Ted John and Palmenia Raquel Agudelo Berrio warmed up for the Trinidad and Tobago International Marathon with victories in the men’s and women’s categories respectively when the Kiss 5K event was held at the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain, yesterday.
John, a 27-year-old local runner, cruised to victory in the men’s event in 18 minutes flat (18:00). Dwayne Roach was second in 19:35, while Omesh Persaud also clocked 19:35 to claim bronze. Rounding off the top five were Declan Monderoy in 20:52, while Randy Peters finished in 21:13.
Venezuelan Berrio, 24, snatched the women’s crown in 19:39 ahead of national runner Samantha Shukla in 20:39. Earning top five places were Janeil Bailey, who ended third in 24:05, Rachel Grosberg was fourth in 24:21 and Zariah Pascall was fifth in 24:58.
John, who said some of his toughest opponents did not compete yesterday, used the 5K as a warm-up for the marathon relay. “My challengers did not come out today (yesterday). They did not make it today (yesterday), all of us running tomorrow (today) for the international relay. Today was a warm-up for me.”
John said his aim for the 5K was to take the lead from the start. “My strategy was to go up in front and keep them a little distance from me. When the other athletes started to put in more work I just pushed harder so it would be hard for them to reach me.”
The weather was hot during the race, but John said he is familiar with those conditions. “Normally, I train in this type of weather so I am accustom to it.”
Berrio, talking through a translator, said she did not want to finish the 5K too quickly as she is running the marathon today.
Berrio said the weather was a bit challenging, so she tried to maintain a steady pace throughout.
“The weather was kind of hot, but I tried to maintain the same time like 3:20, 3:30 minutes per kilometre because the weather was hot.
I would like to run the marathon under three hours like between 2:45 and 2:50.”
The marathon will start today at St Mary’s Junction in Freeport and finish at White Hall around the Queen’s Park Savannah. The walkers will start at 3.30 am and the runners will begin at 5 am.