A total of 28 foreigners have entered this coming Sunday’s Trinidad and Tobago International Marathon (TTIM). They will be led by former male and female TTIM champions Mark Chepses and Leah Kigen both of Kenya. Other Kenyan entries include Erick Kiprono and Stanley Sang, both aged 32 from the city of Kericho. Peter Kemboi of Morristown, USA is another of the seeded runners. Old friends who will be returning after completing previous TTIMs include Karlene Blagrove of Jamaica and Karen Downey of Canada. Two Colombian entrants Palmenia Agudelo and Jose Ararat are wild cards who could upset the favourites. Other countries represented include France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, St Lucia and Venezuela.
However, the foreign contingent will not have things all their own way. TT Road Runners of the year for 2016, Tonya Nero and Curtis Cox have both taken entry. Female champion Nero will be making her long awaited debut in the TTIM and, if she runs anything like her usual form, may well be able to better Leah Kigen. The veteran, Curtis Cox at 49 will be running in his 29th TTIM and has indicated that this will be his last. Amazingly Cox is now as fast as at any time previously in his illustrious career; winner in 2005, don’t be surprised if he repeats in 2017. Another local to watch is Collin Pereira, at 24 definitely poised for a long career of marathon running. Among TT females, the amazing Christine Regis, now 56 and second female last year will once again defy her advancing years.
Look out for Sofia Headstrom #58 who is running the marathon to capture her experiences in her running article which is distributed worldwide.
The TT Marathon Committee wishes to inform runners and the public that it has had to reduce the value of prizes for its 2017 and 35th Edition due to the ongoing state of the economy. This has affected the costs of putting on the event and as such hard decisions have had to be made.
Meanwhile, the Relay jumped from 36 teams in 2016 to a whopping 76 teams and we can all look forward to a busy morning come January 29th when the race starts at St Mary’s Junction, Freeport at 5.00 am and finish opposite Whitehall by the Queen’s Park Savannah. The Early Start will set off at 3.30 am. The Relay with a combination of six, three and two member teams will start immediately after the main event.
On Saturday at 4.00 pm the TTIM 5K will be held with his Worship the Mayor of Port of Spain starting the race which goes around the Savannah with finish at Whitehall.
The Marathon Village will be set up by the finishing area of the 5K and Marathon. Spectators are encouraged to walk with coolers and enjoy the ambiance and listen to live pan and DJ music while witnessing the finish of the races. Prize award presentations will occur on the same day of the races.
On Sunday the first marathon runner will probably hit the winning tape between 7.15 and 7.30 am with a steady stream of finishers for at least 4 hours after the winner, so spectators at the village will be able to enjoy several hours of action and entertainment.
More information can be obtained by calling 757 7772 or 497 5598.