Triumphant return for Hoey
Rose-Anna Hoey blitzed the field to capture a second Bermuda Half Marathon Derby title to complete a triumphant return after a four-year absence from the race.
Hoey led from start to finish before breaking the tape in 1hr 27min 58sec — more than two minutes ahead of second place Martina Olcheski-Bell.
“The race went reasonably according to plan and I was pretty pleased with my performance,” said Hoey, who was 25th overall.
“I thought I could have run a little bit faster because the conditions were quite good. I was not feeling great at mile five, so I decided to run within myself and get the win.
“I was surprised that Gayle [Lindsay] didn't come out with me because she has very fast legs. Deon [Breary] and Martina said they were not going to be stupid enough to go out with me, so I was alone from the start.
“I had a few guys to run with. I just ran within myself and I actually felt good from then on.
“I actually slowed down in the last mile to enjoy the experience because you just never know when this is going to happen again.”
Hoey's time was a personal best on this year's 13.1-mile racecourse starting from St George's.
“I wanted to run 1:27 and ran a late 1:27, so I will take it,” said Hoey, who has competed in the Sinclair Packwood Memorial Cycling Race in the past few years.
Hoey said her second victory was just as special as her first in 2013 — and for good reason.
“It was just as special because this time I am a mum and I got to celebrate with my five-year-old son [Matthew],” she added.
“He was standing at the top of Flatts Hill with the nicest smile ever and it just really helped me get through the rest of the race.”
Hoey was making her first appearance in the event since 2015 when she finished third.
“I was a little bit nervous before this race because everyone was saying they were going to be rooting for me,” she said.
“It was just so nice to see everybody out there cheering for everybody.”
Olcheski-Bell achieved a personal milestone after recording her fastest time over the distance on Bermuda's roads of 1:30:43.
“I was really pleased with my time, which was six minutes faster this year than when I did it two years ago,” Olcheski-Bell said. “I didn't have much of a plan. I usually go out slow and kind of reel it in.
“I kind of had the same approach. I started off pretty easy and then picked it up and tried to hammer it home.
“I was trying to break 1:30. It didn't happen, but I'm still quite pleased with my time.”
Deon Breary, a two-times winner, rounded off the podium in third and was also the first women's master.
“I had a fantastic race,” she said. “My plan was to run a 6:50 pace, but the hills were really tough. The weather was perfect. It was cool, so that worked out well. I am happy and also happy for my training partner Rose-Anna whose win was so well deserved.”
Lindsay, 1:35:38, and Nicole Cook, 1:36:36, rounded off the top five in the women's field.