first across the line: Matthew Hagley crosses the finish line to take first place in the Kiss 5K run at Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain yesterday. Hagley finished the race in 16 minutes and 14 seconds, beating Richard Jones and Jules La Rode into second and third respectively. –Photo: AYANNA KINSALE

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Hagley wins 5k

By Roger Seepersad

Hundreds of runners, young and old, turned out for the start of the Kiss Trinidad and Tobago International Marathon weekend which got underway with a Schools One Lap Relay followed by a 5K run around Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain yesterday.

Matthew Hagley emerged as the winner of the 5K event, improving his third place from last year's race. He crossed the line in 16 minutes and 14 seconds which is ten seconds slower than his time last year but which was still fast enough to win yesterday.

Trailing Hagley to the line was Richard Jones in a time of 16 minutes 21 seconds. Jules La Rode was third in the event, just six seconds behind Jones in 16:27.

Tonya Nero was the first female to cross the line in 17:57, while his sister Scarla Nero was second in 18:40 and Celine Lestrade was fourth in 20:23.

Lynette "Granny" Lucess also finished the race which took runners from the Woodford Street start through St Clair and then around the Savannah.

In the schools relay, Polytechnic emerged as the winners with Shiva Boys coming in second, Hillview in third and Fatima fourth.

St Joseph was the only female team in the race while Brazil RC was the lone primary school taking part.

In the men's 5K race, the trio of Hagley, Jones and La Rode broke away from the pack around the Savannah in front of the President's House before opening a gap as they approached the National Academy for the Performing Arts.

They jostled for position as they turned into the home stretch but it was Hagley who held on for the win.

Lionel Dandrade was fourth in the men's race.

The real test for the athletes takes place today with the Kiss International Marathon and Half Marathon which will feature a host of past winners including Kenyans Simon Sawe and Paul Wachira.

Olympian Juan Carlos Cardona of Colombia will also be taking part in the Marathon which starts at 5 a.m. at St Mary's Junction, Freeport.

Other countries represented in the Marathon include Finland, Switzerland and Venezuela.

The half marathon starts at 5.45 a.m. at E-Tech Park, Caroni and both the marathon and half marathon will finish at Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain opposite Whitehall.

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