INDEPENDENCE HALF MARATHON… Forde and US-based Josiah-Tanner ignite streets
Guyana’s Little Kenyan, Cleveland Forde of the Guyana Defence Force and US-based Euleen Josiah-Tanner yesterday morning ignited the streets as expected as the sun rose when the Independence Half Marathon (21km), compliments of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports in collaboration with the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) got under way from Paradise on the East Coast of Demerara to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports Headquarters on main street.
The race which attracted thirty-seven athletes saw Forde, who previously informed this publication that he was just competing for endurance and not for timings, clocking 01:14:52 seconds ahead of Trinidad and Tobago-based Kelvin Johnson, Running Brave Athletic Club, Cleveland Thomas, Police Progressive Youth Club (PPYC), Kevin Bayley and GDF, Tyshon Bentick in the Men’s Open category. Johnson, who finished closely behind Forde, turned in a time of 01:14:53 seconds. Thomas, President’s/ Jefford Classic III 1500m winner was third in 01:17:22 seconds; Kevin Bayley and Tyshon Bentick finished fourth and fifth respectively in 01:20:40 seconds and 1:23:53 seconds.
The Women’s Open category which had four competitors saw US-based, Josiah- Tanner doing what she normally does in all of her competitions. The US-based athlete dominated the race in a dazzling 01:29:47 seconds ahead of GDF, Ashanti Scott (01:42:04 seconds). The two other athletes, Eva Harry (02:07:45 seconds) and Donna April (02:15: 24 seconds), both of PPYC where unable conclude the race under 2 hours.
The Masters (men) Category saw veteran, Llewellyn Gardner in the spotlight against Silas Brummell and Joseph Jardine. Gardner completed the race in 01:36:10 seconds as Brummell and Jardine finished, second and third respectively in 01:42:03 seconds and 01:47:56 seconds.
Guyana’s sprint queen, Alicia Fortune, pedaled to a cool 02:05:40 seconds without a challenger in her category (Masters Women’s).
Meanwhile, Neil Kumar, Director of Sports, at the presentation ceremony at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports Headquarters, Main and Quamina Streets, lauded the organisers for putting together the event. Kumar revealed that the event which has been on pause for the past years will be an annual event on Independence Day each year. “It will be an annual event on Independence Day every year. There are some areas that will be looked at to improve the event.”
President of Athletic Association of Guyana (AAG), Colin Boyce who was extremely happy to be part of the historical event under the theme ‘Fitness for Life’, urged persons to get involved and look at the importance of fitness. The President also agreed with Minister’s proposal for monthly 5ks; all in an effort to unearth talent.
In closing Permanent Secretary, Alfred King in his remarks commended the athletes for participating and thanked the overseas athletes for competing in the event as he hopes the numbers of participants double for next year.