mile after mile.
“I haven’t been to Bermuda for 35 years, since college, but I will be back. It truly is the people here, so welcoming and encouraging.”
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