Seventeen individual runners completed the 34-mile 2023 Tortola Torture with David Lim winning in a time of 4 hours and 53 minutes, giving him a top three ranking for finish times since the race started in 2015. Michelle Slade, won the women’s division with a time of 7 hours and 53 minutes; a deceptively young 60, Michelle also earned the title of oldest woman to compete to date, let alone win.
Mark Stephenson was second (6:58:31.2) in the men’s division and Sergio Dantas was third (7:01:27.2). Charlotte Hounsome was second woman in 8:04:38.9 and Margy Church was third (8:27:11.7).
Team Nora Hazel Point (Roddy and Kerry dos Santos) was the first 2-person team with time of 5 hours and 46 minutes; Team Lion Heart (Julius Farley, Jermaine “JJ” Rickets and Rose Johnson) were first 3-person team with a time of 5 hours and 6 minutes – 8 minutes shy of their 2017 record of 04:58:06. There were five 2-person, and three 3-person teams competing.
David came out of the gate fast and never really slowed his pace considering the growing heat. Team runners were dismayed to realise he was running alone as he reeled them in and spat them out. Julius Farley and Jermaine JJ Ricketts in the 3-person Team Lion Heart managed to hold him off until Sage Mountain, but by the next time check at George’s North Side after the descent into, and climb out of Brewer’s Bay, he was six minutes ahead.
This view-laden race starts before sunrise in Road Town, the capital of the British Virgin Islands, and winds its way clockwise around hills and coastline of Tortola to the finish line in Trellis Bay.
On her win, a surprised Michelle who hadn’t expected to complete the course, said: “The Tortola Torture was the most difficult run I have ever done, and the longest distance I have ever run. The hills didn’t bother me as I mostly run equal elevation at home in San Francisco but the grade of the hills, running in the extreme heat on pavement…well, it’s torture!
“Best part was the camaraderie, all the awesome cheering and ice cold towels and frozen grapes at the water stops. The volunteers rocked and the organization was world-class. Thanks to all of you who gave up your time so I could go running on one of the most beautiful islands in the world!”
Justin Smit and Greg O’Keefe Davis ran a Double Torture (68 miles/108km) raising $10,000 for PAW BVI a non-profit organisation that aims to reduce the number of stray, abandoned and unwanted cats in the BVI, through a spay/neuter programme.
This year saw the introduction of some special awards:
|KPMG Sprint Award – Start to West End||Julius Farley||1:08:14.5|
|Teneo KOM Award – Stoutt’s Lookout to Sage Mountain||David Lim||25:03.6|
|Teneo QOM Award – Stoutt’s Lookout to Sage Mountain||Carli Human||31:38.3|
|Nora Hazel Point Second Half Award – Sage Mountain to finish||David Lim||2:31:03|
|Nora Hazel Point Corporate Cup – 2-person team||Team NHP (Roddy and Kerry dos Santos)||5:46:25.3|
|Nora Hazel Point Corporate Cup – 3-person team||Ten Out Of Teneo (Christian Fay – Lizanne Havenga – Chris Farmer)||6:42:53.4|
The Tortola Torture is open to individuals, 2-person, and 3-person relay teams. It’s a 33.74 mile (54km) ultramarathon that circumnavigates Tortola with only 22% on the flat and the rest on hot and humid hills with 12,000 feet of elevation change. The steepest gradient is 33.33%. It has 6,587 feet of climbing over 12.8 miles, and 13.1 miles of descent. There is only 7.5 miles of flat running for the entire course.
Avery Collins from Colorado set a new record in the 2018 Tortola Torture. With a time of 4:35:47, Avery took a handsome nine minutes and 18 seconds off Eric Senseman’s 2016 record-setting time (04:45:05).
VISAR (Virgin Islands Search & Rescue) provides medical on-course medical support.
Mourant, platinum sponsor, is a leading offshore law firm, advising on the laws of the BVI, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey and Jersey.
Teneo, another platinum sponsor, provides full-service financial advisory, with a specialist expertise in cross-border restructuring and insolvency assignments. Fastest time to Sage Mountain from Stoutt’s Lookout Aid Station won the Teneo KOM Award.
KPMG, another platinum sponsor, provides audit, tax and advisory services together with industry insight. Fastest time from start to West End Aid Station earned the KPMG Sprint Award.
Nora Hazel Point (NHP), a luxury private estate on Tortola, is a gold sponsor. NHP is provided two awards: Nora Hazel Point Second Half Award for fastest time from half way mark (Sage Mountain) to finish; and the Nora Hazel Point Corporate Cup for the top 2 and 3 person teams (must all be employees of same company).
TICO was the official beverage sponsor and their post-race drink selection included Aperol Spritzer freeze pops.
The Tortola Torture banned the use of disposable bottles on the race course in 2017. By using reusable five-gallon jugs and coolers, organisers eliminated the use of over 1,200 half litre bottles at the six aid stations on the course. All racers were given a reusable HydraPak SpeedCup for use on the course.