Brown and Neal off to a good start in the PWC Cliffpath Series rankings (Words Jamie Ingrouille, Images Phil Nicolle)
2016’s PWC Cliffpath series began with a tough 6 Mile loop starting and finishing at Havelet. The sunny conditions were more favourable than that of last year’s equivalent race, leading to faster times across the board.
The race was led out by small group of five runners. South African Tiaan Erwee seemed to be race favourite after using the terrain to draw ahead of his competitors in the early stages. However, an unfortunate wrong turn negated his 30 second lead over then second-placed Esmond Brown. Brown, unaware of his sudden lead, dominated the return leg to win in 48:42. Aivis Kergalvis took second place in 51:40. A succession of closer finishes saw re-routed Tiaan Erwee take third, 7 seconds ahead of Ben Wilen who was in turn just ahead of James De Garis.
Nikki Neal put in a strong second half to reverse Laura McCarthy’s initial lead and win the women’s race in a time of 56:26. This was made even more impressive by the fact that Neal has only recently returned to the local running scene after a long-term injury. McCarthy finished in 57:14, and Chantal Green also dipped under the hour mark to become the third female finisher. Altogether, 19 people finished in under an hour, as compared to just 7 last year.
The second race of the series takes place on September 4th with the introduction of a new 8 Mile route that forms an extension of the popular Icart Loop- for more information, see here.