By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Some 77 persons, ranging from nine to 60+ kicked off the road racing season on Saturday, with the first stop of the Blenheim Trust 5K Series tour around Tortola, dubbed the City Circuit in Road Town.
Defending champion Reuben Stoby led the field of runners starting at the A. O. Shirley Grounds and circumnavigating Road Town and return, in 18 minutes and 29.4 seconds. Julaine Potgeiter was the top woman in 22:55.8, with her nine year-old son Sam finishing 17th overall in 24:55.9.
Stoby said it was nice to see so many people turning out to start the series.
“I was overly ambitious in looking for a sub seventeen 5k, knowing that I haven’t been doing a lot of speed work as yet,” he said. “I revised my training and just focusing on slow long runs to build up my mileage and to realize that I’ve been lagging behind a lot, just about 25 to 30 miles per week, which is far from where in need to be to at least take a couple minutes off my 5K time. But, I’m happy with my time and it’s good early in the season and I’m looking forward to seeing how fast I can really run, later in the season.”
Potgieter said she was surprised to win. “I don’t win any of these things so yes, it was definitely a surprise,” she said. “It was my son Sam who kept reminding me of the race because he wanted to run and didn’t want us to miss the event. I think he also did pretty well.”
Sam, who likes to run and had been running kids One Mile races on the track in an impressive 6 minutes and 35 seconds as an 8-year old, said he wanted to take on the 5K and this wasn’t his first one. “I just wanted to do it,” he said. “I was a fun race.”
It was Krystal Blackman’s first individual 5K race and said she surprised herself. “I did better than I thought I would,” said Blackman who was 24th overall and fifth among women in 27:10.8. “The area in Lower Estate looks flat but there’s an incline which was a bit of a challenge coming in the middle of the race. But, I was able to pace myself.
Top finishers. Men: 1. Reuben Stoby, 18 minutes and 29.4 seconds. 2. Julius Farley, 19:19.8. 3.Mark Stephenson, 20:37.7. 4. Guyp Dubois, 20:45.0. 5. Zebalon McLean, 21:47.5. 6. Colm Rafferty, 21:55.0. 7. Paul Mellor, 22:02.6. 8. Adrian Dale, 22:11.4. 9. Shane Donovan, 22:54.2. 10. Sergio Dantos, 23:50.3. 11. Charles Kerns, 23:51.9. 12. Claudius Rymer, 24:33.5. 13. Chris Conway, 23:34.6. 14. Nicholas Clark, 24:37.1. 15. Sam Potgieter, 24:55.9. 16. Louie Plobete, 25:32.1. 17. Lavat Carnelley, 26:30.0. 18. Patrick Thompson, 26:41.6. 19. Cat Ouriach, 27:27.6.
Women: 1. Julaine Potgieter, 22:54.8. 2. Rosmond Johnson, 24:45.3. 3. Kay Reddy, 25:10.6. 4. Melisande Rowe, 25:37.7. 4. Tia Beckman, 26:44.1. 5. Krystal Blackman, 27:10.8. 6. Patricia Snoel, 27:28.7. 7. Karrina Stead, 27:48.2. 8. Anna Kinkead, 28:14.9. 9. Vanessa King, 28:28.9. 10. Mitchelle Jalova, 28:42.1. 11. Kerry-Ann Dos Santos, 28:43.8. 12. Sarah Duncan, 29:39.7. 13. Lizanne Havenga, 29:44.9. 14. Rebecca Clarke, 30:51.1. 15. Julie Schneider, 31:56.5.