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Kampf romps to fifth title on return

Queen of Front Street: Heather Kampf, of the United States, breaks the tape to win her fifth title after a two-year absence from Bermuda Marathon Weekend. Kampf, who has dominated the mile like no other elite athlete, man or woman, won four back-to-back races from 2013 to 2016. The 31-year-old finished last night’s event in a time of 4:50.26(Photographs by Blaire Simmons)

There is something about the Front Street Mile elite female race that brings the very best out of Heather Kampf and last night proved no exception as she cruised to an unprecedented fifth triumph in ideal conditions.

The American made it all look so easy as she led the field across the finish line in 4min 50.26sec to extend her dominance in an event where she is clearly a cut above the chasing pack.

“It’s great to be back and this [victory] was a really special one,” Kampf said. “I’ve been absent for the past two years for altitude training or just an injury, so coming back and being healthy and ready to race again in 2019 is really special.

“The time was pretty good, but what I’m happy about is how good I felt doing it. I felt really relaxed early on and then pushed a little more at the end.

“I wish I would have pushed myself a little bit harder on the second half; just to run a little bit of a faster time and make myself really burn it up. But this is my first race in a little while and it’s great to come out with a win.

“This crowd is so amazing and it’s just so nice to be here in Bermuda and soak up the energy of this place. It’s really special.”

Kampf was the overwhelming favourite and relished the challenge of living up to the expectations placed on her shoulders.

“If you have that stamp on your back saying, ‘She’s the favourite’, that’s really good to have,” she added. “I’d much rather have that than be coming in and being uncertain of where I can finish, so I just try to play to the expectations.”

Kampf’s compatriot Maya Weigel finished second in 4:58.43 with Panama’s Rolanda Bell rounding off the podium in third after crossing in 5:02.48.

Meanwhile, also continuing her dominance was Gayle Lindsay who romped to her second straight victory in the adult local female race in 5:34.12.

“This is my favourite race out of the whole year,” she said. “It’s definitely an honour to take the title again.

“I felt good and the conditions were perfect. You couldn’t ask for much better.

“The start was like a fairly comfortable pace; I really wasn’t pushing it. The second half was faster and I think it was tactical and more about getting a position rather than a time.

“There was a little bit of pressure coming in defending my title and this win was just sweet. I’m over the moon and next year I’m going for the hat-trick.”

Rose-Anna Hoey was second in 5:39.50 and Deon Breary, the first in the female 40 and over division, third in 5:39.99.