National Association of Athletics Administrations of Trinidad and Tobago

media_artricles :: 2018


Sport Minister set to run UWI Half Marathon

Jelani Beckles :: Newsday :: 15.08.2018

MINISTER of Sport and Youth Affairs Shamfa Cudjoe is eager to participate in the 15th edition of the UWI SPEC Half Marathon on October 28, especially as the Minister can relate to this year's theme.

The theme of the event is Every Mind Matters, as the half marathon is being held to raise mental health awareness.

Cudjoe, who has run the UWI half marathon before, said running has helped her overcome personal hurdles.

"If I did not run I felt like I would lose my mind, so I would get up and go out in the night and I would do night runs in Tobago and the feeling I got after that I could not explain it. It was just as good as spending an hour or two hours with a counsellor, running for 45 minutes to an hour would give me that kind of feeling," Cudjoe said.

Cudjoe praised the organisers of the event saying, "I wish to congratulate the organisers of this year's marathon and I wish you a successful, incident free and well attended event. I enthusiastically look forward to participating this year and engaging in some healthy competition with all the other athletes."

Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Copeland said all the participants should feel satisfied that they are supporting a great cause. Copeland said, "At the very least, every participant in the 15th UWI SPEC Half-Marathon should feel good about making a contribution to the cause chosen for support this year - mental health. This area has been selected for highlighting because its prevalence is undeniable the world assured that the cause is worthy and needs all our individual and institutional assistance."

Mexico-based Cuban Richer Cobas will return to defend his crown. Cobas, who represented Cuba at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, is expected to get some stiff competition from Venezuelan Pedro Mora. Mora also competed in the Rio Olympics and is the 2018 Sea to Sea Marathon champion, which is held in Tobago. Some of the top regional men will include Junior Ashton of St Vincent and the Grenadines and Guyanese Kelvin Johnson. The local contingent will comprise Matthew Hagley, Curtis Cox, Shirvan Baboolal, Elvis Turner, Anthony Phillip, Richard Jones and George Smith.

Kenyan Caroline Njoroge and Cecilia Mobuchon of St Martin are among the top contenders in the women's category. Njoroge ran a blistering time of one hour and 13 minutes in Kenya last year, and Mobuchon placed fourth in the UWI half marathon in 2017.

Top women's long distance runner Tonya Nero will not participate this year. Nero, who won the title last year, is currently pursuing her Masters Degree at Wichita State University in Kansas. Leading the way for the local women are Celine Lestrade, Samantha Shukla, Dominique Martineau and Chantel Le Maitre.

The half marathon will be an event to celebrate, as title sponsor First Citizens is observing its 25th anniversary and UWI is celebrating 70 years this year. Participants will run from UWI, St Augustine to D'Abadie and return to UWI in the race that starts at 5.30 am.

People interested in the event can register at

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