‘Fit like a Fiddle’ Dayne Graham devises perfect plan for High Mountain 10K
High Mountain Coffee Road Race 10K champion Dayne Graham said he had been plotting and training to defeat last year's winner, Andrew Brodeur, for the last two years.
Graham watched the American walk away with the top prize for two consecutive years.
"For the last two years, I have been training and telling myself that I am going to come for that white guy big and serious, and I know that I was going to beat him because I need it. I know I was going to beat him because I have the energy, and everything and I did. I beat him today," said Graham.
"Nobody expected me to win, but I was confident in myself to know that I was going to win this race, no ifs, no buts. I know my feet are working and I am fit and in very good condition. That's why I won this race," he said.
St Jago youngster Phaleetio Green led most of the journey up the hill, closely pursued by Broduer, who eventually passed him at the top of the hill and was eventually joined by Graham for the downhill trek.
Graham and Brodeur stayed together for another two kilometres before Graham started making distance between them. By the time they left Kendal, Graham was almost 100m ahead of the defending champion, with about two kilometres to go.
The St Mary native, showing remarkable energy and stamina, maintained his pace to finish in 32.28 minutes, 15 seconds, ahead of Kirk Brown (32.43), who overtook Broduer (32.44) on the final stretch to claim second.
ALWAYS IN CONTROL
Graham, who was third in 2015 and fourth in 2014, said that the American never gave him the challenge he expected and that he was always in control of the race.
"I stayed with him; I had him. At one time, I had to give him some water because he didn't have any water. I even 'buss' (opened) the water for him. I just had the race my way because I need it. I stayed beside him like I was tracking (jogging), and I had him from there as I saw that I could give a strong finish and take it.
"Up on the hill, I saw I could handle him. When I was going downhill to the flat, I knew I would get him there because I am good there, and that is where I conquered him," he said.
Graham also had a lot of encouragement from the locals, especially females, on his way to victory.
"The policeman (race guide) helped me a lot and I respect that," he noted.
Graham has been racing on the circuit for the last three years. His first success came in the 2015 Reggae Marathon, and Sunday's win was the biggest of the 29-year-old's career.
"I have been doing it for three years. Never went to any big high school, but I just run same way. Then I linked up with Andrew Gutzmore, and he made me run some 5Ks until I got perfect, and right now, I am fit like a fiddle, so I won't stop," he said.
Broduer, who flew in the day before, offered no excuses.
"It was a little more pressure going in, winning the last couple of years. But it's anybody's race on any day," he said.
"They were just better. They had a lot better strategy going in and they executed perfectly. They did awesome," Brodeur continued. "Usually, I have a little more spring in my step at about five or six K as that is where a winner makes his move, but all that room between me (and Graham) and I just had nothing to respond with. I was surprised to be in that position as I thought I was in much better shape."