Like it was a year ago, it was the same story at yesterday's second staging of the G.C. Foster College 5K Road Race in Angels, St Catherine, as Kingston College's Ugandan middle-distance runner, Arymanya Rodgers, and Hydel High's Monifa Green were crowned male and female champions. In the process, both significantly bettered their times done a year ago. Rodgers won in 15:22.18 seconds and Green stopped the clock at 18:37.11.
The pre-race hype between the unbeaten Rodgers and Oshane Archibald of G.C. Foster did not disappoint, as running under very hot and humid conditions, it was a ding-dong battle for majority of the way. It was Rodgers who took the early lead, ahead of the G.C. Foster pair of Garfield Gordon and Archibald. At around the 2K mark, it was the three runners, along with Lenford Adams of Knox College, who separated themselves from the pack.
Looking more relaxed in the latter stage of the race, Rodgers showed his class, finding an extra ounce of energy to step away from Archibald. When Archibald approached the G.C. Foster College entrance, it seemed the challenge between himself and the Ugandan had taken a toll on him, as he faded close home and was passed by teammate Gordon, who finished second in 15:32.54. Archibald took third in 15:34.95, as the first three went under 16 minutes, the first time ever this has been done in a 5K road race locally.
Rodgers, who said that it was the first time he had ever collapsed at the end of a road race, was happy with his win, but stated that the condition was extremely tough. "It was a good race for me," Rodgers said. "The competition between myself and Archibald was good and I am pleased with my time," he continued.
Like Rodgers, Green also made it back-to-back victories and followed up her recent success at the Pump It Up Mico 5K by winning in 18:37.37 seconds, bettering her time convincingly to take the female section. G.C. Foster College's Shanice Gordon, like she did at Mico, had to settle for second in 19:21.29, with third going to Hydel High's Jodi Ann Campbell in 19:35.43.
"I am very pleased to know that I came out and defended my title, and to know that my time was much faster than last year's. This is good preparation for me going into (the ISSA GraceKennedy) Boys' and Girls' Championships next year", said Green.
G.C. Foster won the male team title ahead of Bellefield High, while among the females, it was Hydel who were first, with Holmwood Technical coming second.
Meet organiser and acting principal of G.C. Foster College, Maurice Wilson, was very pleased with the day's overall proceedings." I am extremely happy with this our second staging, as the number of participants was much higher this time around and the competition was great," he said. "The times were extremely fast by the top athletes, and this is good for middle-distance running in Jamaica."
Wilson also said that he is hoping that the athletes continue to compete in several more of these races as it will be good for them going into the 2018 track season.
After a successful meet a year ago, all is set for the second staging of the G.C. Foster 5K Fun Run/Walk this Sunday, starting at 2:00 p.m.
The announcement was made officially at a press launch at the institution yesterday, which also coincided with a graduation ceremony for 27 individuals who participated in a short course programme in the areas of fitness, instructor training, and sport massage therapy.
Two past students were recognised for outstanding contribution to the country during the event - Spencer Darlington and Dean Tomlin. Darlington was acknowledged for his contribution to the G.C. Foster College through media and communication, while Tomlin received his award for his sterling contribution to the development of middle and long distance running in Jamaica.
Acting Principal of G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport Maurice Wilson spoke highly about the recognition of the institution and the role it has played in sports in Jamaica.
"I am really proud of what this institution has done for the contribution of sports in Jamaica, and this has really helped with the success of our athletes worldwide, and this 5k event on Sunday could be the start on our dominance in middle distance running like we have done in sprinting events," said Wilson.
President of the Jamaica Olympic Association, Christopher Samuda, also lauded the institution.
"I am delighted to be here to be a part of this 5K launch. G.C. Foster has been making sacrifices for the future and the JOA will always be on board in this area. The recent results at the World Championships is a testimony of this as several G.C. Foster students were involved," he said.
Also present was Denzil Wilks, general manager of the Sports Development Foundation, who in also representing the minister of sports, thanked the college for its high standards.
"G.C Foster College has raised the bar very high. It has paved the way for the country's success on the international stage as it has graduated coaches to the various schools in Jamaica to turn out all the talents to make the country proud. This 5K event is part of the legacy left by the great Gerald Claude Foster and the SDF will also do its best in supporting the institution," said Wilks.
A very passionate Marva Bernard, former President of Jamaica Netball Association, spoke about the rewards to gain from the 5k and implored the short course graduates to love what they do and to ensure that they remained focus in their endeavours.
Meet director and sports director of the institution Chester McCarthy gave direction of the race route. It starts at the G.C. Foster front gate, runners will then turn left onto Brunswick. They will then continue to Angels Phase 1, turning left into the housing scheme before exiting right back onto Brunswick. Competitors will then continue to finish at the school.
Kingston College's Ari Rodgers and Hydel's Monifa Green, who were recent winners of the Mico Pump It Up 5K, are the defending male and female champions.
HYDEL High's Monifa Green and Kingston College's Arymanya Rogers, of Uganda, were crowned female and male champions at yesterday's second staging of the Mico Pump It Up 5K Road Race which started at ended on the school's campus at Marescaux Road in Kingston. Rogers, who was a third-place finisher a year ago, dominated his rivals to post an impressive 15:48.20 while the Corey Bennett-coached Green, competing in her first road race of the season, and who was a winner a year ago, had a convincing win in the female section in 19:23.60 seconds.
Rogers, who has been doing quite well on the road this season, capturing the 5,000m Open at this year's ISSA-
GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Championships, was in tremendous form as at the start of the race at The Mico University College entrance, he quickly went in front, and for the remainder of the event, he dominated his rivals, showing that he is ready for another good season.
G.C. Foster College's Henry Thomas finished second in 16:15.10, while it was a third-place finish for The Mico University College's Brian Golding in 17:01.80.
Rogers was very pleased with his performance. "Last year, the Mico 5K was my first road race in Jamaica and I didn't do that well. But now I am used to these events on the road and because of this, I was able for this big improvement. My time was quite fast, as my preparation has been going very good so far and I am looking forward toward the remainder of the season," said Rogers, who stated that he will be competing this Sunday at the G.C. Foster College 5K event.
Like she did a year ago, it was all Green, as the outstanding Hydel middle-distance runner showed that she will be hard to beat this season, whether on the road or
on the track in distance events. She easily took charge of her peers, relegating G.C. Foster College's Shanice Gardner, the winner of last Sunday's UWI CB 5K race, into second place in 20:14.20, while Green's teammate, Emily Coley, finished third in 20:31.00.
"It was an easy race for me today and although I ran faster last year, it was good for me seeing this was my first competition for the season, but things have been going well in training and I am excited about the upcoming season," said Green.
Meet director Ian Forbes was extremely happy about the second staging of the event which is being used to help male students in the Pre-University Men's Programme (PUMP) at the institution. "The event has gone well and it was a major improvement over last year's staging, as we had more entries this time around. Next year, we are even hoping for better. The race was well organised and everything was clockwork, and the competition was great," said Forbes.
Also competing at yesterday's staging was Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton, who endorsed the race, along with President of The Mico University College Dr Asburn Pinnock.
Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton matched the dance moves of recording artistes RDX on stage, living up to his “Jamaica Moves” campaign that encourages all of Jamaica to incorporate at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily.
The occasion was the successful staging of the 6th Annual CB Group UWI 5K at the University of The West Indies last Sunday, where over 4,500 participants — including the minister, fitness buffs, corporate teams and individuals — took off in and around the Mona Campus to run, walk and wheelchair for charity and to keep fit.
The inimitable talk show host Miss Kitty, decked out in pink wig and gym wear, kept the energy high throughout the proceedings and invited participants on stage to take part in the water challenge and other activities. She invited anxious young ladies to hug the legendary sprint king Asafa Powell, who was more than willing to oblige.
Powell was also on hand to receive the 2017 CB Group UWI 5K Sports Award in recognition of his remarkable performance on the world stage. The sprint king is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most sub 10.0 seconds in 100 metres.
The award was presented by Professor Archibald McDonald, principal of the University of the West Indies, who also lauded the athlete for his stellar career in track and field.
“It is our distinct pleasure to honour you for your outstanding achievements on the athletics world stage… you have, indeed, made Jamaica proud,” said McDonald.
GC Foster College took home the first, second and third spots in the Male Run Category, with Oshane Archibald making it to first place in 16:30 minutes.
In the Female Run Category, Shanice Gordon of GC Foster placed first in 21:17 minutes.
The prize for the Champion Run Team also went to GC Foster College.
In the Female Walk Category, Karlene Blagrove of Pacers Running Club made it home in 33:37 minutes to win, while Lenworth Hunter won the male equivalent in 30:42 minutes.
Taking home the Champion Walk Team Trophy was Sun City Radio, while Elsa Leo Ryhnie Hall copped the Champion Hall Walk Team. The European Union got the prize for the largest team participation.
The wheelchair Female Category saw Vinnette Green taking the first prize in 38:25 minutes, while men's champion was Alphanso Walker, who won in 35:23 minutes.
The Smart Eggs Kids 1K has become increasingly popular and they were happy to have minister Tufton engage in their race around the Ring Road. The kids also received fitness bands as prizes courtesy of Asafa Powell.
In first place for girls was nine-year-old Anieta Gutzmore, making it home for first in 5:20 minutes, while Timothy Fokum representing Department of Comp, won the boys' title in 4:52 minutes.
The event has so far raised $70 million, which has facilitated a number of students being able to acquire a tertiary education.