With last year’s record-setting Eric Senseman not returning to defend his title, the field is wide open for the 2017 KPMG Tortola Torture. Eric, a pro runner with SCOTT, set the new benchmark time of 04:45:05 in last year’s KPMG Tortola Torture.
“I’m bummed. I definitely plan to be back next year though,” Eric said, on his inability to return to defend his title this year.
Last year’s second place man, Vincent Fournier, is the favourite to grab the crown, but finishing 39 minutes behind Eric last year, it’s unlikely that the course record is in jeopardy.
This year sees 26 individuals, 7 two-person and 15 three-person teams competing.
Bridget Klein from St Croix currently holds the women’s record with a time of 5:25:59 which she set in in 2015. She is also not returning to defend her women’s crown but will be here to support her husband, Mike Klein, with their new baby. Mike came second in 2015.
Bree Ray visiting from Las Vegas is confident she can wrestle the record from Bridget. However, she will will be facing stiff competition from Maria Mays, who is particularly strong on the hills and knows the course well, having the home advantage.
Philomena Robinson recently posted on instagram: “Swore I’d never do @tortolatorture again so why am I eagerly anticipating round three of this killer race? Must be the prospect of completing my 20th marathon.”
Famed ultrarunner Jenn Shelton will be on the course to cheer them on, but will not be competing after breaking her leg skiing recently.
Guy Williamson and Roddy dos Santos hold the two-person team record with a time of 05:12:19. We can expect a tough battle between Pimp My Stride (Maria Mays and Karen Fraser) and Baby Got Track (Jacques Roux and Rebecca Paull) for their record. Baby Got Track may have the edge having raced this event as a team before, clocking an impressive time of 05:33:42 last year.
The Demon Deacons (Mike Ennis, Michael Killourhy, Julius Farley) hold the three-person team record with a time of 05:03:44 set last year. Expect fireworks and a tough battle this year as Julius Farley has defected to Three De Hard Way making a very strong team with Reuben Stoby and Rosmund Johnson. Anna Kinkead rejoins the Demon Deacons with Michael Killourhy and Mickey Ennis. The Tortured (Shane Donovan, Matthew Freeman, Juliane Potgeiter) look to be a strong team too.
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 last year’s race. However, he is returning to destroy his 2017 time after gaining fame on the History Channel’s The Selection.
The KPMG Tortola Torture is open to individuals, two-person, and three-person relay teams.
Greening The Event
The event has banned disposable bottles on the race course this year. With the event falling in Earth Day this will fit with many restaurants in the territory also trying to avoid small disposable plastics which do not decompose, clog landfills, and end up in the ocean.
Each competitor is being supplied with two reusable, refillable, foldable water bottles, and are encouraged to wear personal hydration devices too. Each of the six water stops will be stocked with 5-gallon coolers for refills.
Competitors and supporters are urged to support the initiative and help work to keep Nature’s 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.
Sponsors & Awards
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 presents the “Best Second Half Award” for the best performance from Sage Mountain to the finish at Trellis Bay.