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Robertson & Amsterdam claim victories in VG!

Philomena Robertson claimed her first ever victory in the Virgin Islands on Saturday January 19, 2013, taking the tape in 24.50 to win race 1 of the Dive BVI 5K Series on Virgin Gorda. Photo: Charlie E. Jackson/VINO
Philomena Robertson, pictured here at the 2011 NYC Marathon, has targeted qualification for the 2016 Olympic Marathon in Rio and has not only been training hard to achieve her goal but also steadily reducing her times across all distances. Photo: Supplied
Philomena Robertson, pictured here at the 2011 NYC Marathon, has targeted qualification for the 2016 Olympic Marathon in Rio and has not only been training hard to achieve her goal but also steadily reducing her times across all distances. Photo: Supplied
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Emrol Amsterdam and Philomena Robertson won the men’s and women’s races in 20.02 and 24.50 respectively at the Dive BVI 5K Series opener on Virgin Gorda on Saturday January 19, 2013.

More than 60 runners including Robertson, Zebalon McLean and 8 others from Tortola participated in Race One of the Series, which added some competitive spice to the race.

Unfortunately VG’s Road Runner extraordinaire and Half Marathon Champion, Maxford Pipe was unable to compete. However, despite the absence of his nemesis Maxford Pipe and an injury to long time arch rival Zebalon McLean, Amsterdam was happy with his win and the time for his opening race.

McLean had to hobble over the finish line, but will no doubt relish the rest of the series.

Robertson also relished her first ever win in the Territory, proving testament to her dedication to training and her determination to succeed.

Probably only Kay Reddy can be seen pounding the pavements as often as Robertson. ”I was very pleased with Saturday's win but I definitely need to work on lowering my time. I started 2013 with a mission to be a lean, mean running machine,” she commented.

Not only setting her sights on the various Road Races planned on VG and Tortola, Robertson also disclosed “I have my sights set on qualifying for the marathon at the 2016 Olympics.”

The exact qualifying times for the Games have yet to be published but the American Women vying to reach Rio will need to post times around the 2hr 37 minute mark, whilst entry into the Boston Marathon is  around the 3 hour 40 minute mark  and the London Marathon sub 3 minutes 10 seconds.

She ran the 2011 New York Marathon in a time of 4:38.15, covering each 5k at an approximate average of 29 minutes and reaching the half way point in a time of 2:10.09. Her time in the BVI Half Marathon last year was 1:54.59 placing her fifth, so the reduction in her times in a short period certainly puts her target of 2016 Olympic qualification in the full Marathon within realistic reach.

No one who has seen her lowering her times and improving her skills since she arrived on Tortola back in 2008 will have any doubts as to her successfully achieving the goal. “I'm pretty determined to achieve whatever I set out to do and Saturday's win was a confidence booster as I embark on this quite arduous and grueling mission. Winning isn't everything but it sure feels good and having tasted victory I want more so I'm prepared to put in the work,” she concluded.

Race 2 in the series is scheduled for Feb. 2, the same day, although much earlier in the morning, as the Tahesia Harrigan-Scott sprint and technical Camp. Maybe the organizers will be able to entice Kirani James to compete as he is due on island to attend Harrigan-Scotts' camp, along with his coach and Olympian Long Jumper Dwight Phillips.

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