Pulling away from the lone competitor still trying to keep pace with him by the Barbados Fire Service’s headquarters in Probyn Street, Bridgetown, Silas Kisorio of Kenya made a winning debut to the Run Barbados Series, taking the 10K in grand style yesterday.
Arms raised in celebration, he approached the finish line and hundreds of Barbadians and visitors cheered until the 29-year-old stopped the clock in 30:58 minutes.
Canadian Matt Loiselle, who had been among the leaders from the start, finished in the No. 2 slot for the second consecutive year in 31:06 and Jamaican Shawn Pitter, who did not feel well at the start, stuck it out to the end, moving up one spot to take third in 31:20.
Defending champion Richard Kessio of Kenya did not finish, dropping out on Fontabelle.
Two of Pitter’s compatriots – Kirk Browne and Rupert Green – rounded out the top five in 31:37 and 32:13 seconds respectively, while Guyana’s Kelvin Johnson (33:07) and Cleveland Forde (33:48) took the next two places.
Jerome Blackett was the first Barbadian home again, crossing the line moments later in 34:41 seconds, just ahead of the top two females.
Defending half-marathon champion Leah Kigen of Kenya jumped two places in the absence of defending champion Janet Cherobon-Bawcom to win in 34:48 and Canadian Megan Brown was second again in 34:53.
Thirteen-year-old St George Secondary School student Mary Fraser was the first local female home in 42:44. She was 27th overall, the best placing by a Barbadian woman in many years, while Sheena Gooding, who held that distinction last year, was 40th overall in 44:14, slightly faster this time around.
Kisorio made his first trip to the Run Barbados Series on the urging of manager Joseph Codrington, a Barbadian living in the United States. He was not among the early leaders, who included Blackett and the three Jamaicans, but that was a deliberate strategy.
“It was good. it just worked out as I planned. I was thinking Richard – the guy who won last year – would be all the way with me to the finish, but for some reason he pulled out. The other guy stayed with me.
“We switched turns and when I made my final push, somewhere where it was a bit hilly, he just dropped off the pace,” Kessio told SUNSPORT.
With winter approaching in Oklahoma, Kessio said the heat, wind and the humidity were “killers” but he was pleased with the time. He is planning to compete in the half-marathon this morning.
By Hincks Street, Kisorio, Kessio and Loiselle had bridged the gap, but Blackett had to abandon the hot pace. That group of six stayed together all along the Princess Alice Highway, exchanging the lead. Nine minutes were on the clock when they reached the roundabout near the Shallow Draught.
But by the time the runners had made the loop onto Spring Garden and back to Kensington Oval, there had been a significant change in the pace, leading to the three-man group of Kisorio, Loiselle and Kessio, who abandoned the race soon after.
The deserted roads soon gave way to the hustle and bustle of Bridgetown near the Cheapside market and shoppers paused to take in the action. As the pair reached lower Broad Street, the taxi drivers broke into applause.
Kisorio had taken over the lead again by the 9K mark on Probyn Street and it was just him against the clock, which read 27:45.
Despite the heat and humidity, Kigen was quite pleased with her fastest time since coming to Barbados. Crediting better training, she said she overcame the early struggles over the first 3K to win.