The top three adult teams (Milton Pieters photo).
PHILIPSBURG--French-side club SXM Tri Academie won the 36th St. Maarten Around the Island Relay Race on Saturday in a record time of 2:10:08 to beat SXtreme Runners into second place with a time of 2:14:53.
Third place went to the DET-SXM Dutch Marines in 2:21:11. It was a valiant effort by SXTreme Runners to bounce back into strong contention after their disqualification last year. This year the course was run clockwise. The only change in the course was leaving out Mount William Hill for runners to go the other way around by Defiance Haven and Sucker Garden. SXM Tri Academie carved out a big lead after a strong showing from SXTreme Runners in the early three legs. Tri Academie had world class triathlete Remi Conte on their team who ran leg six but team Captain Erwan Gentil denied Conte gave the team any particular advantage. “Everyone on the team was on super good form. Each one of us was a secret weapon,” joked Gentil. Conte, who began his triathlon career with SXM Tri Academie is here on holiday until November 25. There was a close see-saw battle between the Dutch marines and St. Maarten Road Runners 1 Team, with just one minute separating the two. Inter Generation Runners usually in the top five results were not see this year as a complete team. It was understood some of the their runners joined the French firefighters team (Sapeur-pompiers) The race saw three pre-junior teams and seven to eight junior teams participating. Dynamics was the first Junior team to place (7th overall) in 2:34:44 and Avenir Sportif Club de Saint-Martin was first pre-junior finished in 13th place in 2:51:36. The Over 60s team Dr. G and the Pacemakers as usual started one hour earlier than everyone else at 6:00am. Each team member, including the oldest Paul Steeman at 87 and the youngest Mike Veira at 62 completed their legs. The sad news is that this is the last year that Dr. Grace Spencer is organising the team which has been a feature of the race for many years under different names. The year the team chose to add “unplugged” to their T-Shirts. The future is therefore uncertain. The Remarkable Feet (feat) Award was presented appropriately to Grace Spencer. The Best Dressed team was a tie between RYU Training Clubs 1 and 2. The win went to the team in the red head bands after a dance-off to see who had the best moves. Some 50 teams participated in the relay race this year organised by St. Maarten Roadrunners, three more than last year