St Helena Online

Tag: Hendrietta Timms

Henrietta says island running is ‘spectacular’

The top performer in the 2012 St Helena Festival of Running has said she would recommend other overseas athletes to compete in such “a spectacular place with marvellous people.”

Henrietta Timms said: “If people know far enough in advance they will do it.” But she added: “The running is really hard because of the sheer length of the gradient.”

Henrietta was awarded a locally-made wooden plaque set with island coins after winning three events, including setting a women’s record in the marathon.

All festival participants received a medal and a certificate – including Stephen Oppel, who won the Jacobs Ladder Challenge in a time of six minutes, 22.2 seconds.

Marathon champ Henrietta keeps on running – and winning
Nandeli, aged 11, beats the adults in 3K race (including Dad)
New women’s record in St Helena marathon

St Helena Tourism
10k results (excel file)

Marathon champ Henrietta keeps on running – and winning

Visiting runner Henrietta Timms has scored a third victory in the 2012 St Helena Festival of Running – after starting out by setting a new women’s record for the island marathon.

Her tally in three events was:

  • Sunday 24 June: St Helena Marathon, first place – 4 hrs, 27 mins, 57 secs
  • Tuesday 26: 10K race, first place – 55 mins, 28 secs
  • Thursday 28: Island Ascent, first place – 57 mins

The third race should have been to the summit of Diana’s Peak, the highest point on St Helena, but the event was shortened for safety reasons.

Merrill Joshua of St Helena Tourism said: “Due to adverse weather conditions we did not want to risk the safety of runners participating in the Diana’s Peak ascent, so we shortened the route.”

Most runners enjoy a long rest and recovery period after the rigours of running a marathon – especially on a hilly course – but Henrietta lined up at the start of the 10kr race after only two days’ rest.

She won in a time of 54 minutes on a course that took runners from Francis Plain to White Gate, Scotland and Rosemary Plain, with a steep valley to negotiate at the start and finish.

Henrietta travelled to the island from the UK specially to take part in the Festival of Running.

Stephen Bayley was second in the 10K race in 55:28, and visiting waste adviser Grant Pearson came home in 56:05 in third place – the position he shared with wife Suzie in the island’s half-marathon.

This time, Suzie finised seventh, behind Kath Squires, Tony Earnshaw and Lyn Buckley. The other finishers were Martin Clack, Charlotte Hubbard, Helen Owen, Val Joshua and Jane Roberts.

The course evidently did not trouble sixth-placed runner Lyn Buckley.

She said: “Life is full of challenges. The more mountains you climb the stronger you become. I love the 10k run. It was comfortable and I’m ready to do it again.

“Well done for the organisers and to the runners that participated.”

Paul Blessington, who holds the record for the Diana’s Peak run (1 hr 23 mins and 23 secs) was not among this year’s competitors. He is coming to the end of his period of office as the island’s Financial Secretary, which may leave the field open for future years.

But his wife, Margaret, was one of five competitors who slogged up from Jamestown in the shortened Island Ascent race.

The final results were: 1 Henrietta Timms (57min), 2 Lyuk Hepkema (1hr 28min), 3 Val Joshua (1hr 38min), 4 Margaret Blessington (1hr 40min), 5 Jackie Leo (1hr 41min).

The final race of the festival is the island’s unique Jacob’s Ladder Challenge, up the 699 steps rising out of Jamestown. Each step is 11 inches high… but nearer the top, they feel higher.

Nandeli, aged 11, beats the adults in 3K race (including Dad)
New women’s record in St Helena marathon

St Helena Tourism
10k results (excel file)

New women’s record in St Helena marathon

A new women’s record has been set in the world’s most remote marathon race, on the opening weekend of the 2012 St Helena Festival of Running.

Henrietta Timms won the race round the 42-kilometre circuit of St Helena’s mountain roads in 4 hours, 27 minutes and 57 seconds.

She finished ahead of two male entrants, Lieuke Hepkema and Barry Cahill. However, their times suggest they were out to do the distance, not break records. The event is open to both runners and walkers.

The St Helena Marathon is described as “a challenging but rewarding feat along a breathtaking route over varied terrain, through Sandy Bay Ridges, Halley’s Mount, Green Hill and Levelwood.”

Stephen Bagley won the 21km half-marathon in a time of 2 hours, 8 minutes and 33 seconds, with John Woollacot crossing the line nine minutes later.

The third man and first woman home both shared the same finishing time – and the same surname. Grant and Suzie Pearson completed the run in 2 hours, 47 minutes and 31 seconds, three and a half minutes ahead of Tara Pelembe.

Grant is a visiting adviser on waste disposal and Tara is head of the island’s new environmental directorate. The run gave them plenty of time to admire the landscape they’re protecting.

Mary and Michael Cahill were the lead (and only) walkers, finishing together.

Results of the 3km and 10km “fun runs” on 26 June 2012 will appear on this site as soon as they are available.

Thursday sees the gruelling Diana’s Peak race, from Jamestown sea front to the highest point on the island – a distance of about six miles and just under 3,000 feet of ascent.

Which sets runners up nicely for the island’s unique showcase event: the brutal Jacob’s Ladder Challenge, which closes the festival on Friday.

A 15-kilometre off-road trail run – won by Financial Secretary Paul Blessington in 2010 in a very rapid 1:05:54 – is not being repeated this year.


We were lucky with the weather I think. Clear enough for excellent views and overcast enough to avoid overheating. Big thanks to Grant who helped me overcome the last hill…he would have had a MUCH better time if he’d not been running with me all the way!

– Suzie Pearson, St Helena – blog

Race Records:

21KM (half-marathon)
1 Jean-Paul Van Belle: 1:40:46, set in 2001
2 Errol Duncan 1:43:14, in 2001
3 Ronald Morris 1:45:57, in 2011

42KM (marathon)
1 Errol Duncan 4:01:16, set in 2007
2 Errol Duncan 4:06:46, in 2003
3 Stefan Schlett 4:13:52, in 2007
(Stefan Schlett holds the record for running up the 699 steps of Jacob’s Ladder:
5 mins, 17.46 secs)

St Helena’s just not horrible enough for marathon runners
Governor crosses line in Falklands marathon: your turn, Mr Capes?

2012 Marathon results
Three months on St Helena – blog by Suzie Pearson