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Rodriguez, David Take Top Spots in Half-Marathon

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Nov. 26, 2006 — The 32nd running of the V.I. Half-Marathon Race Against Drugs Sunday morning on the east end of St. Croix saw Jose Rodriquez of Puerto Rico claim the top spot.
In response to an email poll, the runners selected the beautiful but difficult route. Rodriquez has an excellent history (from as far back as the 1980s) with the race and has never finished out of the top three overall. He decided to forgo running a big race in Puerto Rico to challenge the rolling hills and the heat and humidity. Rodriguez pulled ahead and stayed there till the end after a group of three approached the mile mark with a time of 5:38. He went on to finish first overall with in 1:17.42.
That lead group also had the first-place female finisher, Ruth Ann David, who last ran this race back in 1992 when she was 16 years old. She held on to take fourth overall in 1:38.38, just seven minutes slower than her time in 1992.
George Jules always seems to finish in the medals, having run this race at least nine times with a record five first-place finishes in St. Croix. He took second place overall with a time of 1:23.06. Richard Jeanpierre took the honors as the top over-50 runner, finishing third overall with a time of 1:38.53.
Theresa Harper, also no stranger to this race, ran the Philadelphia Marathon in 2:31 just two weeks ago. No doubt feeling the effects of that performance, Harper was the second-place female finisher in 1:40.01 as she closed the gap on David in the last five kilometers. Jennifer Angus challenged Harper all the way to take third place in 1:42.40.
There were 32 runners in the race, making for impressive age-group performances. It followed a seminar held by the V.I. Olympic Committee (VIOC) the evening before on performance-enhancing drugs — the first official project of and introduction to the V.I. Olympic Academy. Participating in that function were officials from the V.I. Olympic Committee. Officials for the seminar were Leonard Bonelli, who also was also selected to be the official starter for the race; Angel Morales, secretary general of the VIOC; Dr. Marlon Williams, vice president of the VIOC; General Eddie Charles, adjutant general of the V.I. National Guard; and Wallace Williams, founder, V.I. Pace Runners. Attending the seminar were coaches, officials, runners and volunteers in the V.I. sports federations and clubs.
The 32nd V.I. Half-Marathon was sponsored by the West Indies Corporation, organized by the V.I. Pace Runners and sanctioned by the V.I. Track and Field Federation, with the support of the V.I. Olympic Committee-V.I. Olympic Academy and the Divi Carina Bay Hotel and Casino.
Male finishers:
1.Jose Rodriquez 1:178.42
2. George Jules 1:23.06
3. Richard Jeanpierre 1:38.53
4. James Dean 1:41.23
5. Bob Halk 1:42.15
6. Jason Snow 1:48.09
7. Andy Coe 1:49.41
8. Steve Silver 1:57.14
9. John Harper 2:02.18
10. Mark Kennedy 2:02.52
11. Roger Hatfield 2:05.54
12. Errol Chichester 2:11.25
13. Teddy Seymour 2:15.11
14: Rey Lutz 2:28.18
15. Eric Jacobs 2:29.51; Todd Harris 2:29.51
16. Scott Fricks 2:35.46
17. Todd Nurnberger 2:37.04
18. Julio Sanchez 2:56.18
Female finishers:
1.Ruth Ann David 1:38.28
2. Theresa Harper 1:40.01
3. Jennifer Angus 1:42.40
4. Ericka Sweitzer 1:48.23
5. Heidi Snow1:53.57
6. Elizabeth Armstrong 2:15.47
7. Kathy La Grange 2:17.53
8. Denise Blanchett 2:18.21
9. Linda Whiteker 2:22.40
10. Theresa Olivero 2:24.45
11. Amy Harris 2:29.51
12. Elizabeth Nurnberger 2:32.40
13. Judie Fricks 2:35.42
For more information, contact the V.I. Pace Runners at 340-643-2557 or visit the organization's website.
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