Phillip McCatty overcomes 'pandemic' frustrations to dominate Sweet and Simply Jamaican Virtual Run

By June 18, 2020

Jamaican triathlete Phillip McCatty won three of four events to dominate the Sweet and Simply Jamaican Virtual Run that concluded on Tuesday, June 16.

McCatty won the Male 5K Run, the Male Eight-Mile Run and the 15K Bike Ride.

Meanwhile, Tracy Ann Bourne (26:54) won the Female 5K Run ahead of Carol McKenzie of the Cayman Islands (26:59) and Jamaica’s Natasha Sessen (27:32).

Erica Simon won the Female Eight-Mile Run in 1:08.49. Natalie Debellis was second in 1:08:49 while Carolyn Harrison was third in 1:21.29.

The Canada-based McCatty said the eight-mile run was the most pleasing of his victories. He finished the course in 48:31 with Morrel Beckford finishing second in 1:02.01. Christopher Derrell was third in 1:03.14.

“That one was most pleasing. I chose a flat-out-and-back course by the waterfront. There were a few leisure cyclists, people rollerblading. I was able to run with most of them and it was fun to get a few surprised looks,” he said.

“I did all four events over the course of six days and the legs were a little tired so my expectations weren't very high, but overall I was happy with it.”

McCatty did not engage in any special training for the event as he was already in training before the competition began while finding creative ways to circumvent the lockdown restrictions and the personal frustrations caused for the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

“We just rested for two days leading into the blocks. I'm still running and cycling a lot, but with pools being closed the swimming is limited to whenever I can get to open water,” he said.

“In the first few weeks of the pandemic, it was tough to stay motivated because the realization had finally set in that I may not be able to do any traditional races this year. It's one thing to be in the hurt locker with a target event four weeks out, but when there is no end in sight it's really deflating.

“I realize the importance of staying in shape and so my coach gave me some performance targets to hit this summer. I've also attached rewards to them. This way of thinking, combined with the virtual events where I can still throw down against my peers, has really been helpful.”

Coming in, his strategy was simple; ‘go as hard as possible’ but he expressed disappointment at not doing well enough in a couple of the events.

“I was disappointed with my 5k because I know I'm much faster than that. However, with a full 12 months of focusing on the longer distances such as the Marathon & Ironman Triathlon - 3.8km swim, 180km bike, 42.2km run - it is understandable that the top-end speed can use some work,” he said.

“So we will address that this summer. I was a bit disappointed about coming second in the 30km bike but that's the way it goes sometimes. Hans (Heusinkveld) is a good cyclist so we'll have to settle it head-to-head at nationals next year!”

In other results, Athreeca Grant won the Female 5K Walk in 40:14. Carla Myrie finished second in 45:16 whole Marcia Chin (50:00) was third.

The Male 5K Walk was won by Duwell Allen in 25:02. Rick Case was second in 43:45 while David Swaby was third in 1:09:00.            

Heather Facey took the top spot in the Female 15K Bike in 32:18 more than 15 minutes clear of second-placed Noelle Brown (47:48). Sacha Chung was third.

Leslie Prendergast won the 30K Bike Female in 1:25:00 over Lavinia McClure (1:49.31)

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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