CHATEAUBELAIR, ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES – Junior Ashton retained his NACAC Chatoyer 10K international title with a faster time over his 2016 first place time of 41:17.20 minutes.
Ashton crossed the finished line in 39:58.40 minutes, ahead of Kirk Brown of Jamaica in second place with a time of 40:29.62 minutes, faster than the 2016 second place time of 43:07.00 which was clocked by Michael Biscette of Saint Lucia.
This year Michael Biscette ran faster he did last year, crossing the finish line in a time of 42:18.84 minutes, with two other Saint Lucians rounding off the top five finishers on this most gruelling of endurance courses.
Fourth was Winsbert Sylvester with a time of 43:18.93 minutes, faster than his 2016 second place time of 43:48.50 minutes, and Neville Dupre was fifth in a time of 45:39.56 minutes.
The race was shaping up for a thrilling battle as the top runners headed up Coulls Hill, when fumes from one of the 30-seater buses transporting the athletes played a cruel hand.
The bus driver slowed down ahead of the runners, and soon all of them began choking on the exhaust. Sylvester and Biscette began to retch, while Ashton and Brown fought off the initial retching and forged ahead of the others.
Brown himself began to retch soon afterwards, which forced him to slow down allowing the distance between him and Ashton to slowly increase.
Ashton gradually pulled away and by the time Brown and the others recovered sufficiently, he was too far ahead for them to catch him, as he ran unchallenged for the remainder of the race to victory.
In the Women category, defending champion Linda MacDowell of St. Vincent and the Grenadines outpace the competition to cross the finish line in 51:29.72 minutes, ahead of Kenisha Pascal of Grenada in second place with a time of 54:46.71 minutes, and third place Chantal Glasgow of Saint Lucia who crossed the finished line in 59:26.88.
MacDowell’s time was slower than her 2016 time of 47:53.60 minutes, while Pascal and Glasgow’s times respectively, were faster than the 2016 second place time of 59:41.60 minutes which was clocked by Kerina Hooper of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Hooper crossed the line in fourth place in 1 hour 01:57.94 minutes, while Keifer Bailey of St. Vincent and the Grenadines was fifth in a time of 1 hour 05:28.71 minutes.
All of the runners completed the course, but the battle in the Men’s division many were looking forward to never, materialised.