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Regardless Of Garb, Cruise To Runners Wrap Tour

Feb. 7, 2009 — With one guy wearing a tuxedo and another dressed as a fairy, this year's Cruise to Run brought out a whole cast of characters on its final leg through the Caribbean, which wrapped up Saturday on St. Thomas.
Lined up in front of the Crown Bay dock, a group of about 300 athletes from St. Thomas, along with visitors from all over the United States and Canada, were prepared to run the 5K course, which took them west toward the University of the Virgin Islands and back east to Inspection Lane before heading back to Crown Bay. The race, now in its third year, is sponsored by the Department of Tourism, in conjunction with the St. Thomas Association of Roadrunners.
"The first year we did the race, it was at the West Indian Co. Ltd. dock," said Tourism's Joryn Turnbull. "But this year and last year we have been working through Crown Bay, and it's been pretty good. Everybody's doing this for fun, and you can actually feel how upbeat they are — excited and ready to go. And each year as we go along, we figure out all the little kinks we need to get straightened out and get it right the next time."
The first to cross the finish line this year was St. Thomas' own Kyron Comea, with a time of 18:07. Comea said he wasn't aware the race was taking place until his Charlotte Amalie High School track coach called him bright and early Saturday morning.
"I was actually sleeping when my coach called," Comea said. "But it's definitely a great feeling, coming out here and winning. The race wasn't too difficult at all."
For many of the participants, St. Thomas was the last cruise stop on a multi-island running tour touted as "the ultimate runner's vacation."
"Today, I think the race was very well organized, and from a weather point of view, everything turned out really great," said Jean-Francois Lemay, of Calgary, Canada, who came in with a time of 29:30. "This was our fifth run, we also ran in Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua and Tortola, so this was really a great way to finish off the week. For this race, we were supposed to estimate at the beginning the time we thought we were going to run, and I missed the mark by three minutes. But I did my personal best, so forget it — that's great."
For fellow Canadian Tamatha-Lynn Southern, who came in with a time of 34:53, the island's sunshine was welcome change from the snow that she's used to.
"I thought the whole thing was great — fresh air, clean air, nice beach, I'm just loving it," Southern said. "With today's race, I really liked the roads, they were nice and clean with no potholes, and the people were very friendly, smiling and waving as we ran by.
"I'm very sad to say that this was our last run — looking around at this lush, green environment, it's sad to say I'm going back to snow. This was really great."
Check out the final results online.
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