New Yorker Bryan Morseman broke Marathon Bahamas’ record on Sunday, crossing the finish line in 2:27:35 to win the 10th running of the event out at Arawak Cay.
Also setting a new record was Spain’s Nacho Hernando in the half marathon. He ran 1:09:57, breaking the old record of 1:11:27 which was run by Jonathan Volpi in 2014.
Crossing the finishing line as the top overall female in the marathon was Katalin Nagy. Alice Henly, of Florida, was the top overall female for a second time in six years in the half marathon.
Morseman became the first athlete to finish the 26.7-mile course in under two hours and 30 minutes as he broke the previous record of 2:32:44, which was set by David Kilgore last year.
The race started at 6 a.m. at Junkanoo Beach.
Participating in his first Marathon Bahamas, Morseman said that the goal coming into the race was to win, and with the prize money involved, it added as an extra incentive.
Morseman, who resides in Bath, New York, said that the weather here in The Bahamas beats being back up north in the United States. The weather in Bath yesterday was five degrees Fahrenheit.
“I was happy with the time. I felt that I could have run 2:25, but the goal was to come in and win and get the course record. This is not my fastest time — I have run in 2:19 before,” he said.
The experienced marathon runner said this was his 100th marathon, and win number 67 for him. The father of three children under age seven and a full-time precious metal clerk said he has a very supportive wife at home. He said that the course is really beautiful and that calmed his nerves a bit.
“I love the snow, but this is a nice getaway. The course is really beautiful — very muggy and humid out there compared to what I am used to back home. The course is beautiful — definitely ran into a few hard parts like on mile 10 and 16 mentally. My stomach was giving me some pains and tightening up, so I slowed down a little bit and adjusted to how I felt. I felt better once I turned around and start to come back and in the last 10 miles I started to feel pretty good so I just rolled with it,” Morseman said.
Morseman said living in upstate New York, particularly in the winter, makes it difficult to train for race such as Marathon Bahamas.
“For this race, living in New York in the winter time makes it difficult to prepare for a race like this. You can’t go outside and run, so I had to use the treadmill to generate the heat faster than running outside in so many layers of clothes. That was how I trained for today,” he said.
Morseman hopes to return next year to participate and bring his family along as well.
Polish runner Bartosz Olszewski was second, in a time of 2:39:36. Behind him was American Ben Clarke, in a time of 3:00:29.
Nagy, who just moved to The Bahamas about six months ago, was the top female marathon runner yesterday. She said she is really happy with her time. She ran the race in a time of 3:12:46.
“I am happy with my time. It was really hot today. After 16 miles, I had really bad stomach issues. I have to say that the last eight or nine miles were hard for me. The last two miles were the hardest. I am happy because I won the race. My goal was under 3:10,” Nagy said.
This was her first time taking part in Marathon Bahamas. She said she used this race as practice for the 100-kilometer (K) National U.S Championships on April 2.
Nagy completed the 24-Hour Run World Championships in Italy in 2015 and earned the individual world championship title. In 2015, she won the Spartathlon in Greece. In 2017, Nagy became a bronze medalist at the 24-hour World Championship, helping her team to capture the gold.
Second to her at Marathon Bahamas was American Wanda Gau. Gau finished in a time of 3:17:12. In third position was Canadian Pascale Dubois, finishing in 3:18:47.
In the master’s male division, Bahamian Delroy Boothe won in a time of 3:08:51. Swiss Karen Sobrino finished the race in 3:21:47 to cart off the top master’s female prize.
Hernando was satisfied with his winning time in the half marathon.
“It felt very good, I never take a win for granted. A win is always a win. My goal today was to set the course record because I knew it was in the 1:11’s and I had to run faster than that. The weather was perfect. There was a little crosswind that kept hitting me on the face constantly so I had to push a little bit more than I was expecting. Overall, it felt great,” Hernando said.
Hernando said running is his passion. His full-time job is in sales for a company called Palacios that is one of his sponsors. He has been running for five years and wants to come back next year and run again.
Second to him was last year’s half marathon winner and Bahamian distance runner O’neil Williams. He ran the race in 1:17:24. He said this race was a learning experience.
“It doesn’t feel bad to come second. It was a learning experience. Every time you get into a race it is not a definite that you are going to win. You go in with that mindset to win, but if you don’t win you just use it as a learning experience. I won’t say I was happy with the time but I will say that it will improve. I am looking forward to bigger and faster races. I just need to get back focused,” Williams said.
Henly won the half marathon in the overall female division back in 2013 in a time of 1:20:35. This year, she won it in a time of 1:27:25.
The Fort Lauderdale, Florida, resident said she had to work harder for this one.
“I was a little bit faster and younger then. I felt like I had to work a little bit harder today to make sure that people weren’t on my tail since I was not quite as fast as I was then. I am really happy with my time – it was a little faster than I had planned on running,” Henly said.
The top master’s male was American Jeff Ross in a time of 1:32:23. For the top master’s female prize, American Manuela Lyons won in 1:38:48.
Winning the relays in the male division was R.M Bailey in a time of 3:03:12. The female division was won by Paradise Air Conditioning, in a time of 3:32:38.
Marathon Bahamas is a Boston Marathon qualifier, and climaxed the 2019 Sunshine Insurance Race Weekend. On Saturday, over 1,500 persons participated in the ninth running of the Susan G. Komen 5K Race for the Cure Bahamas. There was a total prize purse of $10,000 for Marathon Bahamas.