When the gun went off at Faleasi’u early on Saturday, 48 year old Darren Young allowed two young runners to set the pace of the Sheraton Samoa Independence National Half Marathon.
When those two tired out at half point in Fale’ula, the veteran marathon performer took over. He’s calculating like that. Almost as though he toyed with his victims like a game of cat and mouse. Or was it experience on his part and inexperience from the other runners.
In the end it didn’t matter. The most and well prepared runner ran away with a nice victory. This is number who knows how many Half Marathon races Darren has won in Samoa. He holds the official record in Samoa for the distance. His first win was last century. That is how long this guy has been running. And you cannot help but gather a lot of experience along the way.
Darren’s time of 1hr 36mins 03secs is 15 minutes off the race record that he set over 20yrs ago.
Ariane Stevenson, Samoa’s premier woman runner at present did the same. A tidy run to break the 2-hr mark. That was Ariane’s goal for this race and she achieved it with ease with a time of 1:48:56. Mind you an early start at 6am helped all runners get great times.
The other wonder woman in that race is 33 year old Bridget Crichton who raced her first Half Marathon in Samoa. She broke the 4 hour mark at 3:58 flat, much to her amazement that she could run that distance at short notice.
In the Ford 10KM Theresa Philips got the win over good friend and running partner Aleka Freijah who finished third. Kat Riley arrived second. A sub-hour time for all three women.
In the men’s race from Fale’ula, it was national representative Tini Lapalii Alama who claimed the win, as he should have. Tini, who is coached by Darren Young broke 40mins for the distance.
The ANZ 6km distance was a great race from ANZ Vaitele to Sheraton Aggie Grey’s hotel. Susie Poort won that race and rightly so being the super wife of ANZ CEO Bernie Poort. Henry Smith, a good Samoan name, won the men’s race.
In the SSAB 4km dash young Quentin Lauaki – another good name in Samoan Independence celebrations – claimed a great victory in the shortest distance. He set the course record at 17mins 34secs.
The next Samoa Events Half Marathon is n Lalomanu next month, July 15th.