The Bottom, SABA – A record number of participants raced on Saba as part of the Saba Day Weekend festivities. The race, named the Sea to Scenery as it ascends from the shoreline of Cove Bay, through Hell’s Gate and Windwardside, to the very top of Mt Scenery, took place on Saturday, December 7th.
“We’re so happy with the turnout,” said event organizer Peter Johnson. “Many people participated for the first time, and most took it simply as a walking challenge. As we said at the beginning of the race, if you’re here, you’re already a winner.” The Sea to Scenery run is considered the toughest climb in the Kingdom. The course is 6km long and the elevation gain is nearly 1,000m. This is the fourth time that the race was organized by the Saba Triathlon Foundation.
For the men: winner Chris Berndsen came in first with a time of 53:29, Alwin Hylkema came in second with a time of 54:41, and 3rd place Peter Johnson finished with a time of 57:19. For the women, 1st place was Jorien Ripper with a time of 1:10:00, 2nd place Geertrude Hellema finished with 1:18:53, and Angela van Maris came in with a time of 1:22:04. Berndsen was one of the participating students from the Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, who was visiting Saba for a few days last week, together with other students. Jorien Rippen, the first female, is a lecturer at the same school. There were a few other students from this group who participated in the Sea to Scenery.
“As a first-time participant, the Sea to Scenery run was great,” said racer Chris Johnson. “The atmosphere was fun and being a part of a packed Saba Day Weekend made it an exciting event for both locals and visitors. I certainly plan to be back next year for the 5th anniversary.”
There were loud cheers for Saban Brian Johnson from the other participants when, accompanied by Tim Muller who kept encouraging him to keep going, he reached the top on Saturday. For Johnson, the walk was proof that his daily training on The Road from Windwardside to Hell’s Gate and back, and committing himself to a healthy lifestyle, paid off. Johnson was considered the ‘hero of the day.’ A sizable group of Sabans participated in this year’s race.
For participants who like to plan ahead,
2020’s event is scheduled for Saturday, December 5th, at 7:30am.
Thijs de Raad
Angela van Maris
Barbara van der Woude
Erik van Engden
Sarah van der Horn-Plante
Maarten Plante-van der Horn
Marja van Kuppevelt