FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Patrice Malloy
Malloy Marketing Group
BALLANTYNE PERFORMS ENCORE WIN AT REGGAE MARATHON
NEGRIL, Jamaica (December 5, 2004) – Race headliner, Pamenos Ballantyne of
St. Vincent and the Grenadines, orchestrated his third victory at the
fourth annual Reggae Marathon held in Negril, Jamaica, on Saturday,
December 4, 2004.
Ballantyne, 29, the course record holder and 2001 and 2002 Reggae Marathon
champion, proved tough to beat as he cruised past Jamaican steel drum
bands, craft markets and ocean-front resorts for a Caribbean seaside win in
2:28:05. Arieta Martin of Jamaica won the women's division in 3:14:05. Both
champions earned prize money to the tune of USD $1,500.
Ballantyne, dubbed "King of the Caribbean Roads," by the media for his
monopoly of Caribbean island long-distance road race wins, ran the race's
early stages at a conservative 5:40-per mile-pace. Ballantyne initially
blended in with the pre-dawn pack of elite Jamaican marathoners and the
lead pact of the race's half marathon runners who shared the 5:15 a.m.
start and first 9.5 miles of the course.
Eventually emerging from the pack at the half-marathon turnaround point,
the trio of Ballantyne and Jamaicans Phillip Edwards and Andrew Gutzmore,
continued down the road to the towards Green Island, the marathon’s
turnaround marker. Deciding that it was now time for a solo act, Ballantyne
picked up the pace at the 16-mile mark leaving the rest of the field far
behind for a comfortable finish ahead of runner-up Edwards (2:41:09) and
third place finisher Gutzmore (2:42:06).
Ballantyne's finish time was over four minutes slower than his course
record of 2:21:05 set in 2002 and considerably slower than his 2:15:30 PR
set at the Trinidad and Tobago Marathon earlier this year.
"My objective was to win the race," said Ballantyne, who looked relaxed at
the finish line. "I did not want to run too hard because I want to win the
Organization of Eastern Caribbean States Half Marathon race next weekend,"
said Ballantyne, who has won the race nine years in a row. Ballantyne, who
does his speed work on a 375-meter grass field normally used for cricket
and soccer games, has won the Barbados Marathon twice and the Trinidad and
Tobago Marathon seven times.
Arieta Martin, 24, who was taking part in her third marathon, led the
women's field wire-to-wire and finished well ahead of second-place finisher
Kathy Waldron of Green Bay, Wisconsin (3:19:25) and third woman Mimmi
Andersson of Sweden (3:32:36.) Martin's winning 3:14:05 time was a personal
best despite a nagging groin injury.
Jeremy Borling, 24, a journalist from Chicago, won the Reggae Half Marathon
in a course record-setting time of 1:11:30 in his third attempt at the
distance. Jamaican Tamica Thomas, 18, won the women’s division in 1:29:45.
To the casual reggae-loving participant, the effects of Hurricane Ivan on
the race were barely noticeable. The savage storm that rocked the island
last September did, however, wipe out the island's entire banana crop.
"Yes, we have no bananas," joked Assistant Race Director Gina Harrison,
referencing the catchy classic tune by that title. Not a finish line party
fiasco by any means, one smiling race participant summed up the absence of
the staple post-race fruit as, "No problem, mon."