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Alen weathers storm to take first place

Top three: Alen, with Lindsay, left, and Gracey (Photograph by Scott Neil)

In gusty conditions, Jennifer Alen blew away the opposition to win the inaugural Break The Silence 5K with a commanding second half performance.

Despite battling torrential rain and a headwind above 25 miles per hour, she clocked an impressive time of 19min 49sec.

Trevor Lindsay and Peter Gracey were the early leaders as 210 runners and walkers streamed away from the start line at Clearwater Beach, St David’s. The out-and-back route followed the road up to the former White’s supermarket, in Southside, where competitors turned around and returned to Clearwater.

Rain was bucketing down before any of the runners had reached the halfway point. Lindsay made the turn first, but Alen was on his puddle-splashing heels.

By the time the pair reached the Southside Cinema building it was Alen who was in front and she quickly stretched away, pushing into the wind to claim victory.

Calling it a “difficult and tough race”, Alen, 31, said: “If it had not been so windy this would be a good course to try for a PB [personal best].”

It was her first road race on the Island since March. She returned to racing earlier this month with an appearance in the New York City Fifth Avenue Mile, where she ran 5:15.

Gracey, 37, challenged Lindsay in the final straight. His turn of speed moved him into second place, in 20:34.

“I caught him in the last half mile and then tried to stay behind him, at the end I put in a bit of a sprint,” he said, adding: “The turnout for today’s race was great and I hope it continues to grow.”

The headwind on the return leg was so strong that third-placed Lindsay, 53, was almost unable to catch his breath. Lindsay, who finished in 20:42, praised the event for highlighting a good cause.

Third man to finish was Martin Vezina in 21:12. Second woman finisher was Melissa Logie, sixth overall, in 21:32, followed by Vivienne Lochhead in 21:44.

The top three in the competitive 5K walk were Robert Thomas in 34:36, Sheena Young in 34:42 and Gary Young in 34:5.

The event raised funds for the Ovarian Cancer Awareness, Bermuda. Some of the participants were ovarian cancer survivors. Race organisers were Donna Mae Arorash and Darnell Wynn. Ms Wynn is undergoing her second treatment for ovarian cancer. She was among more than 100 walkers who completed the distance.

Ms Wynn last year floated the idea of a race/walk to raise funds for the charity. Validus, Barritt’s, and the MarketPlace, sponsored the event.