1 lap Savannah

Fastest men and women vie for Champion Title


Over 1000 walkers and runners from across the top ten financial institutions of Trinidad and Tobago will converge at the Queen’s Park Savannah Port of Spain opposite T.G.I. Friday’s to take part in the 1 Lap Savannah competition.  The 1 Lap Savannah race is the first competitive event of the CariFin Games 2016 series, and will actually set the pace for the rest of the events.

This year’s participating institutions are ANSA Financial Services, Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, First Citizens, Guardian Group, JMMB Group, RBC, Republic Bank Limited, Sagicor, Scotia Bank, Unit Trust Corporation.

First time entrants for 2016, ANSA Financial Services got off to an excellent start at the Torch Relay on April 02, 2016, by placing 2nd to Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, and beating back experienced entrants Guardian Group and First Citizens.

The 1 Lap Savannah course loops around the Queen’s Park Savannah, a distance of approximately 2.28 miles; and based on the results of 2015 the first finisher will be expected at the starting point at TGI Friday’s in about 14 minutes.

In the male category, 2015 winner Ryan O’Neal of Guardian Group who won the race in 14:28 will not be participating this year, leaving the coveted title of “First Place Runner – Male” up for grabs. All eyes will be set on last year’s 2nd and 3rd place winners Jedidiah Benjamin of RBC Bank and John Donaldson of First Citizens respectively as they look to dominate the race on Wednesday. “I ran in this race to prepare for the CariFin races which begins on Wednesday,” said John Donaldson after participating in Massy Foods 5K on Saturday April 09, 2016 as his means of being reasonably ‘race ready’. In 2013, Donaldson clocked a personal best of 14:23 and in 2014, 15:12 placing him second in the 1 Lap Savanah competition of those years. If Donaldson performs close to his 2013 time he will indeed be the man to beat come Wednesday.

Among the women participants, RBC Bank’s Susan Russell secured her win in 2015 1 Lap Savannah with a race time of 17:41; however, with Central Bank’s Wendy D’Arbasie’s 2012 and 2013 CariFin cross coutry women title holder re-entry into the Games this year the competition has definitely heated up. After posting sub-16:00 in her training runs, it could be said that D’Arbasie is ready. END


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 two years Carifin Games has partnered with the Voice of Lupus foundation, where proceeds from the registration of the games go towards the foundation.

All participating companies are set to compete in:

Event Date Time Location
Torch Relay Saturday April 2, 2016 7.00 am Starting at CBTT
1 Lap Savannah Wednesday April 13, 2016 5.00 pm Q.P.S (opp TGI)
Green Mile Wednesday April 27, 2016 5.00 pm Inside the sand track


Chancellor Challenge Wednesday May 11, 2016 5.00 pm Up Chancellor Hill
Cricket/Football Saturday May 14 , 2016 10.00 am RBL grounds (Barataria)
Aerobics Burnout Wednesday May 18, 2016 5.00 pm CBTT Plaza
All Fours Saturday May 21, 2016 12.00 noon CBTT 3rd Floor
Family Day Sunday June 5, 2016 10.00 am Sevilla Golf Course
Fund Raising Boat Cruise Saturday July 9, 2016 8.00 – 11.00 pm Harbour Master
Prize Distribution Function To be announced To be announced CBTT



Mark Your Calendar the CariFin 1 Lap Savannah is Coming!!!

IMG_1008On the heels of a successful Torch Relay, we eagerly look forward to the start of the competitive action in about 2 weeks time  on Wednesday April 13. All the participating teams would be meeting at approximately 5pm by the Queen’s Park Savannah opposite TGI where the CariFin Games 25th Anniversary Games looks to go into competition mode with its first event –  The 1 lap Savannah.

This event is definitely highly anticipated by the participating teams of the financial services sector and everyone would have a goal in mind to win for their company and eventually take the overall Champion Trophy at the end of the 2016 Games. As we enter this first stage, each team member would have to ask themselves if they have the drive and determination to maintain that competitive fire throughout all the 10 CariFin events. It would also be exciting to see who would be putting their best foot forward as the battle for the best male and female athlete along with all other individual honours commences at the sound of the starter’s gun on April 13th.

Team Guardian came out the gates in 2015 hitting hard with a win in the male category RyanWinningTeamGG O’Neal made the 2.28 miles Savannah look easy with his flowing running style. This initial win was a sign of things to come, as he continued to rampage unstoppable throughout the 2015 Games by taking the overall male title and cross country champion as well as the most improved. Unfortunately, he has left the Ryan-O'Neil-WinnersGuardian Group to join the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and as such, he has left a void at the top of the leader board. Since he would not be here to defend his titles against all the other teams and competitors, it would only be speculation as to who would be taking the gold for 2016 and walking away the headline new position in the games in the male category… it is a big guessing game right now!

Unless we are able to research the full field after the registration process we would be at a disadvantage of only wait and see situation. RBC’s Jedidiah Benjamin Jedidiah-Benjaminshowed stellar promise over the last two years and maybe he is ready to shine after successful performances in the 2014 and 2015 CariFin Games. Jedidiah, in 2014 was able to accomplish 1st place in the 1 Lap Savannah, 2nd in  the Green Mile, 4th place at the Chancellor Challenge and 2nd in the Sevilla Cross Country. In 2015, he was just as competitive by placing 3rd in the 1 Lap Savannah, 2nd in the Green Mile, 3rd in the Chancellor Challenge and 5th in the Sevilla Cross Country. Now in 2016, we wait to see if he is he able to challenge all the other competitors enough to take top honors once again.

John Donaldson is one of those runners who have occupy the top position of CariFin Games before and continues to be consistent. Is he only about just maintaining his ranking among the top 5 men or still able to shoot for stardom and probably add another gold medal to his precious metal chest? We all would have to wait and see the outcome.

Susan-RusselIn 2015 female athlete, Susan Russell of RBC made light work of the female competition in the 1 Lap Savannah and she helped in putting RBC back into the limelight for female running after some lean years. After she was able to win the 1 Lap and the Green Mile, she faded down the pack and didn’t turn up for the finals.  The competition among the female athletes would be hot indeed with the re-introduction of Central Bank into CariFin Games after an absence of two years. Multiple CariFin champion, Wendy D’arbasie is no doubt feeling the excitement to return with a bang and make amends for those two long years of missed CariFin Glory.

The current crop of female runners include the 2015 Cross Country Adona-Josephwinners – 1st place Adona Joseph of Sagicor and 2nd place Jiletta Landeau of Guardian. These ladies are very strong especially on the hills and it would be interesting to see how the different terrains from event to event factors into the competition’s equation towards the overall gold as we go along.

For more information and analysis of the 2016 Games, stay tuned to www.carifinonline.com as our writers and contributors craft some beautiful analysis of what you could expect as well as event-by-event reporting.

Please share your views and comment in the comment area below as we explore and express or views on the upcoming competition.



1 Lap Savannah

by carifinman · 0 comments


Registration for the Carifin Games 1 Lap Savannah is being carried out at a tremendous pace, as walkers and runners from the 8 participating financial institutions are making sure their names are on the database before the closing date on Friday, April 17th, 2015. You won’t have a chance after that to participate in the CariFin Games.

The CariFin Games 1 Lap Savannah event, would take place around the Queen’s Park Savannah starting and finishing opposite TGI.

This event is part of 7 others which comprises the CariFin Games event, each designed to promote a healthier more active lifestyle, personal responsibility for one’s health and fitness, closer connection among the staff of the financial services sector, and friendly rivalry and camaraderie.

There would be walkers and runners. The runners  go first followed by the walkers about 5 minutes after.

The age group for prizes are 20 – 30, 31 – 40, 41 – 50, 50 – 60, and 60 and over. This is a very exciting series with 3 events taking place in Port of Spain, hence the name the “Urban Challenge” which includes the 1 lap savannah, the Green Mile and the Chancellor Challenge.

Up to this stage winners are awarded with hampers and vouchers for the top 3 overall and age – group winners. The final part of the running/walking series take participants to Sevilla golf course for the final event, the Carifin cross country event. Here the top 10 finishers and age groups 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners are handsomely rewarded with cash prizes for individual effort, and teams via for the trophies. The male and female cross country champion get to keep for one year the Carifin Challenge trophy.

The 1 lap Savannah promises to be a lot of fun, as people of all levels of fitness, sizes and shapes make sure they are at the starting line when the race start.

CariFin Games is a great gathering point and meeting place for the active members of the financial services sector, as we promote personal responsibility for one’s health and fitness.

Come Wednesday April 22nd 2015, we would witness one of the most exciting and closely fought events so far in the history of the event.

Excitement scenes from 2014 flashes before your mind and you wonder if the finish would be a close encounter, taken down to the wire as the first place is decided.

Could Jedidiah Benjamin of RBC make it 2 straight in a row for the 1 lap savannah? Guardian Group runners would be gunning for him as he is no doubt coming in as the favourite. How could he cope with that kind of pressure that comes with that expectation, hoping he can deliver on the big day? Last year’s female winner Lee Hay would be missing all the fun and action as she would not be running this year, as CITI is not participating, and won’t be having a team in Carifin. So last year’s 2nd place winner Susan Russel would most likely ascent to number 1 at this stage.

Stay tuned, Come out and Witness the first event of the Carifin Games





Remembering the 1 Lap Savannah

March 5, 2014

The Carifin One Lap Savannah 2013 was a lot of fun with good memories and that emotional good feel that has a special place in a lot of peoples heart. These are the pictures from Flickr.com put to the beat of music to stir up that good feel, that nostalgia. Enjoy!

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Kalechstein, D’arbasie, Cadogan and Harrikissoon shines in the 1 Lap Savannah

April 23, 2013

First timer Simon Kalechstein of RBC steals the show; Wendy D’arbasie of Central Bank maintainsthe spotlight. Cheryl Cadogan of RBC tastes victory and Deodath Harrikissoon of First Citizens retains his title. The anticipation and excitement at CariFin(Caribbean Financial Institutions) Games One Lap Savannah, on Wednesday April 17, 2012 was overwhelming. Its first competitive event at […]

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