UWI 1/2 Mara '09



Kenyan runner takes 2009 UWISPEC half marathon.

By Clayton Clarke


St. Augustine, Trinidad: Alfonsi Yatech of Kenya won the 2009 UWI SPEC half marathon in 1hr 6minutes  and 50.4 seconds to finish ahead of teammate Samuel Sawe (1:08:59:0). In third place was Zepherinus Joseph of St. Lucia (1:09:11:09), who was the top regional finisher. Joseph improved one place from his fourth place finish last year and has been in the top five in the last four editions of the race (5th in 2007, 2nd in 2006). The St. Lucian long distance ace, who was 80th in the marathon at the 2004 Athens Olympics, finished ahead of  local runners Richard Jones (4th)  and Ronnie Holassie (5th). Caribbean athletes filled the rest of the top ten positions.

25 yeard old Yatech took charge of the race from early, sped away to win by more than two minutes and walked away with the US$2000 first prize. He said he enjoyed the flat course but had some problems with the high humidity. Yatech said he was experiencing some pains in his leg “it was a miracle I ran 66 (1hr 06 minutes) but I was aiming for 62 or 63.  I was well-prepared for the race. I did my final preparation for this race one month ago. I felt as though I didn’t have any competition in the race. I am not satisfied with the time though as my personal best is 1: 02:10”.

In the women’s category, Nigerian-born Maria Akor of the US was the winner in 1:18:48:2 with Jamaican Tanice Barnet in second (1:25:00:70) and  Sheremin La Saldo of Trinidad and Tobago in third (1:27:41:50).  In 2008 Barnet was third while La Saldo was second. Akor said he too was happy with her win.  She said she used this race as training. “I was looking for half marathon to prepare for my next race in Sinapore.  That is the main reason I did the race. I was a little disappointed in the time but in these conditions you don’t expect to run much faster”.  Akor had to overcome vomiting to get to the start-line “I came in on Friday (30th October) and I could not eat anything as I was throwing up.  Ieven had diarrhea so I was a little scared and was not sure of running. But yesterday (Saturday 31st Oct) I felt confident  after I took  some medication and said  to myself ‘ okay let me try and run it and see how it goes’.  This morning (Sunday) I felt up and said ‘okay I think I am going to win it’”. She won US$2,000 for her efforts.

Click below for the complete results:


2008 Race Photos

2007 Race Photos    

2006 Race Photos

Largest ever turnout for UWI SPEC half marathon
By Clayton Clarke
of Trinidad & Tobago
1st November 2009
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad: Some 950 runners will line up for the sixth edition of the University of the West Indies-Sport and Physical Education Centre (UWI-SPEC) annual half marathon which will take place on Sunday 1st November at the UWI campus in St. Augustine, Trinidad.
Since its inception in 2004 where 315 entrants competed the race has grown. The participation rose to 750 in 2008 and now this year a new barrier has been set at 950.
This year’s race will feature a team category. Teams must have a minimum of 15 members in which the times of the top nine will go towards the team’s total. Already there is one team (Carifin) of about 100 members registered.
Just under US$ 23,000 is available in prize money. The male and female winners will each win US$2000 with an additional US$1000 for any runner breaking the new course record (1:05:06.9 Ernest Kimeli, Kenya, 2006/ 1:12:07.6 Jemima Sumgong,Kenya, 2006).
Runners from Kenya, Uganda, Venezuela, US, Canada, St. Lucia and Jamaica will line up in front of the UWI SPEC for the 6:00am start.