Sun | Mar 29, 2020

Okano, Viljugrein take Reggae Marathon crowns

Published:Monday | December 3, 2018 | 12:00 AMKavarly Arnold/Gleaner Writer
Japan's Daichi Okano taking the men's marathon in 2:47.17 at the Reggae Marathon in Negril, Westmoreland yesterday.
Female marthon winner Ann Viljugrein, from Norway, crosses the line first in a time of 3:29:09 at the Reggae Marathon yesterday.

Despite the change of day from Saturday to Sunday for the Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K in Negril, the event still saw some 2,646 participants turn out for the 18th staging, with half the numbers coming in from overseas.

The Tottori Prefecture Marathon in Japan continues to show up big for Jamaica's most prestigious road race, with their athlete Daichi Okano taking the men's marathon in 2:47.17. Gregory McKenzie, 2:49:39, and Troy Pennington, 2:58:40, took second- and third-place honours, respectively.

Okano, 26, despite being autistic, has been running competitively since the age of 15. However, this is his third competitive marathon and his first win. He expressed that he enjoyed running here, although it got a bit hot near the end.




"My body felt light, I felt good this morning, so I was just able to keep my form and composure. It was my first time, but I had a really good run and I enjoyed it," said Okano, who was speaking through interpreter Gregory St Pierre Gordon.

"It was hot, got pretty warm, but (It was) nothing too much out of the ordinary, so I was able to enjoy myself and have a good run," he added.

Okano, who was running outside of Japan for the first time, said he is looking forward to competing in Jamaica again next year.

"Yes, I'm looking forward to running overseas again and hopefully it will be Jamaica again," said Okano.

Norway's Ann Viljugrein took the female marathon in 3:29:09, ahead of Celine Vandenbroucke, 3:38:54, and Victoria Old, 3:49:57.

G.C Foster College's Oshane Archibald was the men's half-marathon winner in 1:13:21, followed by Kemar Leslie, 1:18:03, and Ryon Chambers, 1:22:17.

Charlie Pipe took the female equivalent in 1:37:13 with Paulina Tautz, 1:38:57 and Arieya Martin rounding out the top three.

Garfield Gordon, also of G.C. Foster, continued his good run of form, taking the men's 10K in a time of 31:42 ahead of Dwayne Graham, 33:20, and Tyrese Reid, 33:43.

Schoolgirl Samantha Pryce, 41:03, took the female 10K ahead of Aniesha Lawrence, 41:50, and Zoeyann Wint, 41:52.