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Sean Trott keeping fingers crossed Bermuda Day race survives pandemic

Sean Trott, hoping to get the chance to challenge for a first Bermuda day Half-Marathon title this year

Sean Trott is one of hundreds of runners who is hoping Covid-19 cases will be at a manageable level and restrictions eased enough to allow the Bermuda Day Half-Marathon to go ahead on May 28.

The pandemic forced the 2020 race to be cancelled for the first time. Now there are similar concerns that the race in six weeks’ time could suffer a similar fate. The severity of the pandemic was brought home this week when the Government imposed a seven-day lockdown, which further impacted the training of those runners looking to prepare for the race.

Already, numbers for the race have been limited to 450 individual and 25 teams, with the runners going off in waves. The date for registration was recently put back to May 1 because of the pandemic.

“Up until now I’ve been operating under the mindset that the race is potentially going to go ahead, I’ve been training as if there is going to be a race since the beginning of the year,” Trott said yesterday.

Trott finished runner-up to Lamont Marshall in 2018 and 2019 before last year’s race was cancelled, delaying his bid for a first victory.

“I definitely put a lot of work in, in the hopes of pursuing that,” he said. “That still keeps me motivated.

“If they don’t do the race this year and we had to wait until next year, I’ll still be just as motivated to go after that. It will always be a big goal of mine.”

Normally there would have been several races held to allow the runners to get in some competition, but races have been few the past few months. Trott started the season with participation in the cross country, although he lost his national title to Dage Minors last November.

He had a third win in the Hannover Re Half-Marathon in November and also won the Axa Man on the Run 5k that month, the day after winning one of the cross-country races. Trott also participated virtually in the World Half-Marathon in October, running the race in Bermuda rather than go to Gdynia, Poland, during the pandemic.

Trott set himself a target of 1:15 in that race and achieved it with just a second to spare, crediting local pair Minors and Chris Estwanik who accompanied him on the course. Minors also won the inaugural George Jones “Smiler” Miler 5K in October.

“The National Cross Country race in December was actually the last race,” he said. “I’ve been building up the miles and with the restrictions I’ve still been training.

“I just want to be ready in case something does happen and they decide to do it, that it won’t be a surprise and I’m caught out of shape.”

“I’m at Granaway Heights so I have quite a bit of hills at my disposal. In the hour or so a day that I have I try to keep the intensity high at least.

“If I can’t run as long, I’ll run harder to make up for it. I’m still kind of hoping something will still happen.”

Trott added: “Last year I and a few others still ran the racecourse on the day just to partake in the events on the day. I think if it doesn’t go ahead I’ll still run the course on the day and at least try to run a decent time to know that the training was worth something.

“Quite a few of the other runners I talk to are in a similar boat; everybody is training as if it is going to happen. We’re all going through the same thing, trying to make it happen and we’re all prepared for whatever may happen.”

Trott said the support from the spectators along the route is what helps to make the race so special. “That’s my favourite part of the day, having the people out to provide the energy,” he said.

“I’ll be excited for anything at this point, so will welcome anything that is able to happen.”

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Published April 15, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated April 14, 2021 at 9:02 pm)

Sean Trott keeping fingers crossed Bermuda Day race survives pandemic

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