A number of participants of the T&T International Marathon (TTIM) on January 21 found much to complain about following the 36th edition of the race.
Some took to social media to air their dissatisfaction with race organisers, in a race which they claimed were dogged with traffic issues and lack of water stations.
Chairman of the T&T Marathon Committee, Dianne Henderson acknowledged their concerns and assured that her organisation will be working on improving where they may have fallen short for next’s year edition.
“The route has been experiencing the same challenges as before,” said Henderson. “We have a perennial problem in traffic.
“Our aim is to have a closed course. We were working on having it implemented in this edition. We got preliminary approval granted by the Ministry of Works and it had to be supplemented by the Maxi Taxi Association and the police but it came just before the race and we were not able to implement it.
“We will be definitely be working on this for next year’s edition with planning starting soon after the Carnival festivities.
“We want to improve the traffic problem particularly along the Eastern Main Road. We are working towards having the use of the bus route, diverting traffic so it will be a traffic-less course.
“Ultimately with a closed course, we will be able to re-measure and certify the course so it can recognised by AIMS (Association of International Marathons and Distance Races) to even function as a qualifier for any other big event.
AIMS works together with IAAF to ensure that its road races are measured accurately. All AIMS races must be measured by an accredited AIMS/IAAF course measurer.
“This will encourage more international runners to participate and thereby increase tourism.”
This year’s event was dominated by foreign athletes with Stephen Njoroge of Mexico touching the tape first. Njoroge who is originally from Kenya is based in Mexico won in two hours, 23 minutes and four seconds (2.23.04) holding off his brother Simon Njoroge, who clocked 2:34.36. Third was Andres Malaver of Columbia in 2: 26.05. Leah Kigen was the top woman to cross in a time of 3:00:11, to finish 11th overall.
On the water stations, Henderson said she didn’t receive complaints, in fact they were praised.
“We were complimented for having more water stations than last year. Gatorade was all along the way also,” said Henderson.
“We did get positive comments on this year’s race. We will work towards more, if not better communication, leading into the race with runners, to provide better service to the athlete.
“We apologise for the challenges that we had,” said Henderson. “Generally though we did fairly well and people enjoyed the run.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors Colfire, Kiss, Command Performance, Subway, Gatorade, Blue Waters, NLCB and Ministry of Tourism,” said Henderson.