A record 118 runners have signed up for the 2018 KPMG Tortola Torture. This year sees 47 individuals, 12 two-person and 17 three-person teams on the entry list. The number of individuals and two-person teams has doubled over last year.
Twenty six of this year’s competitors are from overseas: 11 from USA, 8 from St Croix, 6 from Puerto Rico, 3 from Turks & Caicos, 2 from the UK, and 1 from Trinidad & Tobago.
Eric Senseman, a pro runner, set the benchmark time (overall and men’s) of 04:45:05 in the 2016 KPMG Tortola Torture. Last year’s race winner, Bree Thorpe, set the new women’s record of 04:58:26.
US ultrarunner Avery Collins is the favourite to win this year. Avery recently won the HURT 100 held in the hills above Honolulu (Oahu, Hawaii). He knocked off the 100 mile race in 21 hours and 44 minutes.
An accomplished ultra runner from Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Avery’s 2017 race wins included the Grindstone 100 Mile Ultramarathon (18:40:37) with an incredible 46,000 feet of elevation change, the 70-mile Georgia Death Race (11:58:19) with 28,000 feet of elevation change, the Quest for the Crest 50k Ultramarathon (6:45:50) in the Black Mountains of Western North Carolina with 23,000 feet of elevation change, and the Continental Divide 50k Ultramarathon (4:18:00) in Steamboat Springs, Colorado – the event with the closest distance to the KPMG Tortola Torture.
He was sixth in the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run which takes competitors from Squaw Valley, Utah, to Auburn, California with 18,090 feet of elevation gain and 22,970 feet of descent.
Avery will be joined by his girlfriend Sabrina Stanley who is no slouch either. She was 14th overall in this year’s HURT 100 with a time of 29:45:04, 21st overall in the 2107 Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run, and 18th overall in the Run Rabbit Run – 100 Mile Hares in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
However, local pundits are predicting that local runner Clifton Struiken, who is currently on very good form, will give Avery a run for his money and is in contention for the title.
Nick Accardo from New Orleans, winner of the 2016 LUR’s Bobcat Bait 50K in Mandeville, Louisiana, with a time of 04:27:00, will be a strong competitor too. In September 2017, he completed the NorthCoast 24-Hour Endurance Run in 69.694.
A contingent from Puerto Rico – Alberto Saldana, Kai Griebenow, Alondra Maldonado, Andrea Moya, Francisco Cruz, and Keila Rivas – will all be taking the Torture challenge for the first time.
Alberto Saldana is considered one of the top trail runners in Puerto Rico. He is the first runner from his region to compete in the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship. He went undefeated in his age group in the 2012 XTERRA Puerto Rico Trail Run Series. He placed 8th in his age group at the 2012 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship in Utah.
65-year old Rob Wolfe from Florida returns after competing for the first time last year with a finishing time of 7:48:14.
Jessica Carter, winner of this year’s St Croix Scenic 50, joins the fray. She knocked off the 50 miles in 8:49:49.
Lynne Robinson from the Turks & Caicos is celebrating her 50th birthday by competing this year. She ran 3000 miles last year.
Mike and Bridget Klein from St Croix are returning again. Bridget won the 2015 event and set the women’ record of 05:25:59. Mike is running as an individual while Bridget has joined fellow Crucian ladies Allison Janusziew and Julie Sommer to form Crucian Sole Sisters .
Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Grist from The Rifles and Major Tom Lilleyman, Royal Engineers, are competing this year. Both men were key players in the recovery efforts of Op RUMAN post-Irma. Charlie’s job was to help ensure the airport was open and then work with the Governor to ensure he had the right military support in the islands. Tom, and his Combat Engineers, helped with many facets of power restoration and preservation.
Both men will be running against each other as two teams, with both men using Maria Mays as their first runner.
The three-person team record (04:58:06) is up for grabs this year. Last year’s record-setting team Three De Hard Way comprising Julius Farley, Reuben Stoby, and Rose Johnson, has disbanded with Julius and Rose competing individually this year. The third member, Reuben Stoby, has teamed up for Paul and Anjali Mellor to make Two Fast One Furious .
The event continues its ban of disposable bottles on the race course this year. Competitors and supporters are urged to support the initiative and help work to keep Natures Little Secrets beautiful for future generations. A time penalty of 20 minutes will be levied on any competitor breaching the race rules and using disposable bottles during the race. Supporters are asked to assist by giving out reusable bottles or offering refills from the refillable bottles.
The KPMG Tortola Torture is a 33.74 mile (54km) race that circumnavigates Tortola with only 22% on the flat, the rest is on hot and humid hills with 12,000 feet of elevation change. The steepest gradient is 33.33%.
“After that easy 10, the race begins a series of relentless, incredibly steep, and constant series of climbs and descents, that systemically squash your soul. And, this goes on until the very last mile,” said Christian Griffith after his first outing in the race.
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.
The BVI Tourist Board, is the international promotion partner. Guinness and Baileys are the official finish line drinks, and Gatorade, the on-course hydration sponsor.
The race is also supported by a number of members of the local community including Dr Annalise Lawton, from VI Health Authority, and VISAR, who will all be offering medical support if needed. A number of the members of the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship are also donating their time and expertise.