THE University of the West Indies (UWI), on Wednesday, launched its 2019 half-marathon which will be held on October 20. This year’s theme is Youth Development Through Sport and the proceeds will go toward scholarships to assist sporting juniors with their tertiary education.
This will be the 16th staging of the First Citizens-sponsored race, with its usual 13.1 mile route from the Priority Bus Route in St Augustine to the La Resource Junction, D’Abadie and back to St Augustine, and will include a 4 x 5k relay. Speaking at the launch at the UWI Sport and Physical Education Centre (UWI SPEC) in St Augustine, Director of Sport at UWI and former Olympian Grace Jackson said the race will continue to be the “best half-marathon in TT”, adding that they will be focusing on community development through interacting with people en route. “We are creating what we call ‘zones’ or what I like to call ‘hubs’, for which the community can come out and support the persons who are at the relay legs waiting, and the ones who when they hand out the baton – they will be there, and we can create hubs in these areas. Athletes do so much better when they have support and so we will be engaging our community a whole lot more,” she said.
She added that she wants more student teams to participate and teams from international tertiary institutions will be allowed to participate from the next staging.
Pro Vice Chancellor and campus principal Professor Brian Copeland agreed with Jackson saying, “More than just a marathon, this race has become a symbol of both physical and mental endurance. There’s a space in the UWI SPEC 2019 marathon for all. I look forward to this year’s challenge.” Last year’s winners were South Americans Didimo Armando Sanchez Mendoza (male) and Palmenia Raquel Agudelo Berrio (female). Jackson confirmed Berrio will be retuning to defend her title.
The marathon begins at 5 am, and the relays at 6.15 am.