News Releases

UWI SPEC International Half-Marathon turns 12

For Release Upon Receipt - August 7, 2015

St. Augustine

October 25 this year will be the 12th staging of The University of the West Indies’ Sports and Physical Education Centre (UWI SPEC) International Half-Marathon. The race was launched on August 6 at the Main Salon of the Office of the Campus Principal, kicking off a 12-week countdown to the half-marathon.

Speaking at the launch, SPEC Director Major David Benjamin shared plans to increase participation for the 12th edition to 1,200 participants. “Our Half-Marathon is expected to attract a competitive cadre of national, regional and international participants when the starter’s pistol sounds on Sunday 25th October at 5:30 a.m.” he said. He added that that the race has once again been recognized and sanctioned by the National Association of Athletics Administrations of Trinidad and Tobago (NAAA-TT), and that SPEC is in conversation with that association to have this race selected as the NACAC qualifier for the region. He said “It is my understanding that if this is approved our runners can earn a berth into the World Half Marathon event. We are looking forward to the success of our application to this regional body.”

First Citizens continues as the main sponsor of the race and the financial organization has put forward the Rape Crisis Society and the Coalition against Domestic Violence as the charity initiatives for this year’s staging. The SPEC International Half-Marathon is directly aligned to The UWI St. Augustine’s Outreach agenda, outlined in the Campus’ Operational Plan. The race therefore continues with a strong Corporate Social Responsibility element, embracing communities through the positive outlet of sport, wellness and competition.

Dexter Charles, Group Corporate Communications Manager at First Citizens said “I am extremely pleased that the UWI SPEC team agreed with maintaining the charitable element of the race and the 2 NGO’s selected are the First Citizens Pink Card Fund Beneficiaries. Since inception the initiative has offered an innovative way for everyone to contribute towards “Ending Violence Against Women” via the credit card itself; hence the reason for the aligned charities.”

Last year’s Top 5 male and female champs are expected to defend their titles. This includes Daniel Chavez Da Silva (Brazil), Rupert Green (Jamaica), Philip Lagat (Kenya), Jose Magno Dos Santos Mota (Brazil), Kirk Brown (Jamaica), Caroline Kiptoo (Kenya), Cruz Nonata Da Silva (Brazil), Lineida Madeus Rojas (Columbia), Christelle Laurent (Guadeloupe) and Christina Laurent (Guadeloupe). Unfortunately, the 12th race continues without its oldest champ. In May, Charles Spooner passed away at 91. The 2014 race was his 9th consecutive UWI SPEC International Half Marathon and he placed 1st in the Over 80 category.

Race registration commences on August 17 till September 18, 2015 and can be done at First Citizens branches nationwide and a special online facility via The UWI St. Augustine's Bursary. Package Collection will run October 5 – 18 at The UWI SPEC from 9am – 5pm on weekdays and 9am – 1pm on weekends.

For further information, please contact UWI SPEC at (868) 645-9239 or (868) 662-2002 ext. 83771, 82660, 83556 or 83571 or e-mail



Aout The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. Website:


(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)