By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Clif Struiken shattered Steven Asson’s 10-year old Ceres Juices 10K Series pre Half Marathon Tune up course record, as he also pulled Neil Riley under the old mark in the process to bring the curtains down on the 2019 series on Saturday.
Struiken went out hard on the course from the Watering Hole to Struggling Man’s in Sea Cows Bay, to win the 34 minutes and 44 seconds. In the process, he demolished Asson’s 35:58 from 2009 and pulled Riley under the old mark with his 35:20.
Katrina “Kat” Lindsay was the top woman in 43:49.
“Today’s race went according to plan. I was trying to run as fast as possible because I was going for a personal best today,” Struiken noted. “I went off a bit too quick but I managed to keep a strong pace throughout the race and I’m very, very happy with my end result. The time was about 45 seconds off my personal best, which is a very good time. I put a lot into this training and it paid off.”
Struiken said he wasn’t surprised to break the record because based on his training, he knew he could dip under the mark and is pleased since he wasn’t focusing breaking the record.
Riley said the 35:20 was the fastest 10K he’d ever run in the BVI.
“Cliff was just a bit too quick again for me today. He had a few seconds lead off the start and then just slowly kept pulling away and I think he had about 40 seconds off me in the end, but, I’m pleased,” said Riley who hasn’t bested Struiken over 5K, 10K or 2 Mile races. “I’m running. I’m improving and these things don’t happen overnight. I went out pretty hard, struggled a bit and I lost a bit of time, but it takes patience and hard work and I’m sure I’ll continue to get quicker if I can stay injury free.”
Lindsay said it was a 10K so the race wasn’t going to be easy and three miles in, if it was two weeks ago when she ran the College 2 mile race, she would have been finished long ago.
“Took a nice easy pace out and felt fairly comfortable and tried to pick it up to keep up with whoever I could keep up with on the way back,” she said. “I was pretty pleased with that time.”
Race Director Kay Reddy said it was one of the best 10K series and the sponsor provided lots of product to ensure that runners were hydrated.
“We’ve had 50 people for every race and for some reason it has been a very fast series,” she noted. “It’s been fast and furious at the front, a big group of runners in the middle and most people coming in under an hour, so we’ve seen a lot of fitness.”