Spectators could be forgiven for thinking they were seeing double as Gayle Lindsay and her sister Katrina led the women in the Eye Institute Classic 5K road race.
Fortunately, the 30-year-old twins wore different coloured running gear, which helped distinguish them from one another as they chalked up first and second place in the women’s category in yesterday’s event.
The 5K race was marking its move from its traditional location in St George’s, to a central venue. Starting and finishing in the Arboretum, Devonshire, it presented competitors with a challenging course that included a downhill on Middle Road, followed by a triple whammy of climbs on Barkers Hill, Palmetto Road and Parsons Road.
Timing official Stephen De Silva outlined the course to competitors at the start line, where athlete Sean Trott succinctly and accurately summarised things as “if you see a hill, you run it”.
Trott, 29, did exactly that, and quicker than anyone else in the field of more than 70, to win in 17min 32sec. He was followed by Bermuda’s Olympic cross-country skier Tucker Murphy, in 18:14, and first senior master Neil De Ste Croix in 19:00.
Among the women, the Lindsay sisters showed the others a clean pair of heels, with Gayle first in 20:53, followed by Katrina in 21:45. Third woman was Laura Wright in 22:28.
Afterwards, Gayle said she was fond of the event’s former route in St George’s, and described the new course as “definitely challenging with the hills”.
However, she enjoyed the race and said: “The first half was mainly downhill, so I tried to maintain a pace and not get too carried away, and then push on through the hills. Once the first hill was passed I felt I got into a good rhythm.”
She has been concentrating on speed work, which means it is unlikely she will race this year’s Bermuda Day Half-Marathon Derby. Next week, along with her sister, she will be competing in a mile race in Iowa.
Katrina, who is visiting Bermuda, arrived on the island the day before and joked that waking up in time for the race had been her first challenge. She enjoyed the event, and said: “There were people out on the course cheering, and the atmosphere was great.”
Comparing yesterday’s race to the few others she has done in Bermuda, she said: “This was actually a harder course, but probably a better run because I was more prepared for it.”
She is based in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, and said: “That’s a hilly island, so if you are doing a run you are always going over some hills. When I was coming up some of the hills here I was thinking ‘you’ve done this before, just keep going’ — so yes, I felt good.”
Finishing within a minute of her sister, Katrina said a few cheering spectators did a double-take as she came past and had commented: “I’ve seen you before.”
In conjunction with the main event, there was a one-mile race for competitors aged 12 and under.
The winner was Khari Sharrieff, 11, in 6:30. He was followed by Charlie Reiss, 12, in 6:50, and Lucas Castree, 12, in 7:10. Among the girls, Fenella Wightman, 11, was first 7:32, followed by Ava Gabai-Maiato, 12, in 7:44 and Zyari Lawrence, 9, in 7:57. The boys’ 6-7 age group was won by Conor O’Sullivan in 7:27, while the top girl in the same age division was Riana Robinson in 8:17.
A 5K competitive walk was won by Joseph Matthew in 38:21, followed by Gilda Cann, first woman, in 40:02.
Age division winners in the main road race, among the women, included: Myeisha Sharrieff (13-18) in 24:36; Kerry Brislane (masters) in 26:57; Zina Jones (senior masters) in 28:30; and Terri Durrant (over-60) in 30:10.
Among the men, age division winners included: Iziah Tucker (13-18) in 19:32; James Dodgson (masters) in 23:10; and Ian Hind (over-60) in 27:00.