IT was a day of upsets on Thursday at the 4th annual Sweaters Touring Team 5K and 10K which started and finished at Ojoe Recreation Ground in Sangre Grande.
In cloudy, cool conditions, the clear favourite in the 10K event was Guyana’s Kelvin Johnson who has been in excellent form of late with victory in the gruelling Fusion race a couple months ago. There was complete shock, however, when Anthony Phillip, 21, crossed the finish line first with Johnson not in sight. In second place was Kriston Charles, with Johnson coming in a distant third.
Spekaing to Newsday after the race, Phillip could not hide his elation.
“I feeling real, real excited right now. I didn’t expect it. It was a real good race. I see him kind of get tired in the last two miles and I kind of surged and move on him. He was in front of me and I surged and he just fell back. The plan was just to go out and maintain a 530 to 535 average (pace) but when I see him ‘die’ I just pulled through and finished strong.”
Among the women, Chantel Le Maitre took the top spot, ahead of Melissa Lockhart and Berineal Paponette respectively.
There was no stopping Nicholas Romany in the Men’s 5K, storming to victory ahead of former winner and Guyanese runner Lionel D’Andrade and Shaquille Roberts.
Romany, 23, said he was not surprised by his success in his second time competing at this event.
“I’m training hard and beating him (D’Andrade) these days. The plan was just to hold off Lionel because he was my only competition in the 5K,” he said.
Romany, who trains with TT Road Runners Club, said the weather posed no challenge to him and may have suited his rivals.
“The harder the condition the better for me because I does train in these (tough) conditions,” he said.
There were no surprises, however, in the women’s 5K as perennial winner April Francis showed her class to beat the field comfortably. Francis cruised to the finish line ahead of Hannah Heath and Alyssa Lockhart in that order.
“I felt good. I’m now coming back into myself, “ Franics said, “it’s been a while since I’ve felt this way after a run. I just did this run as a mileage to build endurance. I had an injury so my times were dropping so I’m just building back my tempo.”
The day’s activities also included an intense but exciting aerobics burnout which was dominated by the females. Taking the burnout crown was Brineal Paponette, with Patricia Sorias and Denarae De Gazon rounding off the top three.