By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Some 16 brave souls took on Sunday’s Ring of Fire II, a 12-mile race that began on Cane Garden Bay Beach, took runners up Cane Garden Bay Hill, over the Ridge Road and down Windy Hill and back to Cane Garden Bay. At the turnaround, runners went in the opposite direction—going over Windy Hill and descending Cane Garden Bay Hill, covering more than 3,000 feet of elevation in the process.
Race founder Richard Morgan who was fifth, said it’s a ‘ridiculously hard course.’ “Other than the Tortola Torture, it’s the second most difficult race on island,” he said. “It’s hard. Running up Cane Garden Bay Hill has got to be one of the hardest things you can do on island. When you get to the top, you run along Ridge Road, then you run a long way down Windy Hill and you’re doing two loops. There’s no feeling like it. The pain in your legs starting to run back up Windy Hill after coming down, its just tiring and its quite painful as well, but people seem to enjoy the pain here.”
Morgan said he came up with name because your legs are on fire for the duration of the event. “They don’t get a rest,” he noted. “When you’re running uphill, your legs are on fire. When you’re running downhill, your legs are also on fire. It doesn’t stop. Your heart rate doesn’t drop so it was the obvious name for me. It’s a race I really enjoy and it hurts. If it was easy, why would you do it?”
During the race, Reuben Stoby overcame Virgin Gorda’s Vincent Fournier and Maria Mays for the victory. He had a winning time of 1 hour 57 minutes and 05 seconds to Mays’ 1:57.23, times that were 10 minutes slower than St. John’s Timothy “TJ” Hindes time from last year.
“Climbing hills isn’t my thing but I gave myself a challenge and I went out there, made up my mind that I wasn’t going to run any of the hills, so I basically walked all of the hills,” Stoby explained. “But, I noticed Maria Mays—she’s a machine—she ran up Cane Garden Bay Hill. Now, who runs up that hill? I had no idea she was so good on the hills and the good thing is, I’m fast on the downhill and gave it my all. I was surprised that I was even able to catch her and Vincent as well because they had a big lead on me to begin with, so I just managed to beat her in the last 100m or so. But I struggled to walk up the hills and she ran them.”
Stoby said he felt the race in his legs.
“Climbing 3000 feet, you can imagine how tough that is, very, very cruel on the thighs,” Stoby said. “My legs are sore, probably won’t be able to walk for another couple of days. It’s a very grueling race and a good build up to the Tortola Torture. If you want to find out about the Tortola Torture, that is the course to give you a taste of what it is.”
Race organizer Richard Morgan who was fifth, said it was an exciting race. “It was a lot of cat and mouse between Reuben and Maria and it wasn’t decided until they reached by Quito’s on the flat when Reuben managed to get past her,” he noted. “It was the closest finish and a fantastic race. It’s a ridiculously hard course. There’s hardly any flat. You only get that in Cane Garden Bay itself.”
The field also included 78-year old Bill Kinkead, who did the one lap course as he tunes of for the 2017 St. John 8 Tuff Miles.
Final results: 1. Reuben Stoby, 1 hour 57 minutes and 05 seconds. 2. Maria Mays, 1:57.23. 3. Vincent Fournier, 2:01.17. 4. Guyp DuBois, 2:17.16. 5. Richard Morgan, 2:19.28. 6. Claudia Ferrari, 2:19.28. 7. Kay Reddy, 2:34.51. 8. Kerryann Dos Santos, 2:46.22. 9. Tia Beckman, 2:50.37. 10. David Mathews, 3:01.39.
One Loop: 1. Adam Demonte, 1:02.01. 2. Shane Donovan, 1:04.44. 3. Russell Crumpler, 1:06.37. 4. Karen Fraser, 1:06.37. 5. Bill Kinkead, 1:25.02. 6. Michael Fay, 2:05.42.