New winners dominate Reggae Marathon
NEW winners were crowned at the 13th staging of the Reggae Marathon at Norman Manley Boulevard in Negril yesterday.
The event, despite the absence of popular race organiser Alfred 'Franno' Francis, who is ill, got off on time with a total of 1,838 individuals from 34 countries competing.
The 10K race winner was Damion Bent, who did a time of 32 minutes and four seconds ahead of Jamaican male compatriots Brian Grit (32 minutes, 49 seconds) and Larone Haye (33 minutes).
Bent was happy with winning, but not completely pleased with his time over the 10K distance.
"This is kind of slow but I'm all right as I did not get any pressure as I led the race from start to finish. If I got some pressure I would have ran faster," he said.
Brittany Sheffey (United States) ran 37 minutes and four seconds to top the female section ahead of Danielle James (39 minutes, six seconds) and Shanieke Watson (39 minutes, 33 seconds).
An elated Sheffey said the weather condition suited her.
"It's a great atmosphere. It was nice and warm, which I like. I felt really very good. You guys put on a great event and I had a great time," she said.
The half marathon was won by Jamaican Kevin Campbell in an hour, 14 minutes and 17 seconds. Kemar Lewis (one hour, 15 minutes, 19 seconds) and United States' Bryan Huberty (one hour, 15 minutes, 56 seconds) followed him through the finishing line.
Campbell said he was always confident he could do it.
"I tested myself and saw that my time was good and knew that I could win this race today," Campbell said.
In the female half marathon, Outi Ben Ammar (Sweden) did a time of one hour 39 minutes and four seconds to finish ahead of Jamaicans Janetta Robinson (one hour 43 minutes 22 seconds) and Stephanie Webber (one hour 43 minutes 26 seconds).
Ben Ammar said she long held the desire to compete in Jamaica.
"I always wanted to come to Jamaica and I enjoyed the race and love the Reggae music. It [the race] was as I expected but my time not as good as I hoped to. I liked the heat. It was good," she said.
The full marathon went to last year's half marathon winner Gregory McKenzie in two hours, 40 minutes and 45 seconds. He won ahead of the British pair of Mark Neeld and Karl Baker, who ran two hours, 56 minutes, 52 seconds and three hours one minute and 11 seconds, respectively. Elina Junnila (Finland) won the female section in three hours and four seconds, in front of Jamaican Elizabeth Mondon (three hours, 27 minutes, 57 seconds) and the German Franziska Schneider (three hours, 38 minutes, 51 seconds).