Allen pleased despite losing sprint finish
It came down to a sprint finish in the Butterfield & Vallis 5K road race, and it was Chayce Smith who had the edge over defending champion Stephen Allen.
Smith took the honours in 16min 36sec, four seconds clear of Allen.
In the women's race Jennifer Alen powered to victory with a display of front running to retain her title and finish ninth overall in 19:12. Deon Breary reprised her runner-up position of a year ago, finishing in 19:36.
There were 300 finishers in the adult race.
A group of about six runners took on the early pace, among them Neil De Ste Croix, Smith and Allen. After the first mile Smith, 28, and Allen, 35, broke away and ran together for the remainder of the race until they turned the final corner onto Woodlands Road. At this point, with the finish line in sight, the two men let rip with a sprint finish. Smith's kick proved to be decisive.
Allen has been absent from the road running scene in recent months due to an Achilles injury. He returned to competition in January, placing second in the Front Street Mile local men's race.
After yesterday's 5K, which he finished in 16:40, he said he was “definitely pleased” with his performance, adding: “I want to get some more shorter races in, but I don't want to aggravate my Achilles.”
Third man was Christopher Hands, 26, in 17:28.
Women's winner Alen was also pleased with her performance, although she admitted the final mile proved tougher than she had expected, possibly because of the 90 per cent humidity on an overcast day.
“In the last mile I came off the pace a little. I wanted to get under 19 minutes,” she said. “I'm pleased with my day, and it's not a bad time.”
Alen, 31, is gearing up for next month's New York City Half-Marathon, where she hopes to run a time of about 1:28 or 1:30. She said: “May 24 is the only half-marathon I have done. I want to try a half-marathon outside of Bermuda.”
Third in the women's race was Gayle Lindsay, 27, who ran 19:56 to achieve her pre-race goal of a sub-20 time.
“It was hot and humid. I kept Deon [Breary] in sight during most of the race,” she said, adding that she loved the race.
The senior schools' 5K race was held in conjunction with the adults' race. The winner was Malik Joell, 14, in a personal best of 19:22. The Sandys' youngster tagged along with the leading men in the early stages of the 3.1-mile race, managing to keep eventual winner Smith in sight for most of the North Shore Road section.
Although he had expected the schools' race to be a closer contest the teenager, who has a 1,500-metres best of 4:40, was pleased to claim a 19-second victory ahead of Akim Johnston in 19:41, and Cameron De Ste Croix in 20:12.
Fastest girl was Lynsey Palmer in 20:40. She reversed last year's top two finish by beating defending champion Messiah Greaves, who clocked 21:23. Third girl was Laura Hope in 22:01.
The competitive 5K walk was won by Joseph Matthew in 33:54, followed by Rebecca Perry in 34:30, Laila Imtiaz in 35:25 and Gilda Cann in 36:39. Second man was Sinclair Smith in 37:36, followed by Voorhees Astwood in 38:30.
In the primary schools' 2.7K race, Jake Brislane was first in 10:24, followed by Jayson Simons in 10:30, and Tajai Goater in 10:38. The top three girls were Myeisha Sharrieff in 11:28, Grace Rothwell in 11:43, and Katherine Bean-Rosario in 12:12.
The middle schools' 2.7K race was won by Ryan Outerbridge in 9:17, from Izaih Tucker in 9:21, and Sancho Smith in 9:54. The top three girls were Jade Johnston in 10:45, followed by Jessie Marshall in 10:49, and Brianna Mawer in 11:33.
There were approximately 150 finishers in total in the schools' races, competitive walk and non-competitive walk/run.