Francis hails 2019 Reggae Marathon a success


Francis hails 2019 Reggae Marathon a success

Saturday, December 14, 2019

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Negril , Westmoreland — The 19th staging of Reggae Marathon, Half-Marathon, and 10K at Norman Manley Boulevard on Sunday morning has been hailed as a success by Meet Director Alfred “Franno” Francis, after just over 2000 athletes from 34 countries — including five newcomers — participated.

“This is our 19th marathon and half-marathon with over 2000 participants and five new countries of the 34 taking part. It has impacted on the tourism product in Negril and, by extension, Jamaica in sports tourism. We express thanks to the Negril community for partnering with us and this is a good event. Persons come for the Jamaican experience and we are thankful to the various participants for making this event successful in promoting a healthy lifestyle,” Francis said.

Japanese Daicha Hosoda from Torttolo won the 26-mile marathon in two hours, 37 minutes and 37 seconds ahead of Gregory McKenzie in two hours, 45 minutes and 38 seconds, and Winthorpe Wellington third in two hours, 51 minutes and nine seconds.

Rosamund Ponder of London, England, won her first marathon in three hours, 13 minutes and 11 seconds, ahead of Canadian Amanda Nadeau in three hours, 34 minutes, and Japanese Midori Iwata in three hours, 40 minutes and 25 seconds.

Speaking through interpreter Gregory Gordon, Hosoda said: “This is my first time in Jamaica. The course was good and it started out cool then it got warm. It was a beautiful course in terms of the gradient. I was looking for a pretty fast time, but starting out so early in the morning and the heat towards the last part of the race made it challenging, even though the course was flat compared to others. I am very satisfied with my time as I ran three minutes faster than what I had planned to do.”

“This is my first win in a marathon; it started out easy but got difficult as the sun came out and my skin is not accustomed to this heat. I had to be running on my own for most of the time and caught up with the male runners. It was hard work, especially the second half, but the crowd was amazing with the music. My time today wasn't very good as I have ran a number of marathons, but I won and I'm happy as this is the first one. I really enjoyed it and I stopped and walked for a time because of the heat towards the end but the supporters were amazing,” Ponder said. The half-marathon was won by Henry Thomas from UCT Steppas in one hour, 12 minutes and 20 seconds ahead of Kevin Campbell in one hour, 21 minutes and 58 seconds, and third went to Dale Morgan in one hour, 26 minutes and 11 seconds.

The women's section went to German Franzisha Fallmann, running for Acies Four runner Team, in one hour, 36 minutes and 29 seconds, ahead of Elizabeth Mondon (Kingston) in one hour, 37 minutes and 23 seconds, with veteran Aretha Martin finishing third in one hour, 44 minutes and 55 seconds.

Thomas was happy for his win. “I feel pretty good as I came out to do my best and I did just that. I expected a faster time, but I am still proud. The route is very good but the hydration was not so good, but I enjoyed it. I am looking forward to the cross-country.”

Fallmann was also very happy. “The route was good, the music was great, the time was good and I enjoyed it. The course was flat and it got hot as we went along. This is my first time in Jamaica and I have been running half-marathons and marathons for 10 years now. This course is easier than others I have run on.”

The 10k was won by Garfield Gordon from UCT Steppas in 32 minutes and 59 seconds ahead of Romoy Grant in 34 minutes and 29 seconds, with Dontae Hudson third in 36 minutes and 25 seconds.

Thirteen-year-old St Jago student Nekeisha Henry took the women's section in 39 minutes and 51 seconds ahead of teammate Rushel Johnson in 40 minutes and 51 seconds, and Holmwood's Samantha Pryce in 42 minutes and 16 seconds.

Gordon said: “It was an easy win for me as I did not have any challenge, though I had a hamstring injury that is getting better. My preparation went well and I feel good. I am looking forward to the cross-country.”

For Henry, “It was good and manageable and I ran some 5Ks in preparation for this 10K. I am looking forward to do well at 'Champs' in the 800m and 1500m races. I enjoyed this race.”

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