Field wide open for 2017 KPMG Tortola Torture
“I’m bummed. I definitely plan to be back next year though,” Eric said, on his inability to return to defend his title this year.
Last year’s second place man, Vincent Fournier, is the favourite to grab the crown, but finishing 39 minutes behind Eric last year, it’s unlikely that the course record is in jeopardy.
This year sees 26 individuals, 7 two-person and 15 three-person teams competing.
Bridget Klein from St Croix currently holds the women’s record with a time of 5:25:59 which she set in in 2015. She is also not returning to defend her women’s crown but will be here to support her husband, Mike Klein, with their new baby. Mike came second in 2015.
Bree Ray visiting from Las Vegas is confident she can wrestle the record from Bridget. However, she will be facing stiff competition from Maria Mays, who is particularly strong on the hills and knows the course well, having the home advantage.
Philomena Robinson recently posted on instagram: “Swore I’d never do @tortolatorture again so why am I eagerly anticipating round three of this killer race? Must be the prospect of completing my 20th marathon.”
Famed ultrarunner Jenn Shelton will be on the course to cheer them on, but will not be competing after breaking her leg skiing recently.
Guy Williamson and Roddy dos Santos hold the two-person team record with a time of 05:12:19. We can expect a tough battle between Pimp My Stride (Maria Mays and Karen Fraser) and Baby Got Track (Jacques Roux and Rebecca Paull) for their record. Baby Got Track may have the edge having raced this event as a team before, clocking an impressive time of 05:33:42 last year.
The Demon Deacons (Mike Ennis, Michael Killourhy, Julius Farley) hold the three-person team record with a time of 05:03:44 set last year. Expect fireworks and a tough battle this year as Julius Farley has defected to Three De Hard Way making a very strong team with Reuben Stoby and Rosmond Johnson. Anna Kinkead rejoins the Demon Deacons with Michael Killourhy and Mickey Ennis. The Tortured (Shane Donovan, Matthew Freeman, Juliane Potgeiter) look to be a strong team too.
The KPMG Tortola Torture is a 33.74 mile (54km) race that circumnavigates Tortola with only 22% on the flat, the rest is on hot and humid hills with 12,000 feet of elevation change. The steepest gradient is 33.33%.
“After that easy 10, the race begins a series of relentless, incredibly steep, and constant series of climbs and descents, that systemically squash your soul. And, this goes on until the very last mile,” said Christian Griffith after last year’s race. However, he is returning to destroy his 2017 time after gaining fame on the History Channel’s The Selection.
The KPMG Tortola Torture is open to individuals, two-person, and three-person relay teams. (tortolatorture.com)