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Hagley wants International Half-Marathon crown

Jonathan Ramnanansingh :: Newsday :: 24.10.2019

ALTHOUGH Matthew Hagley captured a hat-trick of titles in the local men's division of the UWI SPEC International Half-Marathon over the last three years, he is not yet satisfied.

Having been an avid participant in the annual International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)-sanctioned meet, the 32-year-old TT Defence Force representative is still working towards winning the event overall. In the 2019 edition, Hagley completed the 21km distance in one hour, 12 minutes and 20 seconds to place fourth overall, and first among the local runners.

While he was pleased to have successfully defended his local crown for a second consecutive year, Hagley was a bit disappointed with his finishing time.

"In 2012, I produced my personal best (pb) time of one hour, 10 minutes and five seconds and I wanted to shave at least a minute off my time this year," he explained. "Training was pretty short this year but I took it with a pinch of salt due to work engagements.

"My aim as an athlete is to better my performances as I progress. If I could have recorded a one hour and 11 minute finish this year, I would have been happier."

The Diego Martin resident revealed, however, that he favours participating in the UWI SPEC Half-Marathon since the times produced are officially logged in IAAF records. He believes this event is one of the more clinical races, with a legitimate course that has received the blessing of the global athletics fraternity.

"What I really want to achieve, personally, at the UWI Half-Marathon is to better my PB time set in 2012. I can start with that. I know it's a challenge for me, but this keeps me going. It keeps me wanting more and pushing myself further. Once I can attain this, my next objective will be to win it all," he added.

Hagley has now shifted his focus to the Caricom 10k, which runs off in Guyana on November 3, and the National Cross Country Championships scheduled to get under way before year's end.

"I now have to channel all my energy into training," he added. "These two events are also important for me, so training is key. It takes weeks and months to prepare for a race which lasts just over an hour. But I need to ensure that I put in the right amount of time on my legs. It's a long race, so you must be mentally and physically prepared for this particular distance." In closing, Hagley acknowledged his fellow servicemen at the TTDF who he said have always supported his distance running. He also thanked his superiors for their understanding and flexibility in allowing him the time he needs to get in his many hours of training.


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Hagley wants International Half-Marathon crown
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TT's first male athlete of the UWI Spec Half-Marathon Matthew Hagley (C) is flanked by Kurt Headley, head Retail Banking Unit, First Citizens (left) and Professor Brian Copeland, during the event, which was held on October 16. - Allan V. Crane

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