Goule dedicates Digicel 5k win to niece
At one of the largest-ever turnouts in support of Jamaica's special-needs community, Olympian Natoya Goule and rising star in long-distance running Oshane Archibald copped the top spots in the women's and men's Run categories at the sixth annual Digicel 5K Night Run in downtown Kingston on Saturday.
Goule, a renowned 800m runner, breezed through to the finish line in 20:24.00 to take first place in the women's category. Minutes before her, the up-and-coming Archibald of G.C. Foster College paused the clock at 16:48.00 as he sprinted home to victory in the men's category and as overall winner.
Breathless at the end but determined to tell his story, Archibald composed himself and remarked: "Tonight, all I wanted was to do better than my 5K race last week, where I missed out on first place because I was pushing too hard, too early. So I kept pace with the big runners, never let them out of my sight, made my move at the 4K mark, and never stopped running hard until I crossed the finish line. The strategy worked!"
Coming in second in the men's category was Dwayne Graham in 16:56.00, while third went to Garfield Gordon in a close 16:57.00.
MORE ABOUT THE CAUSE
For Goule, the run was more about the cause than it was a test of her fitness at the beginning of a new athletics season: "It felt good, knowing that I just started training (last) Monday. I just came here today to support my friends and knowing that my niece is a special-needs person, this run was also for her."
Megan Thompson was second in the women's run at 22:40.00, while Samantha Pryce crossed the finish line in 22:40.00 to hold third place.
Jason Wynn and Natasha McKenzie were the first walkers across the finish line in the male and female categories, respectively. Wynn came in at 27:02.00, while McKenzie clocked 35:08.00.
Rounding out the men's top three were Jon Saleen Oliphant in 30:07.00 and Gladstone Johnson in 32:39.00. For the women, Paula Sinclair in 35:45.00 and Olivia McLoy in 36:36.00 completed the standings.
Paralympic champion and Digicel ambassador Alphonso Cunningham sped through in 25:17.00 seconds to win the wheelchair race. He commented: "My aim was to go out there and deliver a good race as this is the beginning of the training process for me, so I wanted to finish below 20 minutes and even beat all the runners, too. That did not happen. Still, I gave it my all because I know that's what Digicel continues to do for the special-needs community."
Decorated paralympian Sylvia Grant was the first female across the finish line in the category, finishing in a convincing 29:45.00 seconds. She recounted: "I was able to have a better race than I did last year because the roads were dry this time around. Plus, this time, I decided to push ahead of my friends and not wait, so that made the difference, too."
Joel Brown was second for the men in 34:41.00, followed by Marcus Williams in 36:09.00. Clair Reid came in second for the women in 43:21.00, ahead of Vinnette Green in 44:23.00.