Colombia’s long distance runner Juan Cardona Rios stopped the clock at two hours, 21 minutes and 13 seconds (2:21.13) to win the 2015 edition of the T&T International Marathon which started at St Mary’s Junction, Freeport and concluded at Whitehall at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain yesterday.
The Colombian running in his third consecutive T&T Marathon out lasted a field of 120 challengers under humid conditions along the 26.2 miles journey.
He won the race in 2013 in 2:23.51 and was third in last year’s edition in 2:26.51.
The course record is held by former multiple winner Pamenos Ballentyne of St Vincent, who clocked 2:15.30 in 2003 and 2:20.57 in 2004.
It was a reversal of positions for the top three runners. Hilary Kimaiyo of Kenya, the 2014 winner (2:23.39) had to settle for second spot and compatriot Mark Chepses who was second in (2;24.09) a year ago, settled for third.
T&T’s Curtis Cox crossed the finish-line in a creditable seventh place in 2:48.12. He was 2005 winner in 2:24.21.
Among the women, it was first time test for champion Truphene Busieni of Kenya (2:55.07), Monica Gonzales of Colombia (2:58.12) and Leah Kigen of Kenya the winner of the event in 2013 (2:52.30) and 2014 in (3:01.13) has to settle for third in this edition behind 3:00.16 seconds.
The best time recorded among women is 2:34.17 set by Denmark’s Gitte Carlshoey back in 2003.
The half marathon which attracted an impressive field of 336 finishers was dominated T&T’s Shayne Barran (1:18.15) and Tonya Nero (1:19:30) in the men’s and women’s division.
The highlight of the race was participation by Brian Lewis, the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) president who used the event to promote T&T’s challenge for ten olympic medals by 2022.
Lewis’ goal was to cross the finish-line at 10:30 am some seven hours after his 26.2 miles walk.
However, he arrived at Whitehall at 10:25 am some six hours and 55 minutes later, but well inside the projected time set.
He started walking at 3:30 am.
Lewis, 54, attracted support from for T&T Olympic medallists Ato Boldon, George Bovell III, Richard Thompson, Jarrin Solomon, Emmanuel Callender, Keshorn Walcott and the likes of Michelle Lee Ahye, Cleopatra Borel are some of the high profile T&T athletes.
T&T 2015 MARATHON RESULTS
1. Juan Cardona Rios (Colombia) 2:21:13
2. Hilary Kimaiyo (Kenya) 2:22:10
3. Mark Chepses (Kenya) 2:22:17
4. Andres Malavier (Colombia) 2:23:59
5. Philemon Kipchlat (Kenya) 2:32:18
6. Kelvin Johnson (Guyana) 2:40:18
7. Curtis Cox (TT) 2:48:12
1. Truphena Busieni (Kenya) 2:55:07
2. Monica Gonzalez (Colombia) 2:58:12
3. Leah Kigen (Kenya) 3:00:16
4. Christine Regis (TT) 3:19:57
5. Karen Downey (Canada) 3:28:32
6. Wendy Shallow (TT) 3:47:56
7. Leisl Puckerin (TT) 3:51:44
1. Shayne Barran (TT) 1:18:15
2. Lionel Dandrade (Guyana) 1:18:27
3. Kasper Francis (TT) 1:22:34
4. Kade Sobers (TT) 1:25:55
1. Tonya Nero (TT) 1:19:30
2 Christelle Laurent (Guadeloupe) 1:31:33