Ras Alula Nagarit returned to the territory to compete for the first time since 2008 and created history on Saturday, when he debuted in the 14th Deloitte-Ogier BVI Sunrise Half Marathon.
Nagarit became the BVI’s first winner when he led from start to finish, recording a winning time of 1 hour 17 minutes and 44 seconds—marking the fourth fastest race in event history. In the process he chopped 17 minutes off Zebalon A. McLean’s 2011 mark of 1:34.45, for a new BVI Half Marathon national record.
Clif Struiken, who ran a strong second half, cut Nagarit’s 90 seconds lead to 46.82 and followed in a personal best of 1:18.31 as the only runners under 1:20. Julius Farley was third in 1:27.14.
“It’s the first time a runner from the Virgin Islands has taken the trophy home,” Race Director Kay Reddy said.
“We’ve given the trophy away to St Martin, to St Thomas, to St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Trinidad and Tobago and New Zealand, and this time the trophy stays at home which is really nice. It was a great event having the visiting runners from the North West Company in Canada. We sincerely thank everyone involved in making a great event.”
Struiken’s wife Kim led for the first 11 of the 13.1 miles race before she was overhauled by Katrina Lindsay in the Road Reef area, to record a personal best of 1:37.12 in ninth overall. Kim also recorded a personal best, finishing 18.63 seconds adrift of Lindsay, with her 1:37.30 career best to place 10th. It marked the first time that a husband and wife have finished second in the event. There were a dozen women who ran under 2 hours, including debutant Caroline Sorrentino, third in 1:44.33.
Race of engagement
Meanwhile, visiting runner Chris Cabatbat of Winnipeg, Canada, engaged his girlfriend Brittany Gaultois after they crossed the line holding hands and flashing smiles in 2 hrs 41 minutes and 32 seconds—the first engagement in race history.
The top five finishers were: Men: 1, Ras Alula Nagarit, 1 hr 17 minutes and 44 seconds. (New BVI Half Marathon record. Old record, Zebalon McLean, 1:34.45, 2011.). 2. Clif Struiken, 1:18.31. 3. Julius Farley, 1:27.14. 4. Paul Mellor, 1:29.40.5. Jermaine Ricketts, 1:31.49.
Women: 1. Katrina “Kat” Lindsay, 1:37.12. 2. Kim Struiken, 1:37.30. 3. Caroline Sorrentino, 1:44.33. 4. Tameka Davis, 1:48.25. 5. Johanna Murphy, 1:48.28.