Over 7,000 women came out in their numbers to support the Scotiabank Foundation's 2017 Women Against Cancer 5K initiative, which took place yesterday, simultaneously from 4 pm, at three locations – Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain; Skinner's Park, San Fernando and Lowlands Mall, Tobago.
The first runner to cross the line at the Queen’s Park Savannah was none other than the defending champion, Samantha Shukla, as she finished the race in a time of 19 minutes and 38 seconds (10 seconds slower than last year's winning time). She was followed by Sjaelon Evans in second with a time of 20 minutes 51 seconds and third place was captured by Gina Hart in 21 minutes and 48 seconds.
Speaking to Newsday after the victory, Shukla stated, "I do not know what it is, but this year's event was better than last year's. Personally, the race was tough for me in the sense that I have been sick since Monday, my body is still recuperating and I am not fully 100 percent fit." Shukla detailed her remedy to prepare for yesterday's race was sleeping, staying hydrated and being mentally prepared during the week.
She continued, "This is the biggest race in the country for women and it feels good to win, knowing that I was able to overcome the challenge of being sick."
Runners started assembling from 3 pm with warm-up activities commencing from 3.30 pm. The 'Largest Team' participating in this year's event was Massy Distribution while St Augustine Girls High School (SAGHS) recaptured the 'Largest School' trophy for another year running. One Upper Six Form member of the SAGHS team stated, "This is one of the best cancer awareness programmes in the country as many women come out to support this initiative and look forward to it every year, just as our school do."
The Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard also had a team in participation and they expressed, "The event was well managed again this year and it is important to keep spreading the important message of cancer awareness and how to take care of oneself to prevent it."
The Scotiabank Foundation gave a $250,000 donation to the Trinidad and Tobago's Cancer Society at the event. Sponsors included Magna Rewards, GNC, Bermudez, SM Jaleel, John Dickenson, Fat Boy Coconut Water, Oscar Francois and Fisher.
Under 15 Winner - Melania Nanton
15-19 Years - Akina Wilson
20-29 Years - Samantha Scott
30-39 Years - Sherry Ann Coolman
40-49 Years - Tracy Carter
50-59 Years - Diane Henderson
60-and-Over - Linda Briggs
Overall Winner - Samantha Shukla