By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Jermaine “JJ” Ricketts and Katrina “Kat” Lindsay, led the field in taming ‘The Beast’ in Paraquita Bay, during Saturday’s Hauteville 5K Series penultimate race in its tour stops around Tortola and Beef Island.
Rickets tackled The Beast as the off road incline .5 Kilometer before the finish on the HLSCC main campus in 18 minutes and 57 seconds, while Lindsay improved her course best to 21:05.
“It was a good one and I like the course, it wasn’t really a challenge, honestly,” Ricketts told Island Sun Sports. “I did my best. I wasn’t going to come because I had to work, but I tried my best to make it and did my best and I’m happy for that.
Despite not getting to put in the background training, Ricketts said the result was acceptable. He wondered if Clif Struiken would have participated and knew it would have been a challenge with him there, but he wasn’t.
“I was expecting a bit more from Julius (Farley, 2nd in 19:20) even though he did very well, and everyone did well also,” he noted. “With or without Clif, it’s good anyway because we’re just having fun.”
Lindsay described the race as ‘beastly.’ “It’s tough on those hills,” she told Island Sun Sports. “My aim was to run faster than I did two years ago and I did, so I can’t be disappointed. It was tough. It’s hill after hill and then you’re on to the next one, then you finish with the toughest hill of all. It feels more like a cross country race. It’s a fun race. You’re not going to be flying.”
Lindsay said the race was a good tune up for the June 12 series finale, where her aim is to notch a personal best and it would be a good way to end the series. “I can’t complain with my 5K series,” she said. “This year has been better than expected already so, yeah, let’s finish it with a nice little bang.”
Zebalon McLean who has run the race more times than anyone else, said the weather was perfect—not too hot and not too cool and there was no significant wind and everyone seemed to have managed the course well.
“It hasn’t’ gotten any easier, the hill hasn’t gotten less steep, but I think the approach has changed,” he noted. “We’re accustomed to the course, we know what’s coming and whoever designed the course and isn’t running, can appreciate how difficult it is to try and get up a hill towards the end. But it’s all in good fun. It’s for health, community support and we appreciate it.”
Regarding the event, Race Director Kay Reddy told Island Sun Sports; “The Beast is one of the best races on the calendar, it really is,” she said. “We have this lovely cross over to the Marine College, up the back of Paraquita Bay, around the culinary center, it’s a nice cross country end to a 2 mile run with a mile cross country finish. The times were fast. The hill does slow you down and you have to battle with the grass and the catch and keep, but JJ finished in 18:57 and Katrina in 21:05, those are very fast times for The Beast. We had 50-60 people tackle the course and they all did well.”
With the June 12 finale looming, Reddy said it has been a good series despite not having the usual promotion because of Covid protocols, with a limit of 75 participants. “Despite that, the turnout has been amazing,” she said. “We’re looking to go out with a bang in the finale on June 12, which will also be the 5K National Championship. The person that wins is the overall champion but any BVI national or Belonger and we need some ladies to come out there—you could be the BVI National 5K Record holder. So we need everybody out there running on the course and see who wins.”
Top 10 finishers. Men: 1. Jermaine “JJ” Ricketts, 18:57. 2. Julius Farley, 19:20. 3. Mark Stephenson, 20:44. 4. Tom Wood, 22:24. 5. Lennon Dabreo, 22:30. 6. Iain Tucker, 23:24. 7. Sergion Dantas, 22:31. 8.Oleg Bokyo, 23:16. 9. Zebalon McLean, 24.18. 10. Claudius Rymer, 24:24.
Women: 1. Katrina “Kat” Lindsay, 21:05. 2. Vicki Francis, 25:27. 3. Tuneisha Johnson, 27:22. 4. Rosmond Johnson, 27:42. 5. Debbie Bell, 27:46. 6. Elizabeth Buratti, 31:41. 7. Kay Reddy, 33:02. 8. Kate Robledo, 33:07. 9. Olga Danilova, 33:50. 10. Kate Carey, 35:09.