naaatt :: media_artricles :: 2019
Lestrade, Hagley take ECU 15kRachael Thomspon-King :: Trinidad Guardian :: 06.05.2019
The names April Francis, Shirvan Baboolal, Celine Lestrade and Matthew Hagley rang out loud and clear after they won their respective events of the 31st edition of the Eastern Credit Union 5k and 15k in Tacarigua and St Joseph, yesterday.
Francis and Baboolal cruised to victory in the Women's and men's 5k event, posting times of 16 minutes and 27 seconds, and 15:31 respectively, while the more experienced Lestrade and Hagley both left the entire field behind them in the 15k event, to win in one hour, 11 minutes and 49 seconds (1:11.49) and 54 minutes and 03 seconds respectively.
However, Guardian Media Sports team of Akeisha Francis, who was GML's best finisher in the 41st position overall in a time of 29 minutes and 59 seconds, Jan Brewster, Selika Wilson-Soyer, Urias Lessey, Kwami Turpin, Janine Marcelle, Joan Brewster and Alana Jadoo made their presence felt with a number of good finishes and improved times from last year.
Baboolal who told reporters that his greatest test would have come from George Smith, the eventual fourth-place runner, got off quickly at the Tacarigua start from just after 6 am, hoping to gain the edge of his close rival down the traffic-free Priority Bus Route. And he was not denied the title, as he held out for the win ahead of Nicholas Romany in second (15:44) and third-place Shurlun Williams (16:02).
Francis too was quickly out of the blocks and left the field behind her. After winning the race last year, she quickly turned the event into a race against the clock after 10 minutes, before sprinting past the finish line for her second title with ease.
She told reporters afterwards she convinced herself that she was going to win the race and she did. However, she was anything but impressed with her time. "I took a little break, so I had a challenging year this year. I am now getting back my times. This would have been a better time if my diet and all of that were on point, but so far I am seeing improvement based on my previous runs."
Genesis Joseph was second in 21.05 and Jizzel Matas (21:20) and Camille Hernandez (21:23) completed the top four in third and fourth positions respectively.
In the 15k, Lestrade was a runaway train from the start in St Joseph, despite challenges from an equally talented Chantel Le Maitre and rising 19-year-old talent Teressa Otero. She led the way up the bus route to Five Rivers Junction and stormed past the finish line for the silverware. Le Maitre took the runner-up spot in 1:12.25 while Otero was third in (1:13.56).
Hagley, the veteran Defence Force runner tasted sweet success in only his first time at the 15k, taking the lead and holding on for the win. He was followed in second by Sherwyn Stapleton in (54:22) and Richard Jones in third (56:19). Following the race, Lestrade said she was not in the best shape of her life but was happy to give a decent performance.
"Last year's race was more competitive. Last year I came in fourth in a much faster time, but relative to my current fitness level, I am pleased with my performance and I gave it a good effort," she said.
Hagley too was unimpressed with his time but said the race has encouraged him to do the Caricom 10k next month.
"I am very happy with the placing and very happy with the effort. The first half of the race was pretty much just me feeling out who and who feeling out what. But on the turn, Stepleton and I broke away from the pack along with the Kenyan. This shows I am very much capable of doing the 10k-plus, however, I still have some work to do because the time was not pleasing to me."
Members of the Guardian Media team from left - Janine Marcelle, Akeisha Francis, Alana Jadoo, Selika Wilson-Soyer, Joan Brewster, Urias Lessey, Kwami Turpin at back with Jan Brewster show off their medals from yesterday's Eastern Credit Union 5k Road Race
Proud Winners……Celine Lestrade, left, and April Francis flash their medals to the media after winning the Eastern Credit Union 15k and 5k respectively yesterday