By Neto Baptiste
Azeba James and Brenda Williams were, on Sunday, crowned male and female champions of the 9.5 miles ‘Release the Beast’ Speed Walk Competition put on by 5 am Walkers and Just 5.
James clocked one hour, 38 minutes and 42 seconds (1:38:42) to dominate the men’s category while Williams registered a time of two hours, seven minutes and 47 seconds (2:07:47) to lead the women’s competition.
James, who finished third in the first speed walk competition held in August, said the event was not as challenging as he thought it would have been.
“I was relaxed, just relaxed. I did not fight up or was not rowdy, I was just relaxed. I didn’t have to look over my shoulders because I knew to myself that I was already set to win, so I just went for it,” he said.
Asked what the hardest part of the route was for him, James replied “There weren’t any,” referring to the much talked about Horsford Hill as a “simple climb over.”
Travis Austin finished almost five minutes behind of James to register a second place finish with a time of 1:43:30, while Steve Bellot was third in a time of 1:44:49.
In the women’s division, Leslie Henry registered a time of 2:07:47 to finish second with Esther Samuel third in a time of 2:08:11.
Efforts to reach women’s champion, Brenda Williams, for comment proved futile.
One of the main organisers of the event, and former national and Olympic cyclist, Patrick Spencer, hailed the competition a success, thanking sponsors for their valuable input.
“We had, first of all, more participants, and we made some changes regarding the procedures and everything and we stuck to the protocols as best as possible. We have two very solid sponsors in Crab Hole Liquors and Mega Distributors because they were phenomenal, and they pledge to continue assisting. Kenneth A Gomez [insurance] is also on board and generally, it was much better in terms of the organisation than the first one,” he said.
A total of 43 walkers took part in the competition which was sponsored by Crab Hole Liquors and Mega Distributors. It took competitors along a route between the two establishments. There was also support from Dr. Philmore Benjamin, Gunthropes Spring Water, Cutie’s Restaurant, LCD Tools and More, Kenneth A Gomez and Sons, and Spencer’s Service Centre.
In a surprise raffle following the event, Oliver Glasford won a gift basket for being the oldest walker while Mary Fabian won a case of malt.