media_artricles :: 2017
Chepses to defend T&T Intíl Marathon titleWalter Alibey :: Trinidad Guardian :: 18.01.2017
Last year's winner, Mark Chepses of Kenya, will return to defend his crown at this year's 35th edition of the T&T International Marathon (TTIM), scheduled for January 29 from St Mary's Junction in Freeport to Port-of-Spain.
He will head a large competitive field that will comprise countrymen Stanley Sang and Erick Kiprono, veteran Curtis Cox, who won in 2015, rising talent from T&T Kieve (Magicman) Gibson and Joe Church of Pennsylvania, USA, who is expected to be an intriguing entrant, among many others.
Among the women, last year's female champion Leah Kigen and 2015 female champion Truphena Busieni have already taken steps to go after their second title by means of registering, but like their male counterparts, they are expected to face stiff competition, particularly from T&T's Tonya Nero, who has been hunting down the elusive title for many years.
Only last month, Nero stormed past two Canadians to claim the win at the Barbados' Half Marathon and she is promising to do her best come January 29.
Apart from Nero, Christine Regis, the country's leading female in 2015 and 2016 at the TTIMs, will also attempt to fly the flag high. Also in the race will be Karen Samuel of Great Britain and Sidy Diallo of France, two other women to watch.
Entries from the Caribbean Region include runners from St Lucia and St Eustatius in the 5K with Winsbert Sylvester (St Lucia).
Brian Lewis, the T&T Olympic Committee president will send the runners on their way from 5 am while the slow runners and walkers will set off at 3.30am. Lewis is expected to continue the promotion of his theme #10Gold24, to reinforce his committee's prediction of the country winning 10 Gold medals at an Olympic Games by 2024.
Meanwhile, the TTIM Marathon Village will be at the finish line and will exude life after the race. Following the successful staging of the Marathon Relay in 2016, over 35 teams have already signed up to compete at the 2017 Relay over the same Marathon course.
The TTIM weekend will be jump started on January 28 with the 5K at the Queen's Park Savannah from 4 pm. Port-of-Spain Mayor Joel Martinez will start the event.
Her Excellency Reema Carmona, who contested the event last year, has already agreed to return this year for the President's House team.
Online registration for the events is open until 21 January at ttmarathon.com. Register corporate teams and clubs for this year's relay and individuals are also invited to register for the marathon and 5K. (WA)
Tonya Nero, the T&T runner who will attempt to win the Women's title for the first time when the T&T International Marathon is held on January 29th.