St. Jean outlasts distractions to win World Masters gold

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Jennifer St. Jean kicks to the finish in Toronto.

RUNNING

Jennifer St. Jean won gold at the World Masters Athletics North and Central America and Caribbean Championships in Toronto recently.

I was pleased with my run under less than desirable conditions. I was happy to win gold for Team USA.

— Jennifer St. Jean

St. Jean was first in the 1500 meters in 4:54.14, in a race contested by combined 30 to 49-year-old runners, but scored in five-year age increments.

It was a less swift start.

Our first race warmups went well but it started to sprinkle,” said St. Jean. “We get to the line and the gun misfires.”

The clouds did not.

“While the starter is reloading we see lightning so there is a delay,” St. Jean said. “After 65 minutes of standing in a hallway, we reset.”

The runners had another short warm-up, and they were off. But so were the clocks.

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St. Jean is awarded at the international games in August.

“I did not want to lead from the beginning of the race but somehow ended up front for the first lap,” said St. Jean. “The clocks were wrong and my competitor took lap two for a bit, thinking we were way off her goal pace.”

At last, no distractions.

“I settled into my rhythm and stayed with her for 200 meters and then took the lead again,” said St. Jean. “I wasn’t sure how my body was going to feel because a few weeks ago I had serious fatigue.

“I felt good so I continued to pick up my pace on lap three and then kicked to the finish in the final 400 meters.

“I was pleased with my run under less than desirable conditions. I was happy to win gold for Team USA.”

Appears in the Aug. 24 print issue of The Darien Times