The inaugural Manchester Capital Run, staged by Manchester High School and under the patronage of Olympians – Nesta Carter, Natoya Goule, Elaine Thompson and Sherone Simpson, enjoyed a very good opening in Manchester on December 10, 2017.
And even though the race itself would have got off to a late start, athletes used the opportunity to warm properly on the school’s compound before making their way to the start line on Ward Ave.
Over 500 runners and walkers of all age groups lined up and before they got the signal to start, took instructions from race director Jerry Holness.
The journey took runners and walkers straight onto Ward Ave, left onto West Road, onto Greendale Road back to Manchester High School.
Oshane Archibald and Garfield Gordon, both of GC Foser College, separated themselves from the field and found the going easy from very early into the race.
These two runners were in close touch even before finishing Ward Ave. They battled along West Road and Greendale and were close to rubbing shoulders at the 4k mark, at which stage the average race fan may have difficulty to call a winner.
Both came rushing off the last hill at MegaMart in the last 100m before Archibald nipped Gordon on the line 16 minutes, 25.75 seconds to 16 minutes 25.97 seconds.
Roheilo Gregory of Cross Keys High crossed the line third in 17 minutes, 37.71 seconds while Bellefield High’s pair of Ackeem Tomlin 17 minutes 38.38 seconds and Javon Francis 17 minutes 55.54 seconds rounded off the top 5.
Manchester High alumni Shanice Gordon had things a little easier on the female side as for most parts she was unchallenged during her journey.
Gordon, now representing GC Foster College, came home in 20 minutes 56.39 seconds.
The battle, however, was on for the runners-up spots with Kimara Austin of Spalding High and Bellefield High’s Aneisha Lawrence rushing in the final 100m together.
Austin took the second place in 21 minutes, 28.46 seconds while Lawrence ended third in 21 minutes, 29.54 seconds.
Jhaniel Weather, also of Bellefield High, was fourth in 22 minutes, 24.88 seconds and Shanoya Smith of host Manchester High, fifth in 22 minutes, 28.28 seconds.
Duwell Allen was the first walker to cross the finish line in 25 minutes, 45.87 seconds while Olympian Olivia McKoy 32 minutes, 22.37 seconds, took the female honours.
Holness, in his assessment of the event, spoke of the positives and areas they would want to improve on next year.