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Hagley looks to retain TTIM 5k title

Published: 
Saturday, January 20, 2018
T&T’s Curtis Cox

Early tomorrow, some 150 participants will line up on the Southern Main Road (SMR) at St Mary’s Junction in Freeport attempting to conquer the T&T International Marathon (TTIM). Their target will be the finish line at the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port-of-Spain.

Before that though, the battle for supremacy in the TTIM Kiss 5k will unfold this afternoon, starting and ending at the Queen’s Park Savannah. Participants will take off at 4 pm and will be challenging Matthew Hagley, who returns to defend his title against the likes of Shirvan Baboolal while a new champion will be crowned among the women as Karlene Blagrove is not competing. Samantha Shukla will fancy her chances of crossing the line first.

The main event tomorrow will see reigning men’s champion Jose Alejandro Vare of Venezuela and Leah Kigen, last year’s women winner, also returning to defend their respective titles and are among a group of 22 foreigners competing in the 36th edition of the event.

They will face the starter at 5 am following the early start at 3.30 am for walkers and the slower competitors.

Diane Henderson, chairman of the T&T Marathon Committee, expects a keen contest from the foreign competitors as well as in the local women’s category.

“The mixture of the Kenyans and the Venezuelans should be interesting on both the men’s and women’s categories,” she said yesterday. “Tonya Nero will not be competing as well be competing at another Marathon but Celine Lestrade are among the local women racing as well as Sjaelan Evans, who is bound for the Boston Marathon next year, has been doing very well this season. Curtis Cox is among the local men competitors.”

The first place men’s and women’s finishers will receive T&T$$33,750 (US$5,000) each for their efforts. Incentives for local runners and age-group awards will be up for the taking.

Once again the Team Relay will take place, with the first phase of runners leaving the start at 5.30 am.

“There are 65 teams with some 400 people competing,” said Henderson, who also added that there are a number of participants running for varied causes including walking against violence against the aged persons, running against violence against women and the Diabetes Association of T&T will be bringing awareness.

“Another interesting runner who has registered for the race is Sidy Diallo. He is a French Diplomat, who has ran in many marathons across the world, competing in a number of them bare feet,” said Henderson.

The two-day Marathon events are also being sponsored by Colfire Covers, Command Performance, Gatorade, Blue Waters, Subway and Ma Pau.

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