Super fast Fiddick storms to NYC victory
Two of the Island's road runners produced impressive results in the US over the weekend.
Victoria Fiddick was the fastest women's master in the New York City Half-Marathon as she ran the second fastest time of her life for the 13.1-mile distance.
And in the Shamrock Marathon, in Virginia, Geoff Blee set a personal best as he came 44th overall and second in his age group.
During the past few months Fiddick has been building up her training with the New York race her primary goal. Even so, she had not expected to run as fast as she did.
“I wanted to be in the top three masters and I looked at last year's results and saw they were running about one hour 27-and-a-half minutes, so I knew it was do-able,” said the 2009 May 24 Half Marathon Derby women's champion.
“The field was crazy good the first 25 or so women to finish were very fast and came from all around the world. I was in the elite corral near to the front. It was a 7.30am start. It was cold and there was no humidity. It was great running conditions.”
Fiddick teamed up with close friend and former Island resident Dawn Richardson a two-time May 24 champion to compete in the high calibre event in Manhattan. The pair were fortunate enough to stay the night before the event at another friend's home, which was right next to the start line.
Once the race was underway, Fiddick settled into a fast, mostly even-paced running rhythm which took her through the first 10K in just over 40 minutes. She reached the finish line in Central Park in 1.24.15 giving her overall victory in the women's masters category out of 3,339 fellow runners, as well as first in her age category 45-49 and 51st in the overall women's race. Her time was second only to her lifetime best of 1.23.06.
“I was happy. I've not had the best preparation but the last four weeks have gone well and it paid off,” she said.
Not far behind was Richardson, who clocked 1.26.20 to take 75th place overall amongst the women. Richardson, who now lives in the UK, had a slightly less favourable start than Fiddick in the second corral.
The half-marathon was won by Britain's Mo Farah in 1.00.23, while the fastest woman was Caroline Rotich (Kenya) in 1.08.52.
Elsewhere, Geoff Blee had a rewarding weekend taking part in the 21st marathon of his career. He had hopes of going close to 2.50 but had to contend with a headwind in places during the Shamrock Marathon at Virginia Beach.
Blee stuck it out and crossed the line in a commendable 2.56.30, which was a lifetime best, and was 44th overall in a field of 3,159. He also took second place in the 45-49 age group and said afterwards that he had “no complaints”.
Another Island runner taking part in the same race was Sal Cantarella. She was seventh in the 55-59 age group in 3.59.09.
The overall winner of the Shamrock Marathon was Chris Erichsen (Minnesota) in 2.18.24, and the fastest woman was Michele Suszek (Colorado) in 2.43.35.