Runners start the half Marathon on Virgin Gorda. (Photos: Todd VanSickle)

On Saturday, more than 100 runners and walkers competed in the fourth annual Dive BVI Half Marathon and 6-Mile Challenge on Virgin Gorda.

Runners start the half Marathon on Virgin Gorda. (Photos: Todd VanSickle)
Last year’s half Marathon champions — TJ Hindes and Katrina Crumpler — defender their titles after winning with times of one hour 32 minutes and five seconds and 1:47.37,’ respectively.

The race is coined the “Beauty and the Beast” due to its challenging and picturesque course, which starts in Spanish Town and heads past Savannah Bay to Nail Bay. The runners then return to The Valley and make their way to Copper Mine Point, The Baths and finish near Fort Point.

Prior to the start, heavy rain made the course slippery, but provided cool running conditions for most of the race.

“The weather was kinder to us this year,” Ms. Crumpler said. “Last year it was really hot.”

Ms. Crumpler has competed in all of the VG half Marathons and has managed to win three out of four. Currently, she is “in between running marathons” and most recently ran one three weeks ago. Her next Marathon is in two weeks.

“I probably should have gone a bit quicker [today],” she said. “But I didn’t want to completely kill myself.”

Beth Simmons, of St. Thomas, took second place in the Women’s Division with a time of 1:49:36.’ She led her division until the runners climbed the hill near Savannah Bay en route to Copper Mine Point.

“She was really strong,” Ms. Crumpler said. “She pushed me the whole way.”

Ms. Simmons was among the 22 competitors who made the trip from the United States Virgin Islands.

Another visiting USVI runner was Mr. Hindes, who was competing in the race for the second time. On Saturday morning, the defending champion took an early lead and never looked back.

“I came out with the same game plan: Run out in front; put a gap between me and second place on the hills; and hold on,” Mr. Hindes said.

Leading up to the half Marathon, Reuben Stoby, of Tortola, had won several consecutive races, including the Dive BVI 10k two-race series — which is a preview for the VG half Marathon.

“I looked at Dean [Greenaway’s] Facebook post the other day, so I quickly looked [Mr. Stoby] up and saw that he was fast,” Mr. Hindes said. “His 10k time in the hills was impressive. So, I knew he was going to be right there with me.”

However, Mr. Stoby would have to settle for second place in 1:38.23.’

“He is a beast,” Mr. Stoby said of Mr. Hindes. “I tried to hold him at the beginning, but I had to let him go. He was very strong on the hills. As much as I wanted to catch him, it would have been bad for me. I tried to keep him in eye sight, but he just kept drifting forward and forward.”

He added that he has not been doing enough long distance training. Instead, he has been focusing on the five-kilomtere races with speed work. Overall, he was disappointed with his performance on Saturday.

“I calculated that I should have run faster,” Mr. Stoby said. “It was a tough day for me. I just have to get over it and come again.”

All told, 62 runners took part in the half Marathon, while 53 participated in the 6-Mile Challenge.

The 6-mile Challenge winners were Jacob Reed Stolzenfels in 49:02” and Lindsay Wilson in 58:38.”

The runners were encouraged by various schools and service groups, who manned water stations through out the course.

The groups included the BVI Cancer Society (VG Branch), VG Lion’s Club, Valley Day School, St. Mary’s School, Raw Skillz Track Club, Teens 4 Oceans and Animal Rescue and Control of VG.

The top group was voted by the half Marathon runners and received a donation from the organisers.

St. Mary’s School and Valley Day School received $850 after they tied for first place for the most spirited group.

ARC took second place followed by Raw Skillz.

“These supporters on the road make this event what it is,” Organiser Casey McNutt said. “We cannot be a successful event on this type of scale without the community’s involvement. I owe our success to them.”

VG Half Marathon Results

     Men: TJ Hindes 1:32:05, 2. Reuben Stoby 1:38:23, 3. Julius Farley 1:41:01, 4. Rodrigo DosSantos 1:42:23, 5. Chris Thomas 1:46:35, 6. Paul Hubbard 1:48:14, 7. Curwin Andrews 1:50:10, 8. Ezron Simmons 1:58:59, 9. Russell Crumpler 1:59:26, 10. Allan Cundall 1:59:29, 11. Richard Morgan 2:00:21, 12. Ryan Blanchard 2:02:33, 13. Ciaran O’Shaughnessy 2:04:26, 13. Joseph McIvor 2:06:49, 14. Marco Bava 2:06:53, 15. Damien Lysiak 2:07:14, 16. Gareth Watkins 2:08:29, 17. Adrian Dale 2:08:49, 18. Keith Williams 2:09:16, 19. Kenton Jones 2:13:20, 20. Shane Donovan 2:15:01, 21. Guy Paul Dubois 2:16:41, 22. Michael Reiter 2:17:46, 23. Curwin Andrews 2:19:07, 24. Jermain Abreams 2:19:24, 25. Joshua Rossiter 2:22:58, 26. Alex Smith 2:28:06, 27. Keith Regan 2:32:18, 28. Arun Keshap 2:33:51, 29. Ruairi Bourke 2:36:38, 31. Scott Butz 2:46:15, 32. Zoltan Birinyi 3:14:33

Women Katrina Crumpler 1:47:37, 2. Beth Simmons 1:49:36, 3. Jenny McIvor 1:53:36, 4. Kathleen Brownsdon 1:56:10, 5. Rosmond Johnson 1:59:37, 6. Serena Krueger 2:00:21, 7. Caitlin Goodwin 2:04:36, 8. Kay Reddy 2:08:02, 9. Nadine Leslie 2:09:03, 10. Anna Kinkead 2:16:04, 11. Jessica Miles 2:17:42, 12. Kerry Ann DosSantos 2:22:10, 13. Philomena Robertson 2:28:17, 14. Rhiannon Davies 2:29:43, 15. Amoi Foerstel 2:30:41, 16. Alexandrea DeJarnett 2:30:44, 17. Sarah Hayes 2:32:43, 18. Andrea Sorlie 2:36:54, 19. AJ Syrett 2:42:43, 20. Natasha Lysiak 2:45:25, 21. Becca Knight 2:46:22, 22. Ann Marie Rivard 2:49:43, 23. Brianne Leary 2:49:44, 24. Jude Holmes 2:53:10, 25. Jill Farley 3:02:13

6 Mile Challenge Results

Men: Jacob Reed Stolzenfels 49:02, 2. Kyle Vestermarks 53:58, 3. Adam D’Monte 54:07, 4. Erik Remar 54:32, 5. Lewis Munn 1:04:23, 6. Merwin Rodriguez 1:04:26, 7. James Morrin 1:04:35, 8. Ethan Lysiak 1:06:03, 9. Steve Biery 1:07:53, 10. Noah Fox 1:09:19, 11. Chris Fraser 1:09:20, 12. Wilbert Samuel 1:09:21, 13. Adam Holdt 1:10:08, 14. David Cattie 1:13:05 , 15. Alex Holliday 1:32:16

Women: Lindsay Wilson 58:38, 2. Christine Sheehan 1:00:48, 3. Denell Vestermarks 1:01:05, 4. Leanne Munn 1:01:39, 5. Julie Lonski 1:05:34, 6. Stephanie Wessels 1:05:46, 7. Clair Burke 1:05:55, 8. Diane Stolmar 1:08:23, 9. Jewellyn Gerald 1:08:35, 10. Kimberly Cole 1:09:02, 11. Karen Morrison 1:09:20, 12. Candy Holdt 1:10:07, 13. Beth Besom 1:12:15, 14. Abriel Lysiak 1:18:11, 15. Kirsten Vlietstra 1:24:49, 16. Audrey Penn 1:27:01, 17. Chris Yates 1:29:34, 18. Ashley Helb 1:30:10, 19. Noni Georges 1:30:44, 20. Charlene Odango 1:34:49, 21. Rodessa Ordoyo 1:34:50, 22. JoAnn Manlapaz 1:34:51, 23. Betty Paradisi 1:35:58, 24. Lisa Brown 1:36:09, 25. Kristen Collins 1:40:27, 26. Chloe King 1:40:28