Hoey springs Derby surprise
Rose-Anna Hoey was the surprise winner of the May 24 Marathon Derby women’s race after finishing ahead of red-hot favourite Ashley Estwanik.
Hoey had predicted defending champion Estwanik would be “unstoppable” prior to the race but proved herself wrong by claiming her maiden May 24 title in a time of one hour, 25 minutes and 37 seconds.
The 31-year-old said the win had left her “astounded” but stressed it wouldn’t have been possible without support and mentoring of her training partner, and main rival, Estwanik.
“Ashley has been such a wonderful training partner and has helped me so much,” said Hoey, who finished second in last year’s race behind Estwanik.
“She’s capable of a faster time than I ran today but running is a cruel sport. Some days you have really good days and others it just doesn’t go your way there’s no explanation for it.
“I’m absolutely astounded by the victory. I tried to run smart and within myself, and I ran my own race.”
Hoey and a clearly upset Estwanik, who finished in 1:28.37 shared a tearful embrace at the end of the race.
And Hoey admitted beating her close friend had been a “bittersweet” victory.
“This win is for her; Ashley’s just a fantastic athlete and has helped mentor and support me all the way,” said Hoey.
“It’s bittersweet to be honest; unfortunately when someone wins somebody else has to come second.
“I’m sure next year she will come back and take it.”
Hoey, who only took up road running four years ago, failed to finish her first May 24 race in 2011, collapsing from exhaustion, leaving her questioning whether she would continue to compete.
Yesterday, two years on from that disappointment, she completed a remarkable turnaround despite again struggling with the humid conditions.
“It’s my third (May 24) race; in my first one I collapsed, I came second last year and won it today,” she said.
“The conditions were pretty terrible; it was very hot and humid and I poured water over myself at every single water stop and that helped cool me down.
“I just went out there to do my best and to try and enjoy it.”
Veteran runner Victoria Fiddick said she was thrilled with her third-place finish that qualifies her for this summer’s NatWest Island Games.
“I’m totally, totally pleased. Coming third in this field as a veteran . . . to be able to hold the rest of the field and finish behind Rose-Anna and Ashley . . . I’m so thrilled,” said Fiddick, who finished in a time of 1:33.48.
“For me this meant a lot because only three (women) can qualify for the Island Games, which I really want to do.
“I needed to be third and that was my whole goal. Deon (Breary) was ahead . . . but I kept closing, closing and closing.”
Fiddick headed to Kentucky shortly after the race to watch her children, Daniel and Melissa, represent Bermuda in the US Open Volleyball Championships.
She joked that not missing her afternoon flight had been an added incentive to post a fast time.
“I’m off to Kentucky this afternoon to watch my children play volleyball,” she said. “I knew I had to get a move so not to miss the flight.”