The inaugural St. Croix Scenic 50-mile ultra-marathon began at 4 a.m. and ended just before 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 24, and was hosted by The Buccaneer. Local runner James Dean set the course record at an impressive 8 hours 40 minutes and 23 seconds for the 50-mile course from Christiansted over the Scenic Drive to Frederiksted and back, finishing at The Buccaneer. Second and third place were taken by locals Bob Halk (10:31:43) and Mike Klein (10:47:40) with fourth place going to Rob Wolfe (11:11:43) from Key West, Florida.
Two local women, Carol Murphy and Amanda Warehime, entered the race and ran the first 43+ miles together. During the final stretch, Carol Murphy pulled ahead and set the women’s course record at 11 hours 43 minutes and 49 seconds. Amanda finished second for the women (12:45:41).
There were a total of 12 runners at the start, 10 of whom finished, including locals Scott Fricks (11:35:22), Roger Hatfield (12:58:49) and Raymond Lutz (14:14:13).
Also making it to the finish was Todd Crandell (12:13:43) from Ohio, founder and executive director of Racing for Recovery™, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit foundation with the mission of preventing substance abuse in adolescents and adults, offering a positive alternative to those currently battling addiction. Crandell uses endurance sports to convey one important message: “With sobriety anything is possible.” On Monday morning after the race, he met with residents at The Village VI Partners in Recovery to encourage their choice to be sober.
Crandell’s visit and the run were made possible by the St. Croix Scenic 50’s host The Buccaneer; sponsors: Bohlke International Airways, IB Designs, VI PACE runners, ZombieRunner.com, St. Croix Rescue, Emergency Medical Services, the UVI Division of Nursing and SCUFA; and dozens of local volunteers from the sporting community. The volunteers were stationed every five to six miles along the course with food, cold drinks and lots of encouragement as the runners traveled the 50-mile course, climbing and descending a total of approximately 4,700 feet of elevation.
With the finish line right on Mermaid Beach at The Buccaneer, most participants did not stop long at the finish line before heading straight into water for a refreshing dip. At sunset, everyone was accounted for and participants gathered at the Mermaid Restaurant for an awards dinner. The volunteers and spectators were in awe, and the athletes beamed with their accomplishment. St. Croix has distinguished itself once again as an endurance sporting paradise, which now boasts an ultra-marathon that is as challenging as it is beautiful. Web site: www.stcroix50.com