News Releases

1,300 runners for the 13th UWI/SPEC International Half-Marathon

For Release Upon Receipt - August 13, 2016

St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago. August 13, 2016 - On Sunday October 23 at the sound of the starters’ pistol, 1,300 runners are expected to set off on the 13.1 mile journey for the 13th edition of The University of the West Indies’ Sports and Physical Education Centre (UWI SPEC) International Half-Marathon. The race formally launches today, August 13, with online registration declared open. Registration will continue till October 7. As is tradition, on-the-spot registration can also be done at the following First Citizens branches: Scarborough, West Court, Independence Square, Arima, Chaguanas and San Fernando.

UWI SPEC and Race Director, Major David Benjamin indicated that this year’s race will invite 1,300 participants, with 100 spaces reserved for students from 13 Secondary Schools along the East-West corridor to participate. “We hope to increase the pool of young athletes between the ages of 15 to 19 participating in our event and we think this gesture will contribute to building new runners and increase the youth participation in the half-marathon,” he expressed.

First Citizens is once again the presenting sponsor for the international half-marathon, a partnership that has been in place since the inception of the event. Mr. Jason Julien, Deputy CEO of Business Generation at First Citizens, said the financial institution is pleased to once again be the main sponsor and indicated that for them, it is an important initiative. “For us the UWI/SPEC International Half-Marathon is not just an event on the calendar, but something we believe in investing in, as part of our efforts to encourage everyone in our community, the nation as a whole and the Caribbean to take part and challenge themselves in a unique and special way,” he said.

The race is once again recognised and sanctioned by the National Association of Athletics Administrations of Trinidad and Tobago (NAAA-TT) and $150,000 in cash and gift prizes are up for grabs. Additionally, this year will feature a challenge for local athletes as there will be incentive-based prizes for the first local Male athlete that breaks the 1hour, 10 minutes mark and the first Female athlete that breaks the 1 hour, 17 minutes and 30 seconds barrier. Last year’s Top 5 male and female champs are expected to defend their titles. This includes Richer Pérez Cobas (Cuba), Kenneth Rotich (Kenya), Kirk Brown (Jamaica), Pedro Espinoza-Perez (Mexico), Rupert Green (Jamaica), Caroline Kiptoo (Kenya), Tonya Jacinta Nero (Trinidad), Yailen Garcia (Cuba), Celine Lestrade (Trinidad), April Francis (Trinidad). Participants of this year’s race can also run for a cause, as the Half-Marathon will partner with the Diabetes Association of Trinidad & Tobago (DATT) to raise awareness and funds for the organisation.

Registration can be done online at and takes place from August 13-October 7, 2016. Registrants will require a credit card or international debit card to make registration payments online. If interested persons do not have either option, a race registration code can be purchased at the First Citizens branches listed above. Package collection for participants will take place from October 5 - October 18, 2016 at UWI SPEC from 9.00am - 5.00pm on weekdays and 9:00am – 1:00 pm on weekends. Additional race updates and announcements will be made over the next 13 days. For further queries, please contact UWI SPEC at (868) 645-9239 or (868) 662-2002 ext. 83771, 82660, 83556 or 83571 or e-mail



About The Half-Marathon

The UWI 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.


About 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.)