Sports — 16 December 2014
Belizeans sweep, Leon O’Brien is Placencia Half Marathon 2014 Champion

BELIZE CITY–Placencia Half Marathon, 13.1 miles

Mexican Andy Gonzalez did not return on Sunday, December 7, to defend his “End of the World” Placencia Half Marathon crown, which he won last year in 1:15:09; but he probably “smelled the rat,” for Belize’s premier half-marathon runner, Leon O’Brien, who was second to Gonzalez last year in 1:16:54, returned with a vengeance to take the championship in this his second time contesting the event. Despite running without close competition this year, O’Brien, 28 yrs, still managed to shave some 43 seconds off his time from last year, to come in alone in first place with a time of 1:16:11, almost 4 minutes ahead of his nearest competitor, fellow Belizean Kenrick Duncan, 30 yrs, who completed the run in 1:20:28 for 2nd place. He was followed in 3rd place by another Belizean, Amed Figueroa, 23 yrs, who clocked 1:35:46. Some 122 runners, 77 males and 45 females from various age categories and nationalities completed this year’s event. The oldest finisher was Belize’s Sebastian “Sabe” Nunez, 61 yrs, who did it in 2:38:52.

We also observed that in the 50-59 age category of the Half Marathon, highest overall finisher was repeat winner Reg Willick, 52 yrs, of Saskatoon, SK, Canada, in 1:37:52; 2nd was Belizean Patrick Palacio, 50 yrs, in 1:44:14; and 3rd another Belizean Anthony “Ladies” Flores, 54 yrs (he is mistakenly posted at 34 yrs) in 1:49:40.

In the female category of the Half Marathon, Belize’s Jamie Usher, 36 yrs, finished 3rd overall in 1:49:45, behind 1st place Silvana Rasch Chinchilla, 39 yrs, of Oakland, Gt in 1:37:24, and 2nd place Wendy Sealy, 50 yrs, of Woodbridge, Gb in 1:40:40.

Placencia Marathon, 26.2 miles

Belizeans also figured prominently in the Placencia Marathon, held on the same day, with 15 male and 16 female participants. Reigning Lionman Triathlon champion Kent Gabourel, 34 yrs, who was 2nd in last year’s Placencia Marathon in 3:25:35, behind Vladamir Gonzalez of Chetumal (3:00:07), was again 2nd this year, but his time improved tremendously to 3:17:15. This year the winner was Wojciech Kopec, 28 yrs, of Poland, who finished in 2:50:30. And 3rd was Tim Christoni, 46 yrs, of Rancho Cucamonga, CA, in 3:21:43.

Belizean female Kerah Eiley, 32 yrs, also improved her time significantly this year, while repeating her 3rd place overall finish in the Placencia Marathon. Kerah had completed the journey last year in 4:34:28, but this year she got it down to 4:15:53, almost 20 minutes quicker. This year’s winner was Robyn Dodge, 31 yrs, of Austin, TX; and 2nd was Suzanne Krediet, 44 yrs, of Sainghin En Weppes, Fr, in 3:51:42.

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