Jamaican policeman retains Bermuda's mile title
HAMILTON, Bermuda (CMC) — Stephen Allen, a Bermuda-based Jamaican policeman, retained his title when he won the local men's mile when the Bermuda Marathon Weekend got under way on Friday night.
Allen, who is also a part-time football referee, held off college student and CARIFTA Games medallist Juma Mouchette with Ryan Wilson finishing third for the second year in a row.
Allen led the field from start to finish and had enough left in the tank in the closing stages to keep Mouchette at bay, stopping the clock at four minutes, 47 seconds over the tricky Front Street course.
"Winning once was good, but to defend the title is even harder, so this win is special," Allen said.
His winning time was 14 seconds slower than last year and Allen admitted: "The time is not fast, but I'm happy for the win."
Mouchette was clocked in 4:50 with Wilson third in 4:52.
Course record holder Ashley Estwanik took the honours in the local women's race, winning in 5:11 with past winner Jennifer Allen second in 5:18 and Jamaican-born Deon Breary third in 5:31.
Harry Mulenga of Zambia won the men's elite mile, continuing to make a name for himself in Bermuda on his first visit after winning the recent Fairmont to Fairmont 7.2-mile race, in which he broke the 24-year course record.
Mulenga, who returns to his studies in America at Central Arizona College on Monday, was timed in four minutes, 5.76 seconds -- one of the best recent times.
Diriba Yigezu of Ethiopia was close behind in second in 4:05.97, while Mulenga's compatriot, Jordan Chipangama, came third in 4:07.39.
"I'm speechless. It's a good achievement to come down here and to see what I could do. I feel great," Mulenga said.
"It's not an easy thing, you know. It requires a lot of hard work, concentration, focus and dedication every day. It's not easy to wake up every day and go running!
"I really appreciate everything and everybody who has helped get me to this stage."
Heather Kampf repeated as winner of the women's elite mile, as Sarah Brown finished second again in a thrilling finish that saw the two Americans separated by two seconds in faster times than last year.
Kampf broke the tape in four minutes, 44.89 seconds, five seconds faster than her 2013 winning time of 4:49, while Brown was just a few strides behind in second place as she shaved four seconds off her time last year, clocking 4:46.16. Newcomer Lauren Hagans made it three Americans on the podium, finishing in third in 4:53.14.
No runner has ever broken the four-minute barrier in the race — which has sharp turns at both ends of the Front Street course — and a US$10,000 prize for doing so remains unclaimed.
The race weekend, which has attracted more than 1,000 runners, was set to continue with the 10-kilometre race yesterday, followed by the half-marathon and marathon today.