On Sunday, twenty-two runners shook off the cobwebs of the Christmas festivities in the Mourant Ring Of Fire – a short but sharp 7.78 mile run with 4,760 feet of elevation change. The course saw the runners start in Brewer’s Bay, run up to Sage Mountain and loop back to Brewer’s Bay.

Julius Farley and Jermaine “JJ” Ricketts finished the race together with a blistering time of 1:13:20. They battled with Sam Thompson in the ascent to Sage Mountain, but pulled away on the fast descent back to sea level. “We did a lot of the Ridge Road back together, then he [Julius] kicked on after Rudy’s,” said Sam who was third with a time of 1:15:43.

Sarah Latham took the 10-strong ladies division with a time of 1:34:24, and was eighth overall. Vicki Francis was second, just pipping Lizanne Havenga to the post at the finish.

The 1.5 mile uphill slog out of Brewer’s Bay which starts with a gradient of 24% and averages 12.5% kept the pack close together. But the runners spread out along the undulating run along the Ridge Road up to Sage Mountain which features a couple of fruity 30% kicks to the top of the course. Overcast conditions and a sprinkling of rain eased the pain for the runners but made the descent back to sea-level the descent a little treacherous at times.

Mourant Ring Of Fire winners - Julius Farley and Jermaine "JJ" Ricketts
Mourant Ring Of Fire winners – Julius Farley and Jermaine “JJ” Ricketts

“It was cool going up out of Brewer’s Bay and on to Sage but bit difficult close to the top,” said JJ. “ It was smooth sailing on the way back except for two little slopes after coming down from Sage and the very steep and wet part heading down into Brewer’s but it was fun and a wonderful turn out.”

Jermaine “JJ” Ricketts

The Mourant Ring Of Fire is part of the Tortola Torture Triple, a series of three feeder races for the Tortola Torture ultramarathon on April 15. Next up is the Teneo Prison Break on February 5, a longer race at 9.81 miles but with less elevation change at 3,400 feet. This is followed by the KPMG West End Wobbler on March 5, a more challenging 13.48 mile race with 10,600 feet of elevation change.

Tortola Torture entry fee is currently $150/person. Entry fees includes: finisher’s medal; event t-shirt; Tortola Torture Triple entry; HydraPak SpeedCup; six environmental-friendly water stops; post-race swim in Caribbean Sea and party.

The Tortola Torture Triple is open to any runners. Entry fee for the next two races is $20 per race.

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 will win 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 will earn the KPMG Sprint Award.

Nora Hazel Point (NHP), a luxury private estate on Tortola, is a gold sponsor.  NHP is providing two awards: Nora Hazel Point Second Half Award for fastest time from half way mark (Sage Mtn) to finish; and the Nora Hazel Point Corporate Cup for the top 2 and 3 person teams (must all be employees of same company).

The Tortola Torture banned the use of disposable bottles on the race course in 2017. By using reusable five-gallon jugs and coolers, organisers eliminate the use of over 1,200 half litre bottles.