The competition was fierce in the annual Women Race, held Sunday by the Women’s Coalition of St. Croix, and women took a backseat to no one, staging a spirited stretch run that saw the top female finisher come in fourth overall.
It was the first time men were allowed to compete in the annual event – and according to the coalition’s website it will be the last for awhile. But though the men took the top spots, the women were in the thick of things.
At least three former winners of the race were in the mix.
Ninfa Barnard, the V.I. national team member and defending champion, fought for the overall lead in the early stages of the race, which was eventually won by Juan Robles, a member of the V.I. National track and field team. Robles’ winning time was 8:27.
Past winner and 2013 V.I. half-marathon champion Ruth Ann David and V.I. marathon champion Bridget Campbell-Klein both reached the halfway point in a group of six.
Barnard took the women’s title with a time of 9:12, just two seconds behind the overall third place finisher, Atenhai Roacher.
Malique Smith took second overall in a time of 8:56.
Campbell-Klein hung on for second in the women’s division with a time of 9:54, clipping David, who finished third among the women in 9:57.
The field of more than 500 entrants yielded 382 official finishers, 280 women and 102 men.
The race started at Fort Frederik and continued on the historic King Street and finished in front of the Custom’s House.
The Women Race is held both to focus community attention on domestic violence and to offer women of all ages an opportunity to come together in a spirit of friendly competition and achievement.