Barbadians Joshua Hunte and Rio Williams give impressive runs but had to settle for second place in the 5k and 10k races respectively, as two French-speaking athletes stole the Run Barbados show this afternoon.
The 10k race commenced around 5 p.m. and Nicholas Fernandez of France showed his class when he won in a time of 32:57.50 ahead of Hunte with 34:33.48. Jason Wilson, also of Barbados, posted a time of 34:4812 ahead of a field of more than 150 participants who took part in the race which commenced at the Bay Street Esplanade.
The victorious Frenchman, who qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics, does not speak fluent English but said enough to indicate he was happy with his performance.
Hunte was also pleased with his run. He told Barbados TODAY this was third time he was competing in Run Barbados but this year he was among the top three, compared to last year when he finished seventh.
“It feels good but not what I was looking for because the international guys are not here, especially the Kenyans, so it was not a great feeling. but I am still happy nonetheless,” said Hunte, who ran a personal best.
A former Christ Church Foundation student who trains under the guidance of Leo Garnes, one of the top long distance runners this island has produced, Hunte said he was not aware who Fernandez was, but “I caught on early that he is a big runner”.
“After the first kilometre the pace was too slow for him [Fernandez] so he just burst and went ahead and everybody ran hard behind him,” said the 19-year-old, who hopes to qualify for the Olympics.
Jessica Peterson of Denmark is no stranger to Barbados and after a two year break she returned with a bang to capture her second gold in the Women’s 10k. Draskan last won the race back in 2013 and today she did it again with a commendable 35:24.26. She said for her it was an amazing feeling.
“Running a ten kilometre race in Barbados is pretty hard compared to anything else because the atmosphere is so good and it is one of those feelings where you feel like you have won just doing the race, so to actually win the race is kind of incredible for me because I came out just to try and get the passion back for running due to some injuries I had,” the 38-year-old said as she looks forward to tomorrow’s marathon.
She was followed by Dominka Jammicky of Canada who came second with 38:19 ahead of three-time CARIFTA gold medalist Mary Fraser of Barbados who clocked 43:12 for third.
Earlier, in the 5k race, which took place at 4 p.m., Roussas Francois of Guadeloupe placed first with a time of 16:22.57. He was followed home by Rio Williams with 16:26.37 and Jameel Cupidore of Trinidad and Tobago with 23:09.30.
Francois said he felt spectacular having won the race and he intends to go after the same result tomorrow in the marathon. Cyralene Greene of Barbados came out on top in the Women’s 5k.
Tomorrow the curtain comes down on the Run Barbados event with the marathon race scheduled for 5 a.m. at Bay Street Esplanade.