John Donaldson of Grace Kennedy used his experience and skills to outmaneuver
the rest of the field in the CariFin Chancellor Hill Challenge to register his second win in the three running events of the CariFin Urban challenge. This took place on Wednesday April 27, 2011 on Lady Chancellor Hill. Esla Anthony of CBTT seems to favour the combination of the tough hill and rainy conditions as she pulled away easily from the other females. No one was able to stay with her to present any kind of real challenge, thus giving her a 2 out of 3 ratio in the end.
It was an evening that was quite good actually for the pleasant pursuit of running, with overcast conditions and a light shifting breeze. But the signs of the changing weather conditions were always present as it showed itself for the whole day… the raincloud seemed no longer able to contain itself and finally burst open. This, to the chagrin of the newbie and weekend warrior, but perfect for the experienced and more consistent participant.
For Donaldson to earn the prestigious Urban Challenge trophy and be recognized as the champion among the runners of the financial services in the Urban Challenge for 2011 he had to bag Chancellor Hill. This was unlike his previous journey or foray of this CariFin title when it had eluded him. To say the least the four time CariFin Champion Nikosi Mc Leish would have made it difficult in the last 4 years, with him hanging up his running shoes in this event and only concentrating on the 3 laps loop at Sevilla for the CariFin Cross country. Nikosi ran this event in 12.09 in 2010 – 2 minutes 18 seconds faster than this year’s race won by Donaldson in 14.27.
It must be noted also that Mark Thomas was able to finish Chancellor in 2010 in 13.53 and this year for his 2nd place effort he could only run it in 14.56.
Donaldson’s quest for victory in the Urban Challenge 2011 was less daunting. He use a more strategized approach that bares the mark of a patient pursuer on the hunt aware of his prey’s ability. He was marking time to pounce as it were and take to the front, leveraging that experi- ence and skill to make sure he secured his objective.
Donaldson, more known for his early front running which fizzled at the end, played a waiting game this time. Finding the others out of gas made his assault on the title achievable.
The One lap savannah winner Mark Thomas was only able to follow it with a second place. He looked in pain from an injury sustained over the weekend But fighter as he is, he was able to fight through the pain to hold on to second place.
Central Bank’s Akeem Thomas filled 3rd spot on the hill showing he had more strength and determination on the incline than the RBC/RBTT pair of john Castagne and Anthony Cape. They had the better of him around the Savannah and at the Green Mile, taking 4th and 5th places respectively.
In the green mile Esla watched D’Arbasie’s back as she crossed the finish line in front of her as what could be described as one of the upsets of the Urban Challenge. Anthony on the hill would show her staying power eating up the 2 mile incline in 18.45. For the female is was more a reversal of placing as even the 4th place Chelsea Anne Phillip took 3rd place. Susan Russell the Green Mile 3rd place finisher occupying 4th place on the tougher Chancellor Hill course this time.
Last year’s 1st and 2nd winning times for females was 65 and 50 seconds faster than this year’s time done by Crystal Ann Awai and Salisha Julien respectively.