By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Rosemond Johnson joined her son Jermaine “JJ” Ricketts, to become the first mother and son combo as the top male and female in any road race in the territory, when they pulled off the feat on Saturday in the Trident Trust 5K Series tour stop in Paraquita Bay.
Ricketts, coming off a loss to Max Milliner in the last race on Beef Island, corralled the field to finish the course dubbed the ‘Marine Beast’ in 18 minutes and 35 seconds. There were changes to the course commonly known as ‘the beast’ as the off-road section was impassable. Johnson finished in 24:11.
“It was good, a little hot coming back, the last two miles were crazy,” Ricketts noted. “There were some changes in the course which was kind of a bit surprising because you didn’t realize there was a hill before until running it and that changed the whole prospect of everything, but I did my best. I’m happy with my result.”
Ricketts said he prefers the original course which has an off road segment, then runs downhill, rather than coming up the hill by the Marine Center and missing the offroad which was impassable.
“The hill to go up by the top of the Marine Center, it’s just crazy, it’s a good thing it’s not that long,” he said. “I felt it, but it’s doable. You won’t be hurting yourself as if it was a couple meters longer.”
Millner told Island Sun Sports that he had a bit of a niggle in his leg for a while and as he was heading on the incline towards the Paraquta Bay farms, it didn’t feel good. “I thought I’d try and run it off and it didn’t work,” he noted. “When I got back to base around two miles in, I thought it didn’t make sense to. I’m going on a running holiday to St. Maarten in a couple weeks and I don’t want to hurt myself. I took probably the mature decision, but really an annoying one to stop.”
Johnson said her morning was good. “The hot running girls didn’t come today, so I got lucky,” she said, noting that the course was easier than the original course. “The little beast up there is nothing. I run up my hill where I live and it’s longer than that, so it was fine. I managed. I liked it better than the old one.”
After learning that she and her son won the race—a first in BVI road racing history, Johnson said she’s happy and it means a lot. “I didn’t know I would come first, I thought I would be second, because normally, Jules (Juliane Potgieter) would be ahead of me,” she said. “During the race, I saw that I passed over two miles and she didn’t catch me and I was way ahead of her so I said, I think I’m going to be the winner and if I’m at the front, I’m in control. I tried to stay in the front anyway and I got the win.”
Race Director Kay Reddy, in a battle with Alric Smith, finished behind him and their rivalry is tied at 2-2, heading into the May 14 finale. “They said pride always comes before a fall, so I laid down the gauntlet with Alric and he just went running off to a great time, 27 minutes, so it’s all down to the last race, he got two and I’ve got two,” Reddy noted. “There were lots of mini competitions going in this race and at the front it was fast. JJ ran 18 minutes for that course, which is incredible.”
Reddy said alterations to the course were made because of the overgrowth. She noted that usually, a good Samaritan would take their machete and clean up the offroad section known as ‘The Beast.’
“This year, the beast beat us,” she said. “It was just a little too overgrown and we decided we’ll go for a different beast, which is a very, very steep hill. I think the course was slightly more difficult, instead of two, we had three hills, so no offroad, but the hills were tough. They really got your legs going.”
Final Results.(Top 10) Men: 1. Jermaine “JJ” Ricketts, 18 minutes and 35.6 seconds. 2. Rowan Victor,1 9:27.5. 3. Julius Farley, 19:41.7. 4. Jermaine Bryan, 19:49.1. 5. Mark Stephenson, 20:15.6. 6. Oleg Boyko, 21:55.6. 7. Lennon Dabreo, 22:08.4. 8. Sergio Dantas, 22:36.6. 9. Sam Potgieter, 22:51.4. 10. Charlie Potgieter, 23:45.2.
Women: 1. Rosmond Johnson, 24:11.3. 2. Juliane Potgieter , 25:14.5. 3. Tuneisha Johnson, 28:41.7. 4. Kay Reddy, 29:16.6. 5.Elizabeth Buratti, 30:07.1. 6. Rhiannon Jones, 30:48.8.7. Kate Carey, 34:18.0 . 8. Kate Robledo, 34:29.2. Khoyisha “Khoya” Stoutt, 35:59.1. 10. Sophie Bennett, 45:00.0.