Mexico-based Kenyan Stephen Njoroge completed a TT International Marathon hat trick winning the 38th of the 26.2-mile race in edition in two hours, 34 minutes and 31 seconds.
While a marathon is testament to the will and strength of the individual, this race means significantly more to Trinidad and Tobago’s athletes.
Since 2015, the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) has used the Trinidad and Tobago International Marathon to drum up support for the #Team TTO #10Golds24 Athlete Welfare and Preparation fund. The buzz of an Olympic year boosted interest and the "marathon walk" group this year totalled 100.
The fund seeks to proactively raise funds to ensure Trinidad and Tobago’s athletes have the right foundation for their preparations, this year’s effort spearheaded by TTOC President Brian Lewis, holds particular significance with Tokyo 2020 less than six months away.
A combined 1000 registered participants competed in the three races of the TT International Marathon Festival, 223 of those walked and ran the course from St Mary’s Junction, Freeport, Central Trinidad to Whitehall, Queen’s Park West to vociferous support from a wide cross-section of the country all along the route.
Clad in jerseys emblazoned with #10Golds24 and I Did It - a sea of red made the grueling trek joined by Minister of Agriculture Land and Fisheries Senator Clarence Rambharat & Minister in Ministry of Legal Affairs Fitzgerald Hinds, Councillor for Kelly Village/ WarrenVille Samuel Sankar, THA Assemblyman and Secretary for Sport and Youth Affairs Jomo Pitt, Acting Commanding Officer of the TT Coast Guard, Commander Don Polo, Managing Director of Republic Bank Ltd Nigel Baptiste, CAL pilot Captain Andy Cheekes, President of the T&T Canoeing and Rowing Federation Merryl See Tai, Patricia Henry, Arlene Lewis, Elderly and disabled advocate Anton Lafond, Bertram Smart, Richie Rahim, Curtis Nero, Theron Maingot, Victorio Hawkins, Wayne Kelly, Mark Griffith, Elizabeth Rodney, Aasan Lewis, Michael and Suzanne Ali, Nigel Bellamy, Chantell Barry, Vivian Johnson, Ramon Sambrano, Barbadian Ytannia Wiggins- CANOC Executive Committee member,Keith Lashley, Mcdonald Lucas, Ryan Hinkson, Edith Cox, John Abrahamson, Alain Soreze, Mike Sands, Keith Joseph, Ephraim Serrette, Dexter Desouza, Anthony Marcano, Sean Hosein, Bharat Ramoutar, Lieutenant Sherrise Moore, media personalities, Jason Shields, Jonelle Hatt, Jovan Ravello, Roger Sant, Tony Lee, Andre Baptiste, Robert Dumas and Mark Pouchet to name a few.
The T&T Coast Guard’s two 10 member teams also successfully completed the first ever T&T International Military challenge – with each member carrying a 20lb back pack.
The marathon is a testament to the power of sport and community; all along the route encouragement was easy to come by, stronger racers stopped to spur on those who were struggling and clusters of runners and walkers spurred their peers on to the finish line.
The TT International Marathon is a microcosm of Trinidad and Tobago society and an example of what can be achieved with unity and a strong will to succeed.
2020 TT International Marathon Results
Men's Top 10:
- Stephen Njoroge 2:34:30
- Jose Elmer Ararat 2:35:51
- 3.Collin Pereira 2:40:48
- Dismas Ondimu 2:43:01
- Christopher Mitchell 2:43:10
- Thomas Adams 2:51:35
- Michael Honore 2:54:20
- Guswil George 3:02:07
- Nigel Simon 3:04:11
- Curtis Cox 3:09:06.
Women's Top 10:
- Hellen Mugo 2:51:05
- Grace Kahura 2:52:06
- Leah Kigen 2:52:47
- Palmenia Agudelo Berrio 2:56:02
- Everline Atancha 3:10:04
- Sjaelan Evans 3:38:22
- Chantel Le Maitre 3:40:59
- Patricia Sorias 4:01:41
- Lara Littlepage 4:04:16
- Shardie Mahabir 4:06:57
Photos courtesy Melanie Gulston