The Fidelity Fun Run Series always signals the resumption of the sports season after the summer lull and Saturday’s run went smoothly with its usual large turnout.
The first of the three 2-mile races also saw plenty of owners with their dogs and parents doubling up their baby-sitting duties with getting in a workout by pushing strollers.
The race loop, which attracted 148 participants, began on Walkers Road, opposite John Gray High School, onto South Church Street and finished on Denham Thompson Way.
Teenage speedster Dominic Dyer won in 10 minutes, 33 seconds, ahead of another talented teenager, Will Edwards (10:57). Third place went to Andrew Keast (11:03).
Delano Callender (11:22) was fourth and Tobias Muchene (11:30) fifth.
Joanna Mansi (12:27) was the first woman home, 12th overall and the second-fastest woman was Kiara McLaughlin (14:06), who struggled to finish.
Greg Meaker was the fastest dog owner. Richard Harrison and his sister Sian Hawkes both pushed their respective babies in their strollers. Harrison was proud of beating his sibling by over a minute, even though he claimed his stroller is more like “a big, clunky Skoda compared to her sleek, light Ferrari.”
Dyer won the series last year, aged only 15 in a battle with Dave Walker. “My win today was fairly comfortable, although I still had to work hard for it,” he said.
“I didn’t have any real strategy. I just wanted to get out to the front, enjoy the race, and cross the finish line first.”
Dyer was not particularly happy with his time, but on the day he did not feel he could have run much faster in the blazing sun as the competition was not fierce.
“Hopefully, over the next two weeks I can bring that time down and get close to 10 minutes by the final race.”
Dyer added, “The run was very well organized. It started on time, which I find very helpful as it allows me to time my warm up well.
“There was a great atmosphere and it was good to see so many people out there, whether they were running it competitively, out there to stay fit or just to enjoy the morning with their friends.”
Dyer also likes the fact that the runs are on three consecutive weekends and competitors can try to better their previous times.
He said he was “pretty disappointed that the likes of Dave Walker and Marius Acker weren’t there.”
Dyer relishes competition. He claims he would much rather run a fast 10 minutes and come 12th, than run the 10:33 he did – and come first.
“I find that is one of the toughest problems living here, as it is difficult to progress with nobody to push you.”
Will Edwards is Dyer’s main training partner. They are coached with the Middle Distance Runners club under Race Caribbean’s Derek Larner, who is a world-class master’s runner.
Dyer won a bronze medal in the 3,000 meters at the CARIFTAs this year and expectations are that he will medal again next Easter.
Dyer thinks MDR teammate Tahj Lewis “will do well in the 800m, with it being his last CARIFTA and he has a great chance for the gold medal.”
Dyer also tips Edwards to possibly “get on the 3,000m podium with me.”
Dyer competed twice over the summer. Once in the 5,000m on the track at the Island Games in Jersey in late June when he ran a personal best of 16:09. Then he took a three week break and started his new season with a 5K on the road in New Zealand, and ran 16:20.