Corey Joseph-Samaroo clocked the fastest time in the virtual Trinidad and Tobago International Marathon (TTIM), the One-A-Week runner completing the 26.2-mile run in three hours, 17 minutes and 38 seconds.
Joseph-Samaroo was among the runners who opted for a route in Chaguaramas, on Sunday. “We ran up and down the bike path,” he told the Express, “from Skallywag to Tetron.”
Sunday’s run was the first for Joseph-Samaroo at the marathon distance. “The time was good, especially for a first-time marathon. A cramp in the last mile prevented me from really finishing hard. With no actual racing, virtual is okay for now, but it lacks the atmosphere of a physical race and people to run down.”
Laurent Couret was next fastest at 3:37:16, while the fastest female on show was Wall Crawlers’ Lara Littlepage, who completed the 26.2-mile run in 3:46:21.
TTIM chairperson Diane Henderson noted that while Joseph-Samaroo and Littlepage earned “fastest” honours, the virtual event had no winners.
“It’s an honour system,” Henderson told the Express, “with the runners uploading their own times. They can’t be judged against others. Several different courses were used in north, central, south Trinidad, as well as in Tobago. The runners just had to cover the distance anytime between January 1 and 24. The majority ran on the 24th (Sunday).
“There were no prizes,” the TTIM chairperson continued. “Each runner got a bag with a medal and some sponsored products. There were 300 entrants across all the distances—70 in the marathon, 100 each in the half-marathon (13.1 miles) and 5K, and 30 in the 35-kilometre ultra-marathon. It was the first time the TTIM had an ultra-challenge.”
Jason John was fastest in the ultra-marathon with a 5:13:30-run. Abiola Pierre-Holder was the best of the females at the 35km distance, clocking 7:57:27.
Dean Tuitt got home in 1:37:59 to emerge as the fastest half-marathon runner, while the fastest female at that distance was Teheli Sealey at 1:54:56. In the 5K, Edmond Ramirez clocked 19 minutes, 17 seconds to earn the “fastest” accolade, while Emily Ramirez was the female standout at 27:04.
“The virtual events were fantastic, great,” said Henderson. “Everyone was really excited. They were happy for something to do, rather than not having anything at all. Going forward, we are looking at having both, so there’ll be an alternative for those who are not able to run the physical race on the day. As long as we have Covid, we have to innovate. We will adapt.”