Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Organisers pleased with participation in Kingston City Run

Published:Friday | March 18, 2016 | 3:00 AM
Belgians (from left) Michael Declerq, Alexander Gazenbeek, Sam Custers and Pieter-Jan Van Keerberghen share a light moment on stage after completing the Kingston City Run 10K on Sunday.

KINGSTON:

THE speed is not quite like that taking place at the annual 'Champs' now taking place at the National Stadium.

However, the competition was just as intense at the Kingston City Run, where thousands of patrons turned out for the fourth staging on Sunday, with runners and walkers participating in the 10K, 5K, and half marathon through the streets of the Capital city. Plus, there was ideal weather.

"I was encouraged by the number of entries," said Nicola Madden-Greig, president, Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, conceptualisers of the event that attracted close to 4,000 participants. "In fact, we almost reached the limit that we could accommodate."

Troy Pennington made the most of the lovely early-morning conditions and won the men's title in the 10K, in 36 minutes, 48 seconds.

On the female side, Heather Facey shone brightest, landing the 10K in 47 minutes and 55 seconds.

Olivia McKoy, the former Olympian, showed that she's still on top of her game in winning the women's 5K, in 23 minutes and 26 seconds; while Shawn Pitter, who has had a number of successes on the circuit, took the men's 5K in 16 minutes and 41 seconds.

Pauline Murphy was the leading female in the half marathon, clocking one hour, 37 minutes and 49 seconds to claim the top female spot; while in the men's equivalent, Kemar Leslie reigned supreme with victory in one hour, 16 minutes and 49 seconds.

Many of the competitors spoke highly of the organisation, marshalling, and convivial atmosphere, which helped to make the event enjoyable for all ages. The morning inspiration was brought by both Edna Manley dancers and drummers and members of the Campion College drum core.

Most entrants were local, but some participants came from overseas, including a group of friends from Belgium, who started planning a two-week vacation to Jamaica, then heard about the Kingston City Run and in a moment decided to extend their vacation by another week.

"We kept hearing about Kingston City Run. It was a chance to experience the beauty of Jamaica and also see some of the historical sites," said Sam Clusters, theatre manager for Kinepolis.

"After being here for two weeks, partying in Montego Bay and Port Antonio, we knew it would be really nice to see Kingston in a different way. We have been here a couple of days and we really love the vibes in Kingston," admitted Clusters.

Madden-Greig said: "Whatever your nationality, age or ability, the Kingston City Run is about getting everyone active while having fun and raising as much money for charity and the local community as possible. Everyone, whether here in Jamaica or overseas, looks forward to experiencing Kingston in a way that has been described as eye-opening and beautiful by our participants."