Run, Ernest, Run

One thousand runners from around the world vie for honours at the international half-marathon organised by the University of the West Indies

The 6 am start of the third UWI SPEC Half Marathon held in 2006. Photograph courtesy UWI Marketing and Communications Office

Ernest Kimeli and Jemima Sumgong of Kenya set new male and female course records last year when they completed the 13.1-mile International Half-Marathon organised by the University of the West Indies’ Sport and Physical Education Centre (SPEC) in Trinidad. And there are indications that the records will be put under pressure again this year.

The Kenyans completed the course in just over an hour (Kimeli: 1.05.06.9 and Sumgong: 1.12.07.6), and in response regional marathoners have been stepping up their training, as they are anxious to taste victory.

Some 1,000 runners from all over the world are expected to face the heat on the Priority Bus Route course through East Trinidad on November 4 for cash and bragging rights, with special incentives for university students and participating UWI staff.

Dr Iva Gloudon, director of UWI SPEC, says: “We are beginning to attract more and more international runners and I’m looking forward to seeing the record tested. We are hoping to attract more universities and university students, as there are no other international half-marathons for university students.

“The university is traditionally looked to for academic education, and the philosophy we’ve come to in the last couple of years is, we need students who are well rounded, healthy and have a broader understanding of what education is. We want to stay ahead of the thrust for a sound mind and body.”

For information on UWI SPEC: www.sta.uwi.edu/spec/
International runners who wish to register for the UWI SPEC Half-Marathon can log on to www.active.com from September 3.