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Kenyans run away with T&T marathon

Monday, January 18, 2016
Nigel Mark Baptiste, managing director designate of Republic Bank Ltd and president and chief executive officer designate, of Republic Financial Holdings Ltd (34), Andre Errol Baptiste, managing director Toyota Trinidad and Tobago Ltd(20) and TTOC president Brian Lewis (18), after their performance in yesterday’s T&T International Marathon.

New champions were crowned when the T&T International Marathon was held yesterday, as the Kenyan pair of Mark Kipkosgei Chepses and Leah Kigen won the men’s and women’s categories respectively.

Chepses, who was third last year, was the overall winner in a time of two hours, 28 minutes and 58 seconds (2:28:58) in the event which started at St Mary’s Junction in Freeport and finished at White Hall around the Queen’s Park Savannah. 

Last year’s champion Juan Cardona Rios of Colombia was a close second stopping the clock in 2:29:08, while Guyanese Kelvin Johnson was a distant third in 2:41:43.

The first local to complete the course was veteran runner Curtis Cox. Cox, now 48, finished fourth in a time of 2:47:20.

In the women’s category, Kigen took full advantage of the absence of defending women’s champion Truphena Busieni (Kenya) and last year’s second place finisher Monica Gonzalez (Colombia).

Kigen won comfortably in 2:58:42, ahead of T&T duo Christine Regis (3:22:38) and Camille Hernandez (3:57:52).

Kigen said she was happy to win the race, but was not satisfied with her time.

“No I am not happy with my time. My time was 2:58, but I was trying my best to run 2:48 because my best time is 2:43.”

The women’s champion said T&T has become like a second home. “I like Trinidad, Trinidad is like home. I thank all the organisers who invite us to compete.”

Kigen added: “I want to encourage all athletes in Trinidad to train because running is for everybody.” She said training at a high altitude in Kenya increases her level of performance when she competes at sea level.

Chepses, who has been a regular competitor at the event, was elated to win the T&T Marathon for the first time. “Last year I was third, I have been competing for the past five years. I have been second three times and last year I was third and this year I won so I am happy.”

Chepses said the cool weather on this occasion contributed to him winning the race. “The weather was good this year, it was not hot like last year.”

President of the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) Brian Lewis walked the marathon for the second consecutive year to raise awareness and money for the T&T Olympic athletes. The TTOC created the Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund last year in an effort to support the nation’s athletes. 

The fund is expected to provide health and financial support for Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth athletes. The goal of the TTOC is to win ten or more gold medals by the 2024 Olympics. Among those walking alongside Lewis were T&T Pro League CEO Dexter Skeene and sports journalist/radio show host Andre Baptiste. 

Chief Justice Ivor Archie and soca artiste Fay Ann Lyons-Alvarez also showed their support by competing in the Marathon Relay on separate teams. The Marathon Relay allowed between two to six persons to team up and complete the marathon.

Overall top 10

​1 Mark Kipkosgei Chepses—Kenya—2:28:58

2 Juan Rios Cardona—Colombia—2:29:08

3 Kelvin Johnson—Guyana—2:41:43

4 Curtis Cox—T&T—2:47:20

5 Cantius Thomas—T&T - 2:58:42.2

6 Leah Kigen—Kenya - 2:58:42.7

7 Michael Honore—T&T—3:00:08

8 Danny Ferreira—T&T—3:03:41

9 Javan Lynch—T&T—3:18:30

10 Christopher Sutherland—T&T—3:19:26


1 Mark Kipkosgei Chepses—Kenya—2:28:58

2 Juan Rios Cardona—Colombia—2:29:08

3 Kelvin Johnson—Guyana—2:41:43

4 Curtis Cox—T&T—2:47:20

5 Cantius Thomas—T&T—2:58:42.2


1 Leah Kigen—Kenya—2:58:42

2 Christine Regis—T&T—3:22:38

3 Camille Hernandez—T&T—3:57:52

4 Arlene Nichols Saffian—T&T - 4:15:24

5 Abigail Bodington—T&T—4:23:24



1 Olympians—2:26:47

2 Defence Force Athletic Team—2:30:53

3 Geb and Friends Road Runners—2:56:34