Paul Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Western Bureau:Jamaican Gregory McKenzie won the 13th staging of the Reggae Marathon in Negril yesterday, ahead of two British runners who chased him all the way from the start.
McKenzie, running unattached, completed the course in two hours 40 minutes and 45 seconds, while Mark Neeld, 2:56:52 was second and compatriot Karl Baker, third in 3:01:11.
On the female side, Elina Junnila of Finland was first place in 3:00:04 with Jamaican runner Elizabeth Mondon grabbing second in 3:07:57. Third place went to Germany's Franziska Schneider in 3:38:51.
'a good race'
McKenzie was overjoyed with his performance.
"It was a good race, the weather was fine and although I wasn't pushed I felt like I had real competition, so I am happy with the win," he said.
Meanwhile, Damian Bent, who won the half marathon last year, captured the 10K in 32:04. Jamaicans Obrien Crith, 32:49, and Larone Haye, 33:00, completed a local sweep of the medal positions.
American Brittney Sheffey won the women's 10K in 37:03 ahead of Jamaicans Danielle James (39:06) and Shanieke Watson, 39:33.
Jamaica had a one-two finish in the men's half marathon, as Kevin Campbell won easily in 1:14:17. Kemar Leslie was second in 1:15:19, with American Bryan Huberty third in 1:15:56.
On the women's side, Sweden's Outi Ben Ammars won in 1:30:14 from Jamaica's Janetta Robinson, 1:43:22, and American Stephanie Webber, 1:43:26.
Meanwhile, St Jago High's team of Larone Haye, Cavahn McKenzie, Thaleeto Green, Keenon Lawrence, and Navasky Anderson was the top school with a combined time of 2:53:26. Holmwood Technical were second and third went to Bellefield High School.
Assistant race director, Delrose Campbell, said the event was a huge success and that it was key to the country's sports tourism master plan.
"It was an amazing marathon. From the participants' perspective, it was clearly the largest we have ever had. More than 1,800 registered for the event," Campbell said.
"I think we are up some 40 per cent in terms of participation and the mood was superb, the organisation went very well and we are really proud of that."