Pro runner with SCOTT, Eric Senseman, set the new benchmark time of 04:45:05 in the second annual KPMG Tortola Torture with a new course that added two miles and 500 feet of climbing to last year’s. He joined 84 runners on the 33.74 mile course including 28 other individuals.
Virgin Gorda resident Vincent Fournier was second home with a time of 05:24:03, following by last year’s race winner Bridget Klein from St Croix. She held onto her women’s crown with a time of 05:38:55. They were the only three individuals to finish sub-six hours.
[pullquote align=”full” “color=”#808080″ size=”24″ cite=”Eric Senseman”]The Tortola Torture was truly a first-rate race: well organized, scenic, and challenging. It was a real pleasure to spend the morning circumnavigating the island of Tortola while taking in views of the nearby islands and transparent blue water. The course is certainly one for road runners, as it’s almost entirely on pavement, and its steep climbs and descents pose a great challenge. The heat and humidity greatly add to the course’s difficulty, making it a real challenge to complete what might otherwise be a reasonably tame course. [For a pro athlete – Ed]. Ultimately, I think it could well become a premier event that draws large, competitive fields. I hope to remain involved in future years!”[/pullquote]
Bridget Klein was awarded the Cape Air Best Descent Award running from Sage Mountain to Brewer’s Bay in 33:36. Vincent scooped up three other awards, taking the JEEP King Of The Mountain Award, climbing from Stoutt’s Lookout to Sage Mountain in 27:17; the Mourant Ozannes Best Second Half Award in 02:41:00; and the award for the Best Performance by a BVI resident. This was donated by Russell Crumpler in memory of his father.
Guy Williamson and Roddy dos Santos took the Two-Person Team category with a time of 05:12:19; Guy won the FuelBelt Sprint Award with a time of 01:19:56 from the start at the Tortola Sports Club to the first Aid Station at West End. Although not eligible for the Award, Reuben Stoby of Nanny Cay Massive, roared to West End in a time 01:07:12. Rebecca Paull and Jacques Roux were second with a time of 05:33:42 and the husband and wife team of Ben and Maria Mays were third at 05:47:37.
The Demon Deacons (Mike Ennis, Michael Killourhy, Julius Farley) held onto their 2015 Three-person Team title albeit with team leader Anna Kinkead replaced by Mike Ennis at the last minute. They recorded 05:03:44. VISAR (Mark Saunders, Paul Hubbard, Jude Holmes) was second and Anteaters (Chris Conway, Dick Morris, Gabriel Obregon), third.
Special hat tip to the two-Person team of Jenny McConnell and Richard Parchment. Jenny Started at midnight and handed over to Richard at the half way mark. Richard finished at 10:46am!
87 seven entered, and 84 started the 2016 Torture. Only four individuals retired, and all the teams completed the race.
This view-laden race started in Road Town, the capital of the British Virgin Islands, and wound its way clockwise around Tortola. The course took the runners along the flat south coast of Tortola with a stunning sunrise behind them, before heading around the off-road trails of Steele Point and Smuggler’s Cove, before joining the pavement again running along the north shore of Long Bay, Little Apple Bay past the infamous Bomba’s and Carrot Bay.
Leaving Carrot Bay, runners then started the long 2.7 mile climb from sea level to Sage Mountain, the highest point of the race at 1,523 feet. Runners then headed back down to sea level and into Brewer’s Bay before climbing back up to the top of Tortola where they joined the Ridge Road.
Running along the Ridge Road in the growing heat of the day, competitors headed to the east end of the island eventually descending down to Beef Island, home of the airport, taking a nasty little loop around Little Mountain, before finishing on the beach on front of De Loose Mongoose in Trellis Bay.
Runners were supported by an army of volunteers like the Filipino Association of British Virgin Islands that manned six water stops and roving support vehicles. VISAR and Pura Vida Chiropractics joined Dr Harlan Vanterpool in providing on-course medical cover. “Pop up” water stops appeared along the course from other spectators keen to get involved and help out.
The KPMG Tortola Torture is already affectionately referred to as “The Torture” by participants due to the distance, heat, humidity, and gradients, over the 12,000 feet of elevation change. The steepest gradient is 33.33%.
The KPMG Tortola Torture is open to individuals, two-person, and three-person relay teams.
Title sponsor KPMG provides audit, tax and advisory services together with industry insight to help organizations negotiate risks and perform in the dynamic and challenging environments in which they do business.
Mourant Ozannes, platinum sponsor, is a leading offshore law firm, advising on the laws of the BVI, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey and Jersey. It presented the “Best Second Half Award” for the best performance from Sage Mountain to the finish at Trellis Bay, and manned the water stop at Sage Mountain.
Cape Air presented the “Best Descent Award” from Sage Mountain to Brewer’s Bay; FuelBelt presented the “Fastest Sprint Award” from the start at the Tortola Sports Club to West End Aid Station; JEEP presented the “King Of The Mountain Award” from the Stoutt’s Lookout Aid Station to Sage Mountain.
Red Bull is the official energy drink; Highland Spring, the official water; ZootSports is the official apparel supplier; BVI Tourist Board, international promotion partner; and TherapyWorks, the official physical therapists.