College student Isabelle Dutranoit the new queen of the Derby
Isabelle Dutranoit claimed a spectacular women’s victory in her Bermuda Half-Marathon Derby debut yesterday when she ran an impressive race to finish twelfth overall in 1hr 24min 38sec.
Dutranoit, better known for her track exploits after winning gold in the 3,000 metres at the 2019 Carifta Games in Cayman Islands, produced a bold run to blow away Gayle Lindsay and six-times winner Ashley Couper to claim a title left vacant by the absence of Rose-Anna Hoey.
“It was really fun, I really had a good time,” said the 21-year-old, who will be entering her senior year at Wake Forest University this autumn. “It was a really good atmosphere out there.
“It was hot, but not too bad, a nice breeze on the way down.”
Dutranoit finished 2½ minutes ahead of Lindsay, who was fourteenth overall in 1:27:15, while a further two places back was Couper in 1:28:11. She saw some of the women earlier in the race but as the race went on she opened a comfortable lead.
“In the beginning I did but I didn’t know if I was going out too fast,” she explained.
“My first mile was 6:09 and I was aiming for 6:50s. I was a little nervous in the beginning, thinking maybe I shouldn’t have gone out that fast, but it worked out so I can’t complain.
“I’ve always wanted to run it, but every year I usually have a tweak at this time of the season, so I’ve never been able to. This year is the first year I’ve been healthy and decided I may as well do it.”
The longer distances on the track certainly helped Dutranoit make the adjustment to the half-marathon.
“I used to do 1,500 and 3,000 [metres] but now I’m more 5,000, so I think the longer for me the better,” she said. “Half-marathon, I thought that was easier than a 5,000. It was really fun.”
Dutranoit’s name might not have been mentioned much as a potential winner, but Donna Raynor, former president of the Bermuda National Athletics Association and a race commentator yesterday, was not at all surprised with her victory.
“I’m so proud of Izzy, as you know I’m proud of all the track athletes,” Raynor said. “I remember the year Ashley Berry ran and she was closing in on Ashley Couper, and I was so excited.
“Coming down here I had tears in my eyes. I remember seeing Izzy win Carifta; she won Carifta just like she won this race today. She went out in front and kept going, and did the same thing today.
“Her form stayed the same the entire race. Her arm movement, her cadence was all the same. It was exciting for me to see a track athlete win the race so convincingly.”
Dutranoit’s name among the list of entries caught Raynor’s attention beforehand. “I knew she was in school and didn’t know if she was going to be back,” she said.
“When I saw the registration list yesterday in the paper, I was looking specifically for her name. She won the Hannover Re race in 2020, so she’s done this distance before.
“Watching her run the whole race, you could tell she was very tuned in, had obviously run the course and was going from one side to the other in the shade, so she prepped herself.”
Lindsay, winner of the recent Legends Series, finished almost a minute ahead of Couper to take second place in the women’s category.
“I’m just so happy, I love this race and before I got to the start line coach Steve [Burgess] said ‘have fun and race’,” Lindsay said. “For me it was about soaking up the crowd along the way and just enjoying it and that’s what I did.
“To come second, get a PB and the best I’ve finished in the half-marathon, I couldn’t be happier. I saw [Dutranoit] probably for the first 100 metres, and then she moved on.
“I knew she was going to be quick, I’ve seen some of her other times and I wasn’t even going to try to go out with her.”
Lindsay then went off to watch twin sister Katrina come across the line as the fifth female finisher in 1:35:44, 43rd overall.
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