Deonanan blazes the Course, Regis retains Cross Country Title; Harrikissoon returns to reclaim top position in the Walk and Weeks does not fail to impress
CariFin Games Cross Country generated its own excitement and drama compared to the other events fielded on the day.
The spectators who gathered to watch the 26th running of CariFin (Caribbean Financial Institutions) Games Cross Country on Sunday May 28, 2017 saw a very exciting and interesting race unfold at the Sevilla Golf Course.
This year’s participating institutions were ANSA Financial Services, Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT), First Citizens, Guardian Group, JMMB Group, Royal Bank of Canada, Republic Bank Limited (RBL), Sagicor, Scotia Bank and Unit Trust Corporation.
The finals of the four-part running series would be the decider of the overall top performers in the series. At approximately 5.05 p.m. as the sun was setting and the shadows lengthening the newly crowned Ms. CariFin 2017, Falomi Marcano of First Citizens sent the race off; which included both women and men.
It was the biggest day in the CariFin Games participation history for Kris Deonanan, who has been competing since 2015 and collecting minor placement along the way. However, this year proved to be different for Kris as the number one position opened up to him and allowed him to take his seat among the champions.
“Although I was confident going into the Cross Country, I am a bit surprised to have won, especially knowing the level of talent that was represented on that day. Crossing the finish line was a great feeling and I literally had to take a moment to let it settle in.”
Kris’s overall results in the Games is as follows:
· One Lap Savannah – 3rd Place
· Green Mile – 3rd Place
· Chancellor Challenge – 2nd Place
· Cross Country- 1st Place
Thus claiming the title for the best overall Male runner of the 4 part series and the Games with 10 points.
Kris set out early on the course, kept pushing and at every loop (3 in total) he kept lengthening his distance on the pack to finish with a lead of 2.07secs, ahead of second place finisher and 2016 Cross Country champion Abijah Phillip. Phillip, who looked like he was having a difficult day finished with a time of 30.15.
About his experience on the day Phillip had this to say “The race was challenging and very enjoyable. Despite not coming out victorious, it was great to be a part of the event.”
In third place was Steve Blackburn of Unit Trust, who crossed the finish line in a time of 31.51secs. John Donaldson of First Citizens and a former winner of the Cross Country in 2014 took the fourth spot in 32.15secs. Deodath Harrikissoon who earlier won the walk doubled back and finished the run in 32.28.
Christine Regis of ANSA Financial Services celebrated her second Cross Country title two years in a row with a time of 24.03; giving a 2.29secs space between her and the competition. This was easy going for her since the main challenger Salina Scott of CBTT, the previous winner of all three pre-races, was unable to compete in the event. Natalie Thomas of CBTT filled the second spot in 26.32 secs and third place went to First Citizens’ Darcel Aquillera, who clocked in a time of 28.01secs. Lorrainne Ayoung Chee of CBTT took fourth position in 28.05secs and Stacy Ann Jack also of First Citizens crossed the finish line in 29.27secs to finish fifth.
When asked how she felt about winning the female Cross Country, Regis said,
“I feel really great, because I was a bit scared knowing that I came off of a very hard marathon last week and I am still in the recovery stage, so I was not sure how I was going to run today. My muscles are still sore but thank the Lord I did it and I came out victorious.”
The walk was the 1st of the races to get going. At approximately 3.40 p.m. the walkers were greeted by the Governor of the Central Bank Dr. Alvin Hilaire, who then sent the event off.
Deodath Harrikissoon, who had missed the pre – walk events (1 Lap Savannah, Green Mile, and Chancellor Challenge) due to illness, took control of this race and showed that he still had the confidence necessary to lead from the start. This First Citizens champion was back and ready to continue his winning streak. He separated himself from the pack and as he entered the 2.2 K course he was all alone and headed for the finish line. Harrikissoon crossed the line in 18.19secs, while CBTT’s Desmond Christian followed in 19.19secs to take second place. First Citizens Walker Neil Juman took the third position in 20.41secs.
Tessa Weeks of RBL made it four wins out of four, for 2017 and is the only athlete to accomplish this feat. She walked the 2.2 K lap in 20.15 and therefore took the overall walking title along with a trophy and hampers as well as cash incentives which all overall winners will get at prize distribution day.
“The Cross Country race on Sunday 28th May could not come quickly enough to culminate my success at the 2017 CariFin Games. It was my best showing yet as I was the first female winner in all of the various events. I feel accomplished as my five days of boot camp training were not in vain and I was able to retain the title. As the overall female walking champion consistency and persistence are watchwords by which I live. CariFin really does foster fitness and friendships as I see my ‘CariFin’ friends at all the races- 5Ks, 10Ks and ½ marathons in which I participate; and exercising is fun! I look forward to the 2018 games.”
CariFin Games 2017 takes this opportunity to thank its sponsors and partners: The official water of the Games – Bluewaters; S.M Jaleel & Co Limited, Bryden PI, Renew Serpentine Limited, Bobby’s Jewellery, Inn Collection Limited, ATP Scott, Bertram Manhin Limited, Central Bank Employees Credit Union, Climate Control Limited, Integrated Computing & Outsourcing Network Solutions Co. Ltd, Lezama Electrical Services Limited.
CariFin Games also says thanks and good luck to this year’s participating institutions: ANSA Financial Services, Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, First Citizens, Guardian Group, JMMB Group, Royal Bank of Canada, Republic Bank Limited, Sagicor, Scotia Bank and Unit Trust Corporation.
ABOUT CARIFIN GAMES – 26 YEARS OF FUN, FITNESS & FRIENDSHIP
APRIL 01 – MAY 28.
CariFin Games, founded in 1991, is dedicated to the promotion of an individual’s responsibility for their own health and fitness by encouraging them to live a more active lifestyle. This sense of personal responsibility is not offered in isolation. There is also the opportunity for friendly rivalry and competition, networking and camaraderie, as represented in our slogan: “Fun, Fitness & Friendship”. Additionally, for the last three years CariFin Games has partnered with the Voice of Lupus foundation, where proceeds from the registration of the games go towards the foundation.