*Photo by Don Burgess
*Photo by Don Burgess

Rose-Anna Hoey was the first woman to cross the line in Bermuda Half Day Marathon Derby. Last year’s winner, and three-time champ, Ashley Estwanik was second.

Hooey had set a time for herself of 1:25:00 and almost achieved it as temperatures hovered in the low 70s with a slight breeze.

Hooey said: “This is bittersweet. Ashley is a good friend of mine. Unfortunately, when somebody wins, somebody else doesn’t. She deserves to win every bit as much as I do — we worked so hard together and she’s helped me so much in my training.”

Hooey added she did not set out to try to win May 24 but to “try and run my own race. I tried not to think about anybody coming behind me.

“I tried looking over my shoulder and I was shocked she wasn’t there. I was kind of worried and wanted to know if she was okay but when I saw her coming in at the end I was happy.

“I’m very proud of myself. I set out to do about 1:25 and I just about did that. It was really hot and I did my best.”

She said having all the talk focus on Estwanik winning the title took off all the pressure heading into today, a luxury Hoey won’t have next year as the defending champ.

“I wasn’t even nervous this morning. I was just going to run my own race at my own pace and see what happens. I still can’t believe I crossed the line first.”

Hoey said she and Estwanik ran together for the three miles and stuck to her strategy of going slow up hills and fast down them.