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Cuban Perez, T&T Nero win UWI Marathon
CUBAN Richer Perez crossed the finish line in one hour, six minutes and 51 seconds to claim the 2017 edition of the University of the West Indies (UWI SPEC) International Half Marathon title from a field of 1,300 athletes that challenged for honours in St Augustine, yesterday.
Running in very humid conditions the field which included professionals, part-timers and leisure runners, commenced their journey in front of UWI SPEC Building, St Augustine at 5:30 a.m. on their 13.1 miles journey which took them onto the traffic-free Priority Bus Route (PBR) east to the La Resource Junction D’Abadie, before turning back to head for the finish at UWI SPEC.
The race which has been an annual affair since 2004 attracted runners from the Caribbean, USA, Latin America, Africa and Europe after it was started by Dr. Iva Gloudon, the former head of the UWI SPEC and Raffique Shah, a former T&T International Race organiser.
Perez, 31, the 2015 Pan American Games and 2014 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games gold medallist registered a comfortable victory ahead of his closest rival Kenya’s Ken Rotich who was second in 1:10.43 seconds, with compatriot Godfrey Mbihia, third in 1:11.30 seconds.
The time by Perez is the best by a Caribbean runner at UWI SPEC. His two victories, 2015 and this year, are the only two recorded by men Caribbean athletes as the Kenyans have accounted for 11 of the previous titles with one Ugandan winner in the 14-year history of the race.
Mathhhew Hagley was the top local finisher in fourth place in 1: 13.44 seconds with compatriot Curtis Cox fifth place in a time of 1:13.47.
The women’s title was secured by T&T’s Tonya Nero, who broke the event record for fastest woman. She stopped the clock at 1:16.31 seconds to finish tenth overall to deny Cuba’s Yeisy Alvarez, a clean sweep in the event. Alvarez clocked 1:25.00 for second, but had to settle for 26th position overall, while Mercy Chebwogen of Kenya, who campaigns here finished third in 1:25:30 and was 32nd overall.
Nero recorded her third victory and also her best time in the race. Her six month training stint in Wichita, USA, was displayed in the event.
YESTERDAY UWI HALF MARATHON RESULTS
Top 10 Men
1. RICHER PEREZ (CUB) 1:06:51
2. KEN ROTICH (KEN) 1:10:43
3. GODFFREY MBIHIA M KE 1:11:30
4. MATTHEW HAGLEY (TT) 1:13:44
5. CURTIS COX (TT) 1:13:47
6. ALEXIS PENA (VENE) 1:15:20
7. SHIRVAN BABOOLAL (TT) 1:15:30
8. JUNIOR ASTON 25 (VC) 1:15:34
9. KELVIN JOHNSON (TT) 1:16:17
10. Jassette Bromfield (TT) 1:17.29
Top 10 Women
1. 1 TONYA NERO (TT) 1:16:31
2. Yeisy Alvarez (CUB) 1:25.00
3. Mercy Chebwogen (KEN) 1:25:30
4. CéCILIA MOBUCHON (MF) 1:26:07
5. KATERINE GONZALES CABELL (VEN) 1:27:30
6. LARITZA MILACATL (MX) 1:27:30
7. SHARMA MARAJ (TT) 1:29:05
8. LINDA MCDOWLL (VC) 1:32:23
9. CéLINE LESTRADE (TT) 1:32:44
10. SAMANTHA SHUKLA (TT) 1:33:
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