CariFin Chancellor Challenge

`They came, they saw, they conquered!

Harrikissoon, Phillip and Evelyn keep on winning; Republic ladies walk on by

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The Chancellor leg of the 2016 CariFin Games is now in the books, and some familiar faces popped up in winners’ row yesterday. The weather may have changed to accommodate the hundreds of competitors across the financial sector, but those standing at the top of the imaginary podiums at the end of the respective walking and running races seemed to remain the same.
Abijah Phillip, Deodath Harrikissoon and Laverne Evelyn all repeated their top-place finishes from the previous “Green Mile” event, while the Republic Bank ladies ‘walked’ away with the competition once more. This time it was Tessa Weekes who bettered her second place finish from a fortnight ago to join the victorious trio. For Phillip and Harrikisson, it was a continued show of dominance and consistency as both men copped their third straight victories for this year’s games.


Top 3 Females

 Before the start of yesterday’s event, the participants were reminded of the rules of the road race, while they were also told of the fun purpose of the Governor’s Challenge. After a roll call was done, approximately 400 participants packed the Lady Chancellor Road to face the starter’s whistle. If any of the competitors were feeling lazy or dispirited before the start of the Chancellor trek, then the pulsating sound of tassa drums would have surely shaken them out of their slumps.

The jam session which was seen at the starting line soon withered away as the cream steadily rose to the top along the winding route. The frontrunners braced the oncoming traffic to surge ahead of the chasing pack, and it was Phillip, a first time CariFin participant, who rose to the Chancellor hilltop first as he sauntered across the finish line in a time of 13:59. The Republic Bank employee has certainly accepted the CariFin challenge with open arms and has now beaten FCB’s Keston Gabriel into second place for a third straight time. Gabriel finished second in a time of 14:24 while Guardian Group’s Kris Deonanan finished closely behind him in a time of 14:29.
Gabriel and Deonanan are probably wondering what they need to do to get the better of Phillip. A lively Phillip was unwilling to give out his race secrets after a third consecutive win though, “I just come and try my best, and everyone else tries their best too. I run whenever I have a little free time, I don’t have like a strict schedule or anything,” Phillip said. Phillip also gave some credit to the ‘quiet place’ he is able to find before starting his races.

“Well I don’t know what I have that other people don’t have but I make sure and pray before I run every time, I pray before I train every time,” Phillip said. “I’m just thankful for the competition because I like to compete.”

While Phillip was leading the way in the men’s Chancellor run, Scotiabank’s Evelyn was continuing her own good form in the women’s event as she stopped the clock first in a time of 17:18. Evelyn finished 11th overall and was able to see off the pair of Jileta Candace Landeau and Chelsea-Anne Phillip for yet another event. Landeau finished second in a time of 17:39 while Phillip finished third in 17:

In the women’s walking event, all eyes would have been on the Republic team after their impressive showing at the Green Mile. And the Republic Bank ladies did not disappoint as they swept the top three spots yet again. Weekes was the one to take up the mantle for the Republic team on this occasion as she strutted to the finish line ahead of all other female competitors in a time of 22:59. Green Mile winner Aliya Henry had to settle for second place as she finished in a time of 24:54 while Christine Villafana completed the Republic ‘sweep’ with a time of 25:31.


Deodath Harrikissoon and Christopher Reid

In the men’s walk, there were very few surprises as Harrikissoon chalked up yet another walking victory at the CariFin games. The First Citizens employee got off to a swift start and never opted to look back as he climbed the Chancellor slope. Harrikissoon’s win came in a time of 21:09 and was nearly two minutes faster than that of second place finisher Clement Jubrajsingh. RBC’s Jubrajsingh finished in a time of 22:52 while Guardian Group’s Christopher Reid finished third in a time of 23:21.

Who will be able to stop Phillip and Harrikissoon at this year’s CariFin games? Maybe Saturday’s cricket and football events will give some other eager competitors the chance to shine.
For now, Phillip is just happy to soak up the CariFin experience, “I’m really enjoying it because the environment created by the CariFin officials has been a very nice one. They have gotten everybody to fellowship and have a nice time,” Phillip said.