Defending Ogier-BVI Half Marathon Champs Ruth Ann David and Shane DeGannes of St. Thomas
NOVEMBER 26—For the last seven years, men have been grabbing all the headlines in the Ogier-Deloite BVI Sunrise Half Marathon.
The eight staging of the event is set for Saturday, Nov 30, starting at 6:00 a.m. at the A. O. Shirley Recreation Grounds and traversing Tortola’s south coast roads.
This year however women have stepped to the fore with the U.S. Virgin Islands’ Ruth Ann David—who’s also the defending champ—set to atone for missing the 1 hour 34 minutes and 09 seconds course record by 10 seconds, after taking a wrong turn last year.
Then, there’s BVI resident Katrina Crumpler—fresh off a career best in last month’s Chicago Marathon—seeking to run a personal best, which is under the record established by Meriel Stedman in 2011.
“The BVI actually have a few good runners this year and we do expect a tight, competitive race at the front and the sponsors have agreed to put up a $250 award for the course record,” noted race director Kay Reddy. “There’s a $500 award for breaking the overall course record of 1 hour 07 minutes and 38 seconds set in 2010, but this is new for the ladies so we are expecting to see half a dozen ladies battling it out at the front to set a new course record.”
Reddy said the course record is doable and David and Crumpler are both capable of taking it down. “We think we’ll definitely see a new course record and may the fastest woman win,” she said.
Crumpler who ran 1:38.28 last year to finish behind David, said her aim is to go faster. She said her best is in the 1:33s which she ran in colder climes. “It’s possible for me to do it but it will be tough,” she said. “But, I will try to go as close as possible to her. I think it helps having run the Marathon distance and I don’t have any major injuries, so we’ll see what happens. I’m looking forward to it.”
Coming within 10 seconds of the course record last year, David said she’s going to push for a time under 1:33. “I can do it, I just have to push until it’s done,” she said. “I’ll have to pick up the pace because I know the course. I have to make sure I have hydration, lots of water. But, I can’t wait to see everyone. It’s going to be a great race.”
Organizers are targeting 125 participants to toe the starting line at the A. O. Shirley Recreation Grounds and 64 have already pre registered for the event. Reddy said usually about 20 pre register as most people like to see how their training is going before the race and don’t mind paying the late registration fee. “But, 64 pre registered is absolutely fantastic and we might hit our target of 125 runners,” she said.
St. Thomas’ Shane DeGannes is the men’s defending champ and has his eyes set on running five minutes faster than last year with a time under 1:20.
Final registration will be held between 5:30 and 7:00 p.m. at the Tortola Sports Club in Pasea, were participants will collect their race packets.