Courts 10km Road Race… Underdogs eager for big performance
By Edison Jefford
The re-introduction of the Courts 10km Road Race Classic last year also re-introduced the era of competitive distance-running that has been one of the hallmarks of local athletics; the Courts 10k gave the local distance running circuit a much-needed rejuvenation.
Other companies have since followed Courts’ lead with 10k races or an expression of an interest in hosting races. The result was the establishment of epic battles among distance athletes with the thriving Cleveland Forde and Alika Morgan leading those challenges.
The two athletes have already won last weekend’s 10km race, which makes them the favourites to win on Sunday. However, there are considerable amount of efforts being made to overhaul the two prominent local athletes with ahead of the Courts 10km contest.
One senior male athlete, Cleveland Thomas, told Kaieteur Sport on Friday that he is not satisfied with his performance last weekend, and will be working overtime to correct where he went awry on the road. Thomas was third last weekend after Forde and Dennis Horatio dropped him around the seven km mark. He wants to change that result in the Courts 10k.
“I’m working on a plan, but if I let you know, it will become public so I won’t tell you, but know that I am looking to win the Courts 10k, and me and my coach have a strategy,” Thomas said. He believes that he has to attack Forde in the race instead of being cautious.
That’s the grassroots manoeuvring taking place in the male race. It is no different for the females with United States-based, Euleen Josiah-Tanner, who dropped out of last weekend’s race, still in Guyana to compete in the Courts event. She is Morgan’s only rival.
The race between the two female athletes could intensify for Sunday with Morgan seemingly in good form even though Josiah-Tanner was leading when she dropped out. The two will be going all out with Josiah-Tanner coming one down into the ongoing rivalry.
The keen rivalries, and more importantly, the cash incentives that rank second to only the IAAF South American 10km Road Race Classic, are expected to attract the crème de le crème of local distance-running with Registration for the race closing on Wednesday.
The winner in the Open male and female categories respectively will receive $100,000 each with second place taking home $80,000; third place $60,000; fourth $40,000 and fifth $20,000. In the Masters’ category, the winner gets $60,000; second $40,000 and third $20,000, while the Juniors pocket $60,000, $40,000, $30,000, $20,000 and $10,000 in the top five; trophies will accompany all the cash prizes.
The race has five seasoned competitive categories for athletes with the first male and first female Courts staff also getting a financial incentive of $20,000 each. The race will have a 3km ‘Fitness and Health Run’ that is open to staff and anyone willing to participate.
The race will start in front of Courts’ Main Street Branch, proceed north to the Seawall road, east along the Seawall road and continue east along Rupert Craig Highway’s northern carriageway to turn at Church Road on the Rupert Craig Highway.
It will then proceed on the Rupert Craig Highway’s southern carriageway into Kitty Public Road; south on Vlissingen Road; west on Lamaha Street, south on the eastern carriageway into Main Street, before turning around at the Cenotaph to finish on the western carriageway of Main Street in front of Courts.