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Williams honours her great uncle

Jose Miranda won the Bermuda Heathcare Services “Sir Stanley” Burgess 5K road race, with his fiancée Tamika Williams retaining the women’s title in the event that honours her great uncle, the late Island running legend “Sir Stanley”.

Because of road works on Marsh Folly Road the traditional course was altered, but the 5K maintained its reputation for producing fast times.

Miranda, 31, ran a tactical race by sheltering in a tight breakaway group with Daniel Maguire and Jamahl Lottimore as they ran against the wind before breaking away after the final turnaround on Bishop Spencer Road. He won in 17min 26sec.

Maguire, 19, was second in 17:52, with Lottimore, 30, two seconds behind.

Miranda has been training in Florida and wanted to test himself in road race conditions.

“I wanted to see where I was,” he said. “The conditions were a bit windy, but the others took the brunt of it and I made my move at the last turnaround and found I had another gear.”

He is looking forward to competing in the Bermuda Day Half-Marathon Derby on May 25.

“I feel I’m in good shape,” he said. “If it’s a hot day it will play to my strengths.”

Williams, 36, matched her time from a year ago, finishing fifth overall in 19:35 to retain her title. She was also using the event as a fitness test ahead of this month’s half-marathon.

“I wanted to test my speed as my training has been geared to running the half-marathon,” she said. Williams is best known as a track runner and miler, but has run the Derby event twice before. In the past few weeks she has done specific training runs along the new route from St George’s to Hamilton.

“The hill in Devonshire did not hurt as much as I thought it would,” she said, adding that she had great respect for the Island’s leading women long distance runners who will be competing in the Derby, and she is viewing her move up to the longer event as “beginning steps”.

She does have family pedigree on her side. Her great uncle, Stanley Burgess, chalked up 11 wins from 1930 to 1951, split between the official Derby race and the “breakaway” race, also held on May 24, between 1926 and 1943.

Burgess, who died in 1984, was never knighted, but became popularly known as “Sir Stanley” because of his racing achievements and longevity as a competitor. He was awarded the Queen’s Certificate and Badge of Honour in 1971.

Williams said her father had learnt running tips from her great uncle, and when she took up running she drew inspiration and confidence from knowing that such a prestigious talent had been a close relative.

Second woman to finish was Bonnie Mills in 22:08, while third place went to Fiona Lines in 22:21.

Some 80 competitors finished the 5K road race, with an impressive number of entrants from the Beat The Couch fitness group, who were given the added incentive of staying the course and proving they could beat an actual couch on wheels that was being pushed by a small team of runners, which included four-times May 24 Derby women’s champion Ashley Estwanik.

The 5K walk was won by Sinclair Smith in 33:21, followed by Shinah Simons in 34:20 and Gilda Cann in 35:03.