Shawn Pitter returned to capture the top male runner spot at the CB Group UWI 5K Run/Walk. With this victory, Pitter retained his title from the inaugural 2012 staging. Rushaun Johnson was impressive but only managed to take second place while Demarley Johnson came in a close third.
In the female section Arieta Martin finally clinched top spot as the veteran competitor improved on previous placements to emerge as this year’s winner. Chante Roberts despite a stellar performance could only manage second place.
In the Walk category for males, Keino Ewan crossed the line first to secure the title. Gordon was second Andre Smith could was third.
In the female walk section Karlene Blagrove won ahead of Paula Sinclair, second place with Latoya Walker in third. Sheldon Cox beat out Marcus Banton to lift the Wheelchair sectional title for the second year running. Coleen White had a similar victory over Cherry White in the female equivalent.
The event, to the credit of the organizers, ran smoothly. Everything started on time and was professionally executed. Chair of the Organizing Committee and Executive Director in the Office of the Vice Chancellor Mrs. Elizabeth Buchanan-Hind reports that, “The atmosphere was just terrific, the people all came out to support and they were happy and had a great time. We can’t ask for much more than that especially with the official registration numbers improving from last year’s mark.”
The race, however, inadvertently ended up being shorter than the slated 5K. It was later discovered that there was a diversion on the course which saw persons going in an alternative direction, the cause of the impromptu detour is still under investigation.
The event, nevertheless, maintained its integrity as all competitors travelled the same distance. “We understand that the times for this event will not be able to be used in comparison to other 5K races, but wish to extend warm regards to the many persons who expressed their satisfaction at the end of the race”, remarked Mrs. Elizabeth Buchanan-Hind. Competitors fully enjoyed the morning’s activities from the warm-up before the start of the run to the cool-down after, courtesy of the Jamaica Yoga Association.
Mike Fennell, President of the Jamaica Olympic Association said, “It is absolutely wonderful! Apart from the turnout is the level of fellowship and camaraderie that takes place. With the inclusion of the children and the Paralympians the event was truly designed for everyone.” Fennell was this year’s honoree at the CB Group UWI 5K Run/Walk, an award which in his own words was humbling.
The Island Grill Kiddies 2K also generated massive applause and got the crowd frenzied as parents and friends alike cheered and motivated, some even ran along, as the children completed their race. It was a surprisingly quick race, as the youngsters flew around the course and fiercely competed for the top spot in the race’s inaugural staging.
“It was good to see the youngsters’ involvement, it shows the thinking of the organizers in making the event more family friendly as more families turned out to this year’s event,” said the day’s patron and Olympian Warren Weir who also ran alongside the Children with fellow Olympian Hansle Parchment.
The CB Group UWI 5K Run/Walk has managed a second successful staging based on the initial review which saw an increase in participants. The initiative continues to drive toward improving student development as it provides an alternative means of generating much needed income. The initiative was established to provide scholarships and assist the needs of tertiary students at the University of the West Indies.