Struiken fends off Farley for 28 seconds Half Marathon victory | Island Sun

Struiken fends off Farley for 28 seconds Half Marathon victory

Caption: Clif Struiken, left, Julius Farley and Roan Victor, at the Deloitte water stop in Fort Recovery. 

By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway

After hearing his footsteps, Clif Struiken fended off fast charging Julius Farley by 28 seconds, to win Saturday’s 17th Deloitte-Ogier BVI Sunrise Half Marathon destination race from Road Town to Smugglers Cove, in 1 hour 27 minutes and 28 seconds, to Farley’s to 1:27.57.

“It was my first race in the BVI in a long time. I took off and actually tried to stay relaxed but Julius took off relatively fast and he basically sling-shotted me into a pace that I wasn’t planning on running,” Struiken explained. “I kept up that pace for a while, but one thing for a long while, but then I think one thing I underestimated was that ridiculous hill (Steel Point) at the end which was a nice equalizer. I think I built up a nice gap up until that point but in the last few hundred meters, I had to speed up because I heard Julius coming behind me. He managed to get over the hill a bit faster than me. Luckily, I had something in my reserves to sprint it off.”

Farley said that he started off trying to put himself in a good position and did that for the first three miles before Clif opened a 400m gap, until toward the end in Steel Point. “I was surprised while coming off the hill, I saw him about five meters ahead of me, so I tried to speed up and he heard my footsteps, took off and that was it,” Farley said. “He took the win as usual. It’ s Clif you’re racing against. With Clif, you’re always second best.”

Like Struiken, Farley said while the first part in Steel Point was good, he forgot about the middle part. “That was the killer,” he said. “When you’ve used up your energy in the first part of the hill, then you have the next part of the hill still to go before the decline—that was the challenge. I had to walk for a few meters and had to stop, because my legs were killing me.”

Rown Victor was third among the men and fourth overall in 1:44.49, hanging on to beat Mark Stephenson by .02 with his 1:44.51 time. Asked about his debut Victor said: “It was torture,” he said. “Like anybody’s first long race, not knowing what to expect but coming out and doing it, the rest of the guys pushed me, I’m grateful to finish. That’s all I can say right now.”

Steel Point Victor said it was the hardest part of the race. “I started to walk from there and said my race is done,” said Victor, who was passed by Katrina “Kat” Lindsay and she placed third overall in 1:37.35. “But then I saw Mr. Stephenson said `let me finish before he catches me.’”

He said after Lindsay passed him, he said to himself: “You go girl. You go. Do your thing,” he reflected. “This is my first time running this distance, so I’m very proud of myself. Great job to the other guys though.”

Stephenson said he missed the start by five minutes and did a lot of catching up. “I was a tough first half really, because I was doing 4 minutes 15 (miles) catching up to most people except for the front five,” he noted. “At the hill, I couldn’t take this young gentleman (Victor). He kept it up so it was a good race, but it will teach me to set my alarm clock a little earlier.”

Lindsay said the race was ‘hard’ and ‘tough coming over those hills.’ “I was glad that I didn’t have someone right on my shoulder because I would have really struggled,” she said. “I’ve been running about 1:36 and was on a good pace, but when I hit the hills, I knew that wasn’t going to happen. So getting under 1:40, I’m really pleased with that.”

Her father Gordon was eight overall in 1:59.09 and said it was ‘so nice’ competing with him.

The Scotsman said it was as hot as he expected it to be. “That hill—I like hills-but that was just a killer there,” he said. “After that I had to walk a bit, but Kat was there cracking the whip to push me on. I’m quite pleased with my time. Sub two hours, so quite happy.”