5:30 am start time announced for 11th UWI SPEC International Half-Marathon

Director of The UWI St. Augustine’s Sport and Physical Education Centre (SPEC), Major David Benjamin announced that for the 11th International Half-Marathon, scheduled for Sunday 26th October 2014, the starter’s pistol will sound at 5:30 a.m., and not at the usual 6:00 am.

This was announced as The UWI St. Augustine hosted the launch of this year’s event today, July 30, at the Main Salon of the Office of the Campus Principal. Major Benjamin noted “We have heard the cries and read the comments of the majority of runners: we have decided to test the race this year with an earlier start.”

Along with the earlier start time, other improvements for this year’s race include entertainment along the half-marathon route with pan ’round the neck, drum-ology and tassa courtesy the Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism.

The race will welcome 1100 athletes for the first time, with athletes from Tanzania, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela and Jamaica who have already confirmed their attendance and athletes from Trinidad and Tobago Special Olympics. Special Olympics Trinidad and Tobago will partner with The UWI SPEC this year for an event within the main event which will see Special Olympic teams representing Special Schools taking part in a relay marathon for the 13.1 miles with 12 athletes per team running equal legs. There will be a prize division for all Special Olympic teams that participate.

(L-R):  Mr. Jason Julien, General Manager Investment Services at First Citizens, Campus Principal and Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor Clement Sankat and Director of The UWI St. Augustine’s Sport and Physical Education Centre (SPEC), Major David Benjamin share a handshake to signal the launch of the 11th UWI SPEC International Half-Marathon.

(L-R):  Mr. Jason Julien, General Manager Investment Services at First Citizens, Campus Principal and Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor Clement Sankat and Director of The UWI St. Augustine’s Sport and Physical Education Centre (SPEC), Major David Benjamin share a handshake to signal the launch of the 11th UWI SPEC International Half-Marathon.

Also speaking at the launch, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal Professor Clement Sankat thanked First Citizens who have again come on as corporate partner and sponsor for the race. He acknowledged that the positive feedback and support that the University receives from our sponsors every year, testify to the strength of our partnership and the value that this marathon brings to the people of Trinidad and Tobago and the region.

Major Benjamin also revealed that the International Open Category looks extremely competitive with the following seeded runners committed to participate: George Towett (Kenya), Daniel Chavez Da Silva (Brazil), Philip Lagat (Kenya), Manuel Bellorin (Venezuela), Richard Jones (T&T), Rupert Green (Jamaica), Cleveland Forde (Guyana), Curtis Cox (T&T), Zepherinus Joseph (St. Lucia), Kelvin Johnson (Guyana/T&T), Matthew Hagley (T&T), Pamenos Ballantyne (St. Vincent), Lionel Dandrade (Guyana/T&T), Jules La Rode (T&T), Kade Sobers (T&T), Elvis Turner (T&T), Tonya Jacinta Nero (T&T), Caroline Kiptoo (Kenya), Lineita Madeus Rojas (Colombia), Jenelle Nedd (T&T), Celine Lestrade (T&T), and Kerticha John (T&T).

The UWI SPEC International Half-Marathon continues to be recognized and sanctioned by the National Association of Athletics Administrations of Trinidad and Tobago (NAAATT) and will maintain its traffic-free status. This year’s race will again commence and end on St. Augustine Circular in front of The UWI SPEC, with the turnaround point at La Resource, D’Abadie via the Priority Bus Route.

Registration begins August 11th and will close on October 10th or once the limit of 1100 entries have been received. Online registration will be available for local, as well as foreign participants, together with registration at First Citizens branches.

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