13th St. Croix International Marathon Summary:
No matter how tough the course, (this one is hilly, hot and humid…newly AIMS/IAAF certified) some runners seem to adequately adjust and excel. Calvin Dallas the 62-yearold, two-time Olympic marathon runner once again demonstrated how it’s done. In the early going from the start at the Christiansted National Historic Site of the National Park Service (NPS), three runners were either stride-for-stride or just off each other’s shoulder for over the first half of the 26.2-mile road race. The race was dominated by male entries, and it took them over one of the most scenic and historic pieces of geography one will find including: the Danish-named estates of St. Croix, NPS Salt River Ecological Sanctuary, NPS Christopher Columbus Landing Site, and back and forth on the North Shore Road (now named Sidney Lee Road for the late St. Croix senator).
After running to the eastern most point of the course (Carambola Resort) with St. Thomas, St. John and British Virgin Islands as a backdrop in the north, Dallas of St. Thomas and Ben Appleyard of St. Croix were stride for stride out of Davis Bay, Cane Bay and to Lavallee until Dallas, the former Seoul and Barcelona Olympian, surged and took the lead for good to finish first overall and defend his V.I. Marathon Champion title with a time of 3:19.33. Billy Bohlke, the former V.I. champion for the marathon, with less than minimal training for this one and after dropping off the pace considerably midway through the race, gutted it out enough to take second with a time of 3:33.13; Appleyard, who just recently completed the New York City Marathon, finished third in 3:41.04.
Bridget Klein, continuing to establish her place as a V.I. endurance runner, was unchallenged as a female and impressive with a fourth place overall finish to defend her V.I. Marathon Champion title with a time of 3:44.21. The former college steeple chaser has hopes of representing the Virgin Islands in that event and other long distance races.
Awards were made to the top ten finishers in the male and female categories as well as recognition for age-group placing. In addition, a number of visiting marathoners ran the race — some who do marathons to add to their list marathon run in countries, continents, islands or just to their total marathons run. Last year, a few from the “50 States Club” ran the race; this year it would be representatives of “Marathon Globetrotters” 62-year-old Robert Bishton of Fort Meyers Beach, Florida, who would duke it out with fellow Globetrotter 65-year-old Rich Holmes from Durham, North Carolina. Bishton won the battle for 12th overall for males with a time of 5:18.17 to Holmes’ 5:26.12 for 13th.
Mike Klein of St. Croix, the V.I. Ultra Champion, finished fourth for men with a time of 3:44.21; Jay Gleason of St. Croix, running his first marathon, was fifth in in 3:57.14; Wayne Nichols of St. Croix was sixth in 3:58.06; Troy Holloway of St. Croix was seventh in 4:05.54; Steve Burkeholder of St. John was eighth in 4:08.48; Craig Daniels of St. Croix was ninth in 4:34.28; Drew Hoffman of West Field, Indiana, was tenth in 4:48.57; Ivan Espinosa of St. Croix, running his first marathon, was eleventh in 4:58.55.
40th V.I. Half-Marathon Summary:
For the running of the 40th Virgin Islands Half-Marathon the fastest road runners in the Virgin Islands affirmed their status with Juan Robles successfully defended his title as V.I. Half-Marathon Champion by making what looked to be easy work of it over the challenging loop course that also utilized the newly certified St. Croix Marathon route. His time was 1:21.58; Shane Degannes of St. Thomas, just off his consecutive British Virgin Islands Half-Marathon win in Tortola and second place masters finish in the Footlocker Cross-Country Nationals, was second in 1:31.26; Timothy Simon of Renton, Washington, was third in 2:01.32; John Harper of St. Croix was fourth in 2:09.50; Teddy Seymour was fifth in 2:55.32
The race dominated by female entries saw Ruth Ann David of St. Thomas put in an impressive performance in finishing just behind Shane Degannes by a mere five seconds for third place overall in the race to win back to back V.I. Half-Marathon champion female titles with a time of 1:31.31. Dyann Godown of St. Croix was second in 1:42.59; Keziah Sullivan from Kenya was third in 1:57.33; Laura Klein of St. Thomas was fourth in 1:59.48; Emily Shoup of Charlston, S.C. was fifth in 2:06.45; Jaclyn Robak of Eagle NB was sixth in 2:12.12; Pam Terry of St. John was seventh in 2:12.34; Kerry Wonders of Indianapolis, Indiana, was eighth in 2:15.15; Louise Stapleton of St. Croix was ninth in 2:24.15; Chantelle Quinones of St. Croix was tenth in 3:02.35 and Wendy Funk of Falls Church, Virginia, was eleventh in 3:31.37.
1] Joshua Brewster of Charlston, South Carolina, had all intentions of winning the St. Croix Marathon and was in the lead group until around the 10K mark when Plantar Fasciiti’s injury ended his day. Paul Evora of St. Croix, who battled the harsh conditions of this year’s New York City Marathon, looked to do well Sunday but succumbed to flulike conditions and did not finish. Nichole Ross of St. Croix entered her first St. Croix race but the effects of Chikungunya ended her day. Each of these runners will be able to run next year as the race director waived their 2015 registration fee.
2] Volunteers are runners too. A number of the volunteers for the races were former participants in the marathon and half-marathon. Ana Guiterrez, V.I. Olympic Marathon runner in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and 2012 V.I. Marathon champion, led the women’s marathon on her bike yesterday; Dr. Marlon Williams four-time V.I. Olympian in the marathon 10K and 5K, handed out awards; George Jules, the multiple winner of the V.I. Half-Marathon on St. Croix and St. Thomas, led the half-marathon on his bike; Theresa Harper, multiple St. Croix Marathon winner, was the race timer yesterday; Constance Alexander, past V.I. Half-Marathon competitor, provided ground transport for visiting runners; Scott Fricks and Carol Murphy of the V.I. Triathlon Federation, provided an extra aid station with music while spinning on their trainers mid-way up a tough hill for the race; Wallace Williams was the race director.
3] Great race partners: Joel Holt, attorney, LNL Publishing, The National Park Service, Arawak Bay…The Inn At Salt River, Bohlke Airways, Williams Chiropractic Center, Quality Auto Parts, Carpet Masters, Plaza Extra, Gas City, Twin City Coffee Shop, St. Croix Rescue, Virgin Islands Cycling Federation, St. Croix Track Club, Mary’s Fancy Track Club, Virgin Islands Pace Runners; and Virgin Islands Track and Field Federation.
4] For the 40th Anniversary recognition of the Virgin Islands Half-Marathon: The 13.1-Mile Virgin Islands Half-Marathon is the oldest road race in the territory. It has been the primary influence on the establishment of road running in the U.S.V.I. with generations of runners, coaches, officials, volunteers and partners who have contributed to help make the sport what it is today.
For information, go to: http://virginislandspace.org or call: 643-2557 or e-mail: [email protected]
Dallas, Klein, Robles and David Defend Titles in Marathon, Half-Marathon
13th St. Croix International Marathon Summary: