27th Mourant College Classic Series returns to form with 123 participants | Island Sun

27th Mourant College Classic Series returns to form with 123 participants

Caption: Runners are off and running in the early stages of the 27th Mournant College Classic Series kicked off in Paraquita Bay 

By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway

Some 123 persons toed the line in two divisions as the 27th Mourant College Classic Series returned to form on Saturday in Paraquita Bay, after its format had been altered over the last two year because of the pandemic.

“We’ve been looking forward to this and it’s so good to have the College Classic Series back,” Rotary Club of Tortola Captain Michael Khilloury who ran 13 minutes and 58 seconds to lead his team’s Service Club’s victory, told Island Sun Sports.

Top Notch Track Club’s Rowan “Rosie” Victory, covered the 2 mile course in 11:35.28, after overhauling Fast Lane Track Club’s Jonathan Lynch, who set and early blistering pace and finished in 11:51.98.

“This race was a good one. Wasn’t expecting much because it was the first race, but glad for the outcome,” Victor said. “My pace is building. I can’t just go out hard like that, so I build and build and go where the body takes me. I saw Mr. Lynch bending over and vomiting and is said ‘oh my God, I pushed him’ and I was like okay, this race is mine.”

Victor said Lynch led the race through the one mile turnaround and thought he was going to run the whole race at that pace until he saw him vomiting. “Then I said ‘ok, it’s time to go Rowan,’” he stated, adding that his aim is not on winning but doing his best and improving his times from last year, which was 12 minutes. “I’m surprised to see what I ran today. I feel I ran way better than 12 today, so it’s only up from here.”

Lynch, who ran a personal best 2 minutes 01.09 seconds, to finish 4th in the U17 Boys 800m at the Carifta Games, said it was a ‘nice race’ and he loved the competition from Victor, and said he has to work on getting fitter. “It was a good confidence boost,” he said reflecting on how last year’s series helped him for the track season. “It was a good experience and I used that experience to counter my opponents. I’m looking forward to breaking all my personal bests.”

Defending Women’s champion Katrina “Kat” Lindsay, fourth overall in 12:46.02, said that she was surprised, as the race was a test run.

“It’s just to see where I’m at. I had to dial down my training because my hamstrings were bothering me, but it seemed to be fine today, I’m really happy,” she told Island Sun Sports. “I didn’t go out as hard because I know that I didn’t have the speed I used to (have) so I just went at a pace that I knew I could hold and then hoped that my endurance would get me through rather than the speed and it worked. It was a well-paced run. Felt good throughout and I’m really happy.”

Lindsay said it was nice to see everyone out and felt energized by the crowd and she was happy having everyone back together, seeing so many young people out and competing really well.

When asked about her season hopes, Lindsay who had a record breaking spring rewriting records in the Trident Trust 5K Series, said she won’t be breaking records in this series, nor challenging her 11 minutes 51.65 second course record set on Nov 2, 2019.  

“It’s just trying to get a little bit faster and maybe get some speed back would be nice, but, I’m not going to be breaking any records, that’s for sure,” she said.

Emrol Amsterdam of Virgin Gorda, a Football referee, said he came to get the energy of the series. “This is the first 2 miles I did nonstop, honestly, so great for Tortola. The atmosphere is electric,” said Amsterdam, 66, who was his division and was 27th overall of the 116 in the 2 mile segment. “It felt great and I feel I’m getting there. It brings back memories, so I intend to improve my position. The crowd was my energy. I think that is why I was able to do the 2 miles and I was surprised to finish so fast. The crowd just gave me that extra energy. So I’m thankful for the Tortolans, they always welcome you with open arms.”

Amsterdam said the youngsters are his motivators and he hopes that he’s motivating them.

“I have nothing to lose with these races, all to gain. Even though I may come in last, I gain a lot health wise. I’m encouraging the seniors to come out and have fun. Tortola fun.”