By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
BAHAMAS national marathon record holder Oneil Williams will be happy to return to continue his training in Kenya and stay home mom Pascale Dubois is just as excited to head back to Canada with their hefty cash prize of $5,000 as the overall male and female winner of the Bahamas Roadmasters’ sixth annual Bahamas Half Marathon.
The duo earned the incentive at the early riser event on Sunday that started and finished at Arawak Cay after taking the competitors on a course along West Bay Street.
In addition to the half marathon, competitors also got a chance to participate in a 10K won by Andrew Hepburn and Grand Bahamian Delicia Boothe and a 5K that saw Justin Higgs and Jolise Newbold emerged as the victors.
Competitors also got a chance to form relay teams to compete in the event.
Home since Monday to prepare for the event, Williams said his goal was just simply to be the first Bahamian finisher. He was even more elated to secure the overall title and the pay cheque after he posted his winning time of one hour, 13 minutes and 30 seconds.
“I felt pretty good, but at some point of the race, I felt really tired, like my body just wanted to break down,” he said. “I came home with the win and that is most important. All of the guys tried to get out in the first mile, but I separated myself from them and extended the lead.
“By the time I got down to Sun Fun, I already had a substantial lead and I tried to hold it coming back. By the time I reached Goodman’s Bay, I just relaxed because I didn’t have no one in sight. The closest person was Latrel from Grand Bahama. He ran a pretty good race. I thought they would have had more foreigners in the race, but that wasn’t the case.”
Without any sponsorship for his training in Kenya, Williams said the prize money will definitely help to defray some of the expenses he has incurred as he leans towards his retirement from the sport in January. He wants to prepare to come back home to go out with a bang at Marathon Bahamas on January 20. For Dubois, the trip to the Bahamas with her family for vacation was worth $5,000 after she clocked 1:33.51 for her victory.
“The kids are off from school for five days on vacation, so we decided to come to the Bahamas after I saw that there was a half marathon being held here,” said Dubois, who is accompanied by her husband, Mark; 14-year-old son Victor and 12-year-old daughter April.
“I feel great. I didn’t know about the cash prize until yesterday so last night I told myself that I have to do all I can. My pace was a little high than usual. At the beginning, I was in second, but at the half, I passed the person and I kept the first position and push a lot to win.”
The 47-year-old stay home mom, who only recently starting running marathons again, said she hope to make it back next year to defend her title.
Suzy Eneas, 40, was the second place finisher behind Dubois in 1:36.29 and Yunelis Lightbourne, 43, was third in 1:38.04.
Hepburn, a 14-year-old tenth grader at Queen’s College, admitted that it was hot on the course, but his father, former distance runner turned coach, George Hepburn encouraged him to keep pushing to the end. He stopped the clock in 40:58.
“I tried to keep up Lynden (Johnson), but I managed to beat him,” Hepburn said. “Before we turned around, I was just trying to keep up with him. But by the time we got to Goodsman Bay, I started to pull away from him and increased my pace. When I turned around, I kept up the pace so he wouldn’t catch me.”
Here from Grand Bahamian with the support and assistance of her father, Delroy Boothe, Delicia Boothe didn’t have any problem,s as she breezed to victory in the female segment of the 10K in 48:51.
“I felt normal. It wasn’t nothing for me. I just kept praying to God that I stayed strong,” stated the 15-year-old St George’s High 11th grader. “This is my second time doing a 10K. I didn’t have any problems or anything, so I just pushed for it. I want to thank my father for encouraging me everyday.”
Divisional winners from the various categories are as follows:
Female winner - Jolise Newbold, 27:13.
Male winner - Justin Higgs, 21:56.
Female winner - Delicia Boothe, 48:51.
1-19 - Delicia Boothe, 48:51.
20-29 - Melissa sands, 1:00:32; Carmen Vargas, 1:00:57; Jessica Dillon, 1:03:49.
30-39 - Ellen Morlan, 49:22; Lana Rademaker, 54:50; Edva Madanes, 59:52.
40-49 - Kirsten Sweeting, 52:42; Charlotte Thompson, 57:29; Lynn Pritchard, 1:01:17.
50-59 - Amy Haug, 57:18; Phyllis Armbrister, 1:10:41; Beth Nottage, 1:12:56.
60-99 - Nadine Hope, 1:29:04; Sandra Gibson, 1:49:40.
Male winner - Andrew Hepburn, 40:58.
1-19 - Andrew Hepburn, 40:58.; Lynden Johnson, 41:43; Kelvin Archer, 1:1:21.
20-29 - Marvin Minns, 43:26; Adelet Elysee, 44:39; Russell Cameron, 48:12.
30-39 - Simon Lowe, 43:06; Lamar Delaney, 54:13; Damian Sands, 57:56.
40-49 - Simone Bertoldo, 43:10; Taffy Darling, 47:46; Ragil Cordova, 52:28.
50-59 - Paul Hanson, 55:56; Eem Colebrooke. 1:02:29; Herman Cayaban, 1:09:50.
60-69 - Lester Gibson, 1:01:16; Jeefrey Robertson, 1:07.43; Bernard Hanna, 1:24:30.
Female winner - Pascale Dubois, 1:33:48.
20-29 - Miranda Thompson, 1:55:52; Jessie Goodwin, 1:56.12; Laura Brown, 2:05:56.
30-39 - Alena Alasheeva, 1:45:37; Regina Smith, 1:55:34; Pia Venegas, 1:56:07.
40-49 - Pioscala Dubois, 1:33:48; Suzy Eneas, 1:3:44; Yenelis Lightbourn, 1:38:01.
50-59 - Kathryn De Souza, 1:53:20; Cindy Rebman, 2:08:25; Mchele Burris, 2:19:11.
Male winner - Oneil Williams, 1:13:28.
20-29 - David Hanna, 1:40:13; Theodore Williams, 1:54:50; Chris Hall, 2:24:29.
30-39 - Oneil Williams, 1:13:28; Sidney Collie, 1:35.22 Neil Morada, 1:43:12.
40-49 - Lawrence Zogil, 1:41:15; Kevin Taylor, 1:47:00; Pedro Birello, 1:48:53.
50-59 - Robert Madej, 1:26:21; Basil Goulandris. 1:40:35; Simeon Gardiner, 1:54:52.