345 AC ladies take 5K and 10K wins

Kiara McLaughlin (left) and Tiffany Cole won road races over the weekend.

A pair of ladies from 345 Athletic Club took home the top spots in the Pirates Week 5K and To Hell and Back 10K races over the weekend. Kiara McLaughlin was the fastest female over the shorter distance, while Tiffany Cole was tops in the longer run.

At the Pirates Week 5K on Friday, 10 November, McLaughlin led the field of 48 ladies along the course southbound from Harbour Drive along South Church Street and looping back to the finish outside Bar Crudo.

McLaughlin crossed the finish in 20 minutes 43.9 seconds, as she held off a challenge from her younger teammates Molly Kehoe and Ava Hider. “I wanted to do sub-20 but I guess I’m okay with it,” the 18-year-old told CaymanSportsBuzz.com.

“It was easy in the beginning but getting towards the end, we were facing the wind. Fighting the wind was a bit complicated, so it was the slowest mile that I’ve run but I tried to fight through it,” she added.

Kehoe and Hider kept pace with each other throughout the race, with the former taking the slight edge to the finish as they contended with male competitor Pierre Sokohl in a final push to the line. Kehoe clocked in at 21:06.7, while Hider registered a time of 21:08.0.

Molly Kehoe (472) contends with Pierre Sokohl (467) as Ava Hider trails.

For McLaughlin, it signalled a steady return to form after recovering from tuberculosis two years ago.

“Right now, I’m at a good fitness level. I feel like I will qualify for the CARIFTA Games next year. For the past two years, I was struggling with my disease but now I’m back to where I need to be. So, for my form and fitness, I think I’m pretty good,” the 18-year-old said.

When runners returned to the roads two days later for the To Hell and Back 10K, it was another 345 Athletic Club member, who won comfortably.

Cole was nearly five minutes ahead of any other female competitor in the race that began on Raleigh Quay Road and travelled along West Bay Road to Hell in West Bay and back south for a finish near Public Beach.

“I was hoping to do a sub-42 10K today. My PB is 42.29. I came in at 42:54.4, about 30 seconds off but it’s still an experience,” Cole said, adding that with a steady regimen of training, sometimes athletes will not be at the best due to fatigue.

Cole in control as she makes the turn at Hell.

However, the 21-year-old could not be too disappointed with a top finish. “The conditions were pretty great. When we started out, the sun wasn’t out as yet and it wasn’t hot until near the end and I was like ‘Oh my goodness’. I was trying to keep my breathing down and I had another guy tailing me. That was a good push to keep me honest with my pace.”

Second was Nadine Gray in 47:44.6 a week after winning the Cayman Islands Triathlon. Natalie Duam (48:36.8) was third, Rebecca Wall (48:49.7) fourth and Ava Hider fifth in 50:23.7 – to follow up on her third in the shorter distance Friday evening.

Both races were organised by 345 Athletic Club and were part of the official Pirates Week calendar.

See full results from the 5K here and the 10K here.

Related story:

Harfield takes 5K and 10K Pirates Week wins

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