Dominant Kampf claims her fourth win
Heather Kampf stormed to a fourth consecutive Bermuda Invitational Front Street mile title in the elite women's race in front of another bumper crowd last night.
The American ran a very smart tactical race and used her knowledge of the local conditions to her advantage to become the first woman to claim four titles in the popular event.
Kampf was forced to come from behind after trailing Kenia Sinclair, the Jamaican race record holder, most of the way, before surging ahead down the final stretch as her rival's gamble to break away from the field early ultimately backfired.
The 2016 Olympic Games hopeful led the field across the line in 4min 42.68sec to successively defend the crown she first won in 2013.
“Every time I come back it is even more special because this place feels like another home to me,” an elated Kampf said.
“We had a lot of new athletes who had never been here before, and so I felt like I was the tour guide, and the local, which was really fun too.
“But definitely having experience on this course and understanding how it works was helpful to being successful again.”
Kampf's winning time was not her best, not that it mattered on a night that belonged to her.
“It was not a personal best,” she said. “But maintaining at this time of year is good and then you want to see the improvements as your season goes on.”
Sinclair, who was making her first appearance in the race in five years, threw the gauntlet down when she broke away from the field from the start and threatened to run away with the race.
Kampf, however, had other thoughts in mind and after gradually chipping away at Sinclair's lead fired up the afterburners, charged to the front and never looked back as her Jamaican rival faded when it mattered most.
“Kenia took it out there and I just tried to respect the distance and make it shorter and shorter the whole way until I was ready to make my final move,” Kampf said.
Sinclair, who set the race record of 4:33:61 en route to her third title in 2011, had to settle for second after crossing the Flagpole finish line in 4:46.43, while Kampf's compatriot, Jamie Cheever, crossed in 4:47.68 to round off the podium.
Having retained her Elite Women's Mile crown, Kampf will now bid to defend her Bermuda Marathon Weekend 10K and half-marathon titles she won for the first time last year.
Today's 10K race starts at 9am from outside the National Sports Centre, while the marathon and half-marathon start at 8am on Front Street tomorrow.